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14 Surprising Reasons for Dehydration
Almost 60 percent of your body is made up of water. If you were to lose even less than 2 percent of that water (that is the tipping point for mild dehydration) your mood, cognitive function, even energy levels drop. Most people are aware of the obvious things that can cause you to become dehydrated such as extremely hot days, excessive exercising or working, not drinking enough water in general, but there are numerous other triggers that are much less obvious. Check out this list of 14 surprising things that can make you dehydrated and ways you can prevent them.
1. Not Eating Enough Fruits and Vegetables
Be sure at least half of your plate at each meal is full of produce. This means you could be getting at least an extra 2 cups of water every day. So, think of it this way, if you don’t eat your five servings a day of fresh fruits and veggies and don’t drink extra water to make up for it, it’s easy for you to become dehydrated.
Think of breastfeeding as all about moving water (among other things) from your body to baby’s body. Naturally, that can lower your body’s hydration levels. If you are having any troubles producing milk, be sure to increase your own fluid levels and see your doctor. Not making enough milk is sometimes a sign of serious dehydration.
Those who suffer from diabetes, especially those who are unaware of it yet, are at risk for dehydration (read more how to fight with diabetes). When blood sugar levels are too high, the body attempts to get rid of excess glucose through an increase in urine production. All that excess urination can leave you dehydrated. If you have diabetes and find that you are frequently thirsty or make endless trips to the bathroom, then speak to your doctor about how to better control your blood sugar levels.
4. Alcohol Consumption
Even those who enjoy a reasonable happy hour find that even small levels of alcohol can deplete your hydration levels. Why is that? Have you ever noticed that when you start drinking you tend to pee more than normal? This is because alcohol keeps an antidiuretic hormone that would normally send some of those fluids you are drinking back into your body, but instead, sends it to your bladder. Also, alcohol impairs your ability to sense when you need to drink more water.
5. Your Period
During your menstrual cycle you should drink an extra glass of water every day. Estrogen and progesterone affect your hydration levels and they can fluctuate greatly during your period so you should be extra diligent in drinking more water during that time of the month.
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6. Prescription Medication
Read the label on your prescription medications, many of side effects include dehydration. Blood pressure medications are one of the worst. Also, any drug that lists vomiting or diarrhea as a side effect can also end up causing dehydration. Be sure to increase your fluid intake if any of the side effects say that dehydration is a possibility.
When you are under a great deal of stress, your body pumps out stress hormones. However, if you are constantly under a stress eventually your adrenal glands become exhausted. Adrenal glands also help to regulate your body’s natural level of fluids as well as electrolytes. So, when your body is under chronic stress, you can become dehydrated without your ever being aware of it.
8. Low Carb Diets
Carbs are stored in your body along with fluids, that’s why when you eliminate carbs you usually drop a few pounds of water weight immediately. Although that lower number on the scale will make you happy but it’s actually bad news for the hydration levels of your body. Whole carbs such as whole grain pasta and brown rice absorb water during the cooking process means that eating them releases that water into your body. When you cut them out of your diet you could be unknowingly reducing your fluid intake as well. If you are on a low carb diet, be sure to drink extra water.
As if having irritable bowel syndrome isn’t bad enough, its symptoms can cause major dehydrations. Many people try to control this condition by putting themselves on elimination diets in an attempt to find their trigger foods. If you cut out certain hydrating foods such as carbs, fruits, or veggies, you could also be cutting out your body’s hydration.
10. Your Exercise Routine
Most people think that dehydration issues after a workout only apply to professional athletes, but any time you work hard enough to sweat, you’re losing water. Day after day, week after week, whether it’s a jog around the neighborhood or your 3 times a week spin class, if you end up sweating more than you are drinking, you are in for trouble. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids both before and after your workout.
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Feeling bloated? More than likely it’s your body holding onto water in an attempt to keep itself from becoming dehydrated. While you are pregnant, you increase your blood volume, which means you need more water. Also, if you are experiencing morning sickness and vomiting, you will need to increase your water levels. Talk to your doctor if you are concerned that you might be dehydrated or if you can’t seem to keep even water down.
12. Dietary Supplements
Just because the label says “all natural” doesn’t mean it can’t make your bladder work overtime. Parsley, celery seed, watercress, and dandelion are just as small sample of the supplements that are known to increase your urine flow. If you are taking any supplement, be sure to drink extra water, or talk to your doctor about any possible side effects.
As we get older, our bodies’ ability to conserve water, as well as our sense of thirst, declines, which means you could easily become dehydrated and you wouldn’t know it. If you have trouble remembering how much water you have consumed during the day, keep a written tab or a certain number of bottles that are strictly yours, that you know you must consume every day. Find out what habits make your age faster.
14. High Altitudes
If you like to go skiing, or if you travel any place that takes you to higher altitudes, you should know that your body acclimates by speeding up your breathing and increasing how much you pee. Both are absolutely necessary in order for your body to make the adjustment to the lower levels of oxygen but when you are constantly both peeing and panting, you can exhale more water vapor than normal, and cause dehydration.