Summer is already here, and with the heat comes an increased risk of dehydration. So let’s make sure you stay safe and healthy year-round by understanding not only the signs and symptoms of dehydration, but what drinks are best to keep you hydrated in the first place
Today we will be discussing dehydration, the 7 worst dehydration symptoms, how the signs of dehydration can tell us when we are pushing our limits, the best drinks for hydration, as well as the worst drinks to completely avoid when hydrating so you can stay in tip-top shape this summer season!
Q) What Is Dehydration?
Dehydration is when your body does not have the amount of water it needs to keep functioning. You may become dehydrated because it is too hot, you worked out a little too much without stopping for water breaks, or simply have not hydrated the proper amount. Dehydration also occurs if you sweat a lot without drinking enough water or other hydrating drinks to replenish your body’s natural supply.
So without further ado, here are 7 symptoms of dehydration to let you know when you need to refresh, replenish, and rehydrate your body!
1. Dry Mouth
This sounds like a no-brainer, but having a dry mouth and/or a dry cough can be one of the first signs of dehydration. It makes sense that without proper hydration, you would begin to feel a little dry and in need of proper refreshment! This is not a serious sign of dehydration, but you should definitely get yourself a nice drink if your mouth starts feeling a little dry.
2. Dizziness or Light-Headedness
This is a symptom of severe dehydration caused by low blood pressure. The less fluid your body has, the lower your blood pressure goes. This in turn means less blood flowing to your brain, which is what causes the dizzy and woozy feeling you may experience when severely dehydrated. If you get to this point, please contact a medical professional and be sure you hydrate immediately!
3. Tiredness or Fatigue
Another symptom of dehydration in adults is feeling tired or fatigued. Without enough water or fluids, our bodies are unable to regulate blood flow as normal. Just like feeling dizzy or light-headed, feeling sleepy due to dehydration is because of low blood pressure and having less blood circulating to your brain. If you begin to feel faint, make sure you are in a safe place and contact a medical professional if you feel you are about to pass out.
4. Rapid Heart Rate
This is another symptom of severe dehydration. In order to account for the poor circulation of blood that comes with being dehydrated, your heart will begin to beat faster. This leads to a rapid heart rate while your blood pressure continues to remain low. Your heart is straining to pick up the slack, working harder than it normally has to in order to keep you going. Make sure to contact a medical professional if you get to this point and hydrate immediately!
5. Very Dark Urine
As gross as it may sound, your pee can tell you a lot about your health -- including how hydrated or dehydrated you are. A common sign of dehydration is dark to very dark urine. This is because your kidneys are saving up as much water as they can to allow your body to keep functioning, making your pee more concentrated and appear darker in color. If your dehydration symptoms are severe, you may not even have any urine to examine. If that is the case, contact a medical professional and make sure you hydrate.
Headaches are another sign of dehydration. The lack of fluid in your body causes your brain to contract and shrink. This puts pressure on certain nerves and creates the painful headache you experience when dehydrated. It is important to note that headaches are caused by a lot of different things, so they may not be the one single sign that points you to dehydration, but they are still something to keep in mind if you believe you are dehydrated.
7. Muscle Cramps
As we mentioned above, being dehydrated causes your brain to contract and shrink. This isn’t exclusive to the brain, however, as other tissues in your body will also go through shrinkage. As your muscles begin contracting, you may feel some pretty bad muscle cramps and even some stomach cramping due to the lack of fluid in your body. Make sure to drink plenty of water and maybe have something that is potassium-rich to help with the cramping itself.
Q) What are the 5 Best Drinks for Hydration
Before we get into the best drinks for hydration, we should know what actually makes a drink good for hydration. The answer is actually pretty simple -- some drinks have vitamins and minerals that promote holding onto water.
For example, electrolytes (a type of sodium or salt) hold onto water longer, meaning that you also stay hydrated longer. Potassium does something similar, making sure you keep that water in your system for more time. Basically, there are certain nutrient makeups that are better for hydration than others within different beverages.
Now that we have laid out (almost) all you need to know about common dehydration symptoms and what makes certain drinks better than others to rehydrate, let’s get into what the best drinks for hydration are to ensure you stay healthy and fit this summer!
Water for dehydration is kind of a no-brainer. It is one of the best ways to stay hydrated! The most difficult part is making sure you have water on you at all times, which is made easy with reusable water bottles that you can take with you anywhere. We love Healthy Human’s insulated water bottles, which keep your water cool and refreshing all day long.
Healthy Human’s HydroGo Sports Powder
Speaking of Healthy Human, they are all about staying hydrated! This is why we love their HydroGo Sports powder to add to our drinks for fast hydration that also promotes muscle recovery for that post-workout glow. It is great for athletes and non-athletes to give you caffeine-free energy and rapid hydration!
Due to its naturally high level of potassium and electrolytes, coconut water is another healthy, refreshing way to hydrate! It is also low in calories and, not to mention, really tasty and easy to mix into other drinks, like smoothies, to make it even more delicious.
Hydrant's Hydrate Powder
Hydrant utilizes a good balance of various vitamins and minerals to make sure you get hydrated fast. If you are looking for a great way to start off the day or a nice refreshing drink after a workout, this is the drink mix for you.
Cure’s Hydrating Electrolyte Mix
Cure’s Hydrating Electrolyte Mix is a great way to beat dehydration and give you a pick-me-up when you start your mornings, before or after your workouts, or when you’re just feeling “meh.”
Q) What are the Worst Drinks for Hydration
Drinks that promote dehydration are basically drinks that either cause you to urinate more without replenishing your fluids or drinks that actively remove fluids from your blood while they work through your system. These drinks dehydrate you quicker and leave you feeling pretty nasty afterwards if you are already dehydrated or are in need of some hydration.
With that out of the way and already knowing the 5 best drinks for hydration, here are the 3 worst drinks for hydration that you should avoid if you are feeling dehydrated!
Coffee / Caffeine
While it takes a lot of caffeine to severely effect and dehydrate you, it is still something important to note. Caffeine has what is called a “diuretic” -- a substance that makes your body produce more urine than normal. This basically means less fluids for your body without the benefit of replenishing them substantially while you drink. While in small doses this will not do anything to harm you, you certainly should not drink coffee or any caffeinated beverages if you are looking to hydrate or are already feeling dehydrated. In those cases, caffeinated drinks can only make things worse and you may end up feeling rougher than you did to begin with.
Gatorade itself is meant for people with REALLY active lifestyles. This means if you are working out for a minimum of 1 hour 5 days a week, you are probably fine to drink it as your body needs all the extra sugar, sodium, and calories that Gatorade provides since you burn it off so quickly. However, anything less than that is really just giving you excess sugar, sodium, and calories that you would not have to worry about with other hydration mixes. Pretty much, unless you are an extremely active person or athlete, sticking to other hydration mixes or drinking water is probably a better, healthier way for you to stay hydrated that will cut out any excess sugar and sodium.
The worst drink, hands down, for hydration is alcohol. In fact, alcoholic beverages actively dehydrate your body -- which is part of the reason people get bad headaches when hung over. This is because alcohol causes the body to remove fluids from your blood. Without these fluids, you risk the symptoms of dehydration that add on to the nasty feelings you get when you are hung over. This is why drinking water and hydrating while you are drinking alcohol helps ease hangovers and makes your life a little easier the morning after. Drink responsibly, folks!
Dehydration is no joke, so be sure to stay happy, healthy, and hydrated this summer season as you go and embark on all kinds of adventures! Remember these 7 symptoms of dehydration, the 5 drinks you should give a try in order to stay hydrated, and the 3 drinks you should generally avoid when battling dehydration. Just make sure to hydrate responsibly and effectively no matter where you are and what you are doing so you can stay safe and have fun!