How To Hydrate Fast•
Posted on April 27 2023
What is dehydration?
According to NHS inform dehydration is when the body loses more fluids than it takes in. Not having a normal amount of water in your body will unbalance the minerals in your body – affecting its function.
Losing as little as 1.5 percent of your body’s water can result in you seeing symptoms of dehydration. The symptoms could be as minor as a slight headache or a life-threatening illness like heatstroke – claims Cleveland clinic.
Signs of dehydration
Side effects for dehydration vary from children to adults. It is important to be able to spot when dehydration is taking place to stop it as soon as possible. As the longer you are dehydrated the more severe the symptoms can be. Stated by Mayo Clinic here are symptoms you should look out for:
Infant or Young Child
- Dry mouth and tongue
- No tears when crying
- No wet diapers for three hours
- Sunken eyes, cheeks
- Sunken soft spot-on top of skull
- Listlessness or irritability
- Extreme thirst
- Less frequent urination
- Dark-coloured urine
Contact your doctor if your or your loved one:
- Has diarrhoea for 24 hours or more
- Is irritable or disorientated and much sleepier or less active than usual
- Can’t keep down fluids
- Has bloody or black stool
Importance of water for your body
Explained by Cleveland Clinic, your body is made up of about 55% to 78% of water. Most if not – all of your organs need water to function at a stable level. If you’re still not convinced of the vitalness of water here a list of things water helps with:
- Aid digestion and get rid of waste
- Lubricates your joints
- Make saliva
- Balance your body’s chemicals. Your brain needs it to create hormones and neurotransmitters
- deliver oxygen all over the body
- cushion your bones
- regulate your body temperature
How to hydrate quickly
The most common thing to do when your dehydrated is get water from your bottle or tumbler and rightly so! Water is a cheap and best way to rehydrate yourself and keep yourself hydrated throughout the day.
With no added sugars or calories, it is an ideal way of replacing the fluids lost in your body when lost – for example, after a workout.
It is also good to know that due to some individual’s genetics – they can be ‘salty sweaters’ (a funny way of saying you lose sodium through your sweat, as well as fluids). In order to know if this applies to you is if your sweat tastes salty or it stings your eyes. If that’s the case you my friend are a ‘salty sweater’.
So, if you are a ‘salty sweater’ just make sure you consume some sodium (easy to do with a balanced diet) after your workouts as well as fluids. So, you can replace both the fluids and sodium lost.
- Coffee and Tea
In moderate amounts coffee and tea can be quite useful when acting as a form of hydration. With the addition of caffeine, you can also get a great energy boost!
But do be careful. Having excessive amounts of tea or coffee can do the reverse and dehydrate you. This is because tea and coffee act like diuretic. so consuming 2 or more 8-ounce cups of coffee or 5 or more 8 ounces cups of tea can have negative effects.
So be sure to consume moderate amounts of tea/coffee to reap the benefits and not the disadvantages.
- Skim & Low-Fat Milk
Before you think we are crazy, let me explain. Milk contains high amounts of electrolytes (like most sports drinks) which help to balance the amount of water that is in your body.
With Low-fat milk containing high amounts electrolytes and protein – this would be a great post work out drink. To replenish the waters lost and start the process of muscle repair and muscle building with the additional proteins. For more benefits.
However, be aware that sometimes consuming something like milk after an exercise can cause some stomach discomfort to some individuals. Especially for those that are lactose intolerant – you could experience diarrhoea after consumption. But if this doesn’t apply to you, milk can still be a great post-work drink.
- Fruits and Vegetables
Fruit and vegetables are a great choice when you are feeling slightly dehydrated. Fruits and vegetables such as: berries, melons, oranges, grapes, carrots, lettuce, cabbage, and spinach consist of 80-90% water.
In comparison to highly processed foods we indulge in such as: cookies, crackers, cereals, and chips – only 1-9% of water is present.
Now that I have scared you to never consume a cookie again. Let’s think about how we can make fruit and vegetables not so boring.
Well, you can incorporate vegetables in your omelette, stews, tacos, risotto, and you have fruits as a fruit salad or smoothie. You can even add them to your oats. The possibilities are endless, so don’t put any limits. Go crazy!
- Oral Hydration Solutions
oral hydration solutions are specialized formulas that are used to prevent and treat dehydration. This is normally used by someone who is suffering from diarrhoea and serve vomiting – causing fluid loss.
The solution is water based and usually contains, electrolytes like sodium, chloride, potassium, and sugar. Additional ingredients that may be added by branded companies are probiotics and zinc to aid digestion.
Oral hydration solutions are beneficial but can be costly. So, we have recipe you can use to create your own solution with little cost:
- Get a large bowl
- Add 34 ounces (1 litre) of water
- Add 6 teaspoons of water
- Add ½ teaspoon of salt
- Mix together well
- To improve the flavour, add flavour enhancers
How long does it take to rehydrate after dehydration?
It all depends on the level of your dehydration. If your mildly dehydrated, having 20.3oz or 600ml of water has been shown to decrease the affects of dehydration in 45 minutes.
But if your severely dehydrated the time is much longer. You will have to allow your body to recover and regain the fluids it has lost.
The best way of doing this would be through intravenous hydration. The process is that sterile water solutions are injected into your body to speed up the rehydration process.
So, if you or a loved one is severely dehydrated. Immediately seek medical attention.
How much water to have daily
There are multiple benefits that come with drinking water. But every day we lose water through sweat, breathing, perspiration, urine, and bowel movements. Making it important we replenish the water lost daily. But what is the recommended daily fluid intake?
According to Mayo clinic, men should have about 15.5 cups (3.7 litres) of fluids a day and women should have about 11.5 cups (2.7 litres) of fluids a day. This recommendation considers fluids from water, beverages, and foods. 20% of fluids usually comes from food and the rest from drinks.
Remember this is a recommendation. The amounts of fluids needed will vary depending on your environment, health, and the amount of physical activity you do. So, pay attention to the needs of your body especially when outside as we tend be distracted. Using a drinkware such as a tumbler can help maintain your fluid consumption while you’re on the go, as it will help to remind you and provide an easy way to stay hydrated.
Dehydration occurs when your body loses more fluids than it takes in. Commonly, the best method of rehydration is drinking water.
But you can have milk, coffee, tea, fruits, vegetables, and oral hydration solutions as alternatives.
If you or a loved one is experiencing dehydration issues. Immediately consult your doctor to gain advice and assistance to aid your health.