Dehydration occurs when you use or lose more fluid than you take in. The lack of hydration can cause many symptoms some we often overlook, such as tiredness, dry skin, constipation, moodiness, discomfort, cravings for junk food, sleep issues and more. Frequently we are told, “drink more water”; rarely do any of us get enough. On numerous occasions, I find myself going an entire work day without water, and I know I’m not alone.
Do we skip drinking water so we don’t have the inconvenience of going to the washroom?
Western culture differs as a golden rule Ayurveda says not to suppress any natural urges. Sadly, we suppress almost all of them, including urination, defecation, belching, flatulence, sneezing, and crying.
While dehydration is common in young adults, it worsens as we age.
Although drinking coffee, caffeinated teas or soft drinks is a leading cause of dehydration, quite often, it simply is a lack of drinking water.
Individuals at risk:
- People working outdoors exposed to excessive amounts of heat
- Older adults
- People with chronic conditions
- Athletes (especially runners, cyclists, and soccer players)
- Infants and young children
- People who reside in high altitudes
Are you hungry or thirsty?
Wrestling with feeling hungry all the time? You might actually be thirsty. 37% of the time, clinical studies have shown that people confuse thirst for hunger. Before grabbing a snack to satisfy your appetite, try drinking an 8-12 ounce glass of water. Wait 10-15 minutes and see if your hunger goes away. If it does, most likely, you were thirsty and possibly dehydrated.1
If you are still hungry, then eat, as there is no harm in drinking a glass of water 15 minutes before a meal. Hydrating 30 minutes before meals can improve digestion and support a healthy weight.2
Yet be aware that drinking lots of water with a meal can dilute stomach acids and weaken digestion. Therefore eating some of the foods listed below can help other dry foods become moist in your stomach. When eaten alone, they can hydrate the body.
Add in plenty of hydrating foods to combat dehydration:
- Cucumbers and pickles
So how much water are you drinking?
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