You can get dehydrated no matter the weather. Here’s what to do about it
MANILA, Philippines – When we think of dehydration, what often comes to mind is the sun, the sweat, the rigorous activities. In the Philippines, where heat is all year round, it is during the peaks of summers when staying hydrated becomes a top priority.
However, once this peak subsides and as we interchange between our “regular” hot weather and the cold air of the rainy season, many make the mistake of thinking that dehydration is no longer a threat.
“Sweating in this rain? Are you kidding me? Summer is over,” some may even say. But no matter what the temperature is, your body sweats. It’s just how it's built.
In fact, your sweat may just be evaporating faster in cool dry weather. This leads you not to notice the water your body is losing, and thus increasing your chances of dehydration.
This is just an example of how you’re getting dehydrated without you knowing. Here are other reasons and what you need to know to defeat dehydration, no matter the weather.
The stress cycle
Stress causes dehydration, and dehydration causes stress. It’s a chicken-and-egg cycle.
According to HuffPost, stress causes your body to pump out stress hormones. When this happens continuously, your glands get exhausted. This negatively affects the hormones that regulate your body’s level of fluids and electrolytes.
Conversely, if you’re feeling less productive, finding it harder to concentrate, and struggling to analyze tasks at hand, you may already be dehydrated.
These are the findings of a study conducted by the Exercise Physiology Laboratory at the Georgia Institute of Technology. According to the study, not only does dehydration cause problems in attention and complex processing, but it can also cause mood changes and general muddled thinking.
Traffic, commuting, and crowds
After a long day’s work, you’re still not out of the woods. The stress of your daily commute can also dehydrate you.
Public transport – via train, bus, or jeep – keeps you on constant alert mode. Whether it’s racing to catch a ride, holding your possessions close to you, or waiting for the next stop. Furthermore, being in crowded spaces for prolonged periods of time can make things worse. Crowds mean more heat, and heat makes you perspire.
Drivers are not safe either. Driving through Metro Manila on a rush hour is stressful. Many also forget to keep hydrated during these long drives.
Looking to blow off some steam? It’s natural that one looks for a night out with friends — doing pub crawls, drinking alcohol, feasting on street food and pulutan.
This kind of fun, however, is notorious for causing dehydration. In fact, you don’t need to be hungover to be dehydrated. Even casual drinking can deplete your body’s fluids.
Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it makes you urinate more. Normally, when you consume fluid, hormones send it to your body for circulation. But when you drink alcohol, it goes straight to your bladder.
As this happens, because of the alcohol, your cells shrink, pushing out water.
This explains why you feel skinny in the morning after a night of partying. No, it’s not because of your diet. You just lost your water weight. Tsk tsk.
Chillin’ is a villain
You know what also makes you lose water in your body? Air conditioning. Yep, AC’s cool you to the point of making you too dry.
Air conditioning lowers air humidity. This causes water loss from your lungs and reduces the moisture in your skin. And dehydrated skin is “less flexible, duller, and can’t repair itself effectively.”
Furthermore, your office jacket? Those extra layers may absorb your perspiration when you do physical activities. This can alter your perception of how much you’re actually sweating.
So take note, lounging around the office does not make you immune to dehydration.
The technique to stay hydrated is closely keeping in tune with the needs of your body. If you feel thirsty, go on and drink. Likewise goes if your mouth or skin is becoming a bit dry. Drink as well if you’re feeling too stressed out or having a hard time thinking and concentrating.
Keep away too from snacks with high sodium content as salt absorbs moisture.
There are isotonic drinks designed to keep you in top form. Gatorade Ion, for example, is specially formulated with maximum hydration in mind. It packs ions while keeping low levels of sodium to help defeat dehydration anytime, anywhere. It also uses no preservatives nor any artificial flavors and colors.
How do you keep yourself hydrated? Tell us in the comments section below! — Rappler.com
Visit the Gatorade Beat The Heat Facebook page for more details on how you can stay hydrated.