Your level of hydration has a huge effect on how you feel. It affects your mood, your muscles, your skin, your brain, even your heartbeat. If you’re not feeling your best – if you’re suffering some muscle aches, a headache or you’re having difficulty concentrating, then it could because you’re a bit dehydrated.
Today we’re looking at three times when you might find yourself feeling dehydrated so you can plan to protect yourself.
You might be asking ‘why hydrate on a plane?’ You’re not overheated, you’re not working out, and it looks like there’s no risk to your wellbeing.
There are plenty of reasons to come up with a hydration plan when you’re travelling – first and foremost that it’s a disruption to your routine. If you have a well established hydration routine when you’re at home or in the office, taking a big trip can break all those habits, and leave you distracted from a growing state of dehydration. Also, when you’re on an aeroplane, the dry recycled air can leech your body’s water reserves more quickly – and you have limited chances to refresh them.
You can’t bring water with you through airport security – not in helpful quantities – so think ahead. Bring an empty bottle you can refill at water fountains, and consider packing some rehydration tablets. These dissolve in water to top up your electrolytes and leave you feeling fully rehydrated.
Some of the worst symptoms of the hangover are caused by dehydration. Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it makes your body shed it’s water reserves, in sweat, in urine, in vomit. When you wake up with a hangover it’s you’re dehydrated, and that lost water has been drawn from your very cells, which are shrunk by the loss. That awful headache is caused by your brain shrinking within your skull and pulling on the membranes that hold it in place.
Rehydrate with isotonic sports drinks or rehydration products, and you’ll see a rapid improvement in how you feel.
It’s something of a cliche to be told you need to drink plenty of fluids when you’re under the weather, but it’s with good reason. Staying hydrated helps you fight off colds and flus faster by keeping your body in the best possible condition. It can also relieve your discomfort by helping to loosen mucus and phlegm blocking your sinuses.
Make sure it’s easy for you to keep hydrated when you’re feeling sick and low in energy – have a water jug or bottle by your bedside or couch. Avoid alcohol too. As well as dehydrating you, it interferes with your immune system potentially delaying recovery.