Healthy Living

Ways to Prevent Dehydration

Ways to Prevent Dehydration

Key Takeaways

  • Most of the time, you can avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. 
  • Illnesses such as severe vomiting, diarrhea, or fever can lead to an excessive loss of fluid in your body.
  • The easiest way to find out if you are dehydrated is to keep in check with the urine you pass, its frequency, and the color of your urine.

Dehydration results when you lose a lot of water in your body. There are ways to prevent dehydration. Scroll down the page to learn how to avoid dehydration and its corresponding consequences.

1. Drink a lot of water

Most of the time, you can avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. When you are dehydrated, you will feel thirsty more often than usual. Therefore, whenever you're thirsty, listen to what your body needs and drink a lot of water. Moreover, it is important to be aware that if you are in a place with hot weather, if you frequently sweat due to exercise, or if you are sick, you are at risk of being dehydrated. Make up for your body's loss of fluids by consuming more water. 

It is difficult to say how much fluid to take in as people will sweat at different rates. However, you should drink more fluids when you are exercising, have an illness, or in a hot weather. The reason is that you tend to sweat more and lose more water in your body in these conditions.

Drinking 8 glasses of water a day is a good habit to keep you hydrated. Drink water even if you do not feel thirsty or you may take small sips of water throughout the day. The following are other things you can do to increase your fluid intake:

  • Consider eating foods that contain more carbohydrates and electrolyte-rich drinks such as fruit juices.
  • Treat yourself by making popsicles that are made of juices or sports drinks. Consuming these drinks will make sure that you get the right amount of fluids for your body.
  • You can also freeze your drinking water and frequently suck on ice cubes at regular intervals.

2. Consuming more fluids when you are sick

Illnesses such as severe vomiting, diarrhea, or fever can lead to an excessive loss of fluid in your body. Therefore, you have to take in more fluids. If necessary, you can rehydrate yourself at home by drinking oral rehydration solutions (ORS), which can be purchased at your nearest pharmacy. These rehydration solutions will also allow you to keep hydrated while recovering from your illness.

3. Avoid a high-protein diet

It is recommended that you avoid a high protein diet. If you are currently on a high protein diet, then drink at least 8 to 12 glasses of water per day.

4. Avoid consuming alcoholic beverages

Drinks that have alcohol content in them are diuretics, which means that if you consume alcoholic drinks, you also tend to urinate more. If you're drinking alcohol and frequently urinates, you may lose a significant amount of fluid in your body, leaving you dehydrated.

If you can't avoid drinking alcohol or wine, just make sure that you also drink water to compensate for the expected fluid loss in your body.

5. Caffeine is not that good either

If you are fond of drinking caffeinated beverages and not drinking a lot of water, especially on hot days during summer, you are at risk of being dehydrated. Just like alcohol, caffeine has also a diuretic effect, leaving you dehydrated. Thus, it is always a better idea to avoid caffeine as much as possible. Popular beverages that contain caffeine are coffee, teas, energy drinks, and carbonated soft drinks or sodas. 

6. Try to work out indoors

Do not exercise under the sun, since it will only make you easily dehydrated. If you have been working outdoors and if you suddenly feel lightheaded, dizzy, or very tired, then you should immediately stop exercising. If you decide to do some exercises in the afternoon and if the weather is very hot, it is recommended that you do them indoors where the environment will be cooler and more comfortable.

7. Do not wear too many layers of clothes

Wear one layer of clothes, preferably those light colored ones, especially if you are working outside or exercising outdoors. If you get soaked in sweat after working or exercising, change into a new set of dry clothes as soon as possible. Never ever exercise wearing a rubber suit.

8. Foods to eat that will prevent dehydration

Fresh fruits and vegetables are always good to be included in your diet. They not only have high fiber, which makes it easy to digest, but they also contain a lot of water in them. Eating fruits and vegetables will keep you hydrated and light after meals. According to a study done by the University of Aberdeen in Scotland in 2009, fresh fruits and vegetables have a high water content, and therefore, will help you to remain hydrated twice as effectively as a glass of water.

Eating hot and spicy food is also good. You might be wondering, "Why?" Hot and spicy foods will make you sweat with all that spiciness incorporated in them. The reason is that sweating will help your body cool down, which is why spicy foods are a good choice.

Low-fat meals are another good option. Avoid meals that are high in fat, as fat takes a longer time to digest. Moreover, foods that are high in fat comes with a lot of salt, thereby increasing fluid loss in your body. Remember that if you eat salty foods, your body needs more water to get rid of the excess sodium, which is naturally present in salt.

9. Recognize the early warning signs of dehydration

Parents and caregivers should be able to recognize the early warning signs of dehydration such as thirst, having dark urine, dry mouth, nose, and skin, dizziness, feeling tired or fatigued, headache, and muscle cramping. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it signifies that you are dehydrated. Thus, drink plenty of water at this point to prevent it from getting any worse.

The easiest way to find out if you are dehydrated is to keep in check with the urine you pass, its frequency, and the color of your urine. These signs will tell you if you are dehydrated or not.

10. Avoid high-protein drinks in large quantities

Just like any high-protein diet, drinks that are high in protein can also be dehydrating. If you must consume these drinks, just make sure that you drink enough water to prevent dehydration.