Are you one of those plucky individuals who carry a giant jug of water everywhere you go, with a long, bendy straw attached to it and clipped to your shoulder so you always have water at a moment’s notice? And yet, do you still always feel thirsty? That can certainly be frustrating, and even a little scary. Chronic dehydration can have consequences that range from ones of vanity, like lackluster hair and flaky skin, to more serious ones, like malfunctioning organs and heat stroke. If you feel regularly dehydrated but feel you’re doing everything you can to mend the issue, don’t ignore it, and don’t keep trying the same remedies. The problem may not be what you’re doing to treat your dehydration but what you’re accidentally doing to cause it. All the water in the world can’t keep up with these bad habits and external factors. Here are surprising reasons you’re always dehydrated.
You’re drinking just a little alcohol
When you’re going out for a heavy night of drinking, you know you need to work in rounds of water between rounds of shots. But many people don’t know that even that one glass of wine you have at home can dehydrate you. Alcohol not only suppresses your antidiuretic hormone but it also acts as a diuretic, so it dehydrates you two fold. Drinking one drink a night can cause dehydration.
You wear all black
Dark clothes absorb heat more than light ones do. If you’ve been wearing black because it looks slimming, the aesthetic effects may not be worth the health ones. Plus, when you’re dehydrated you can end up looking bloated, which is never slimming.
You’re a diabetic
Your body combats high blood sugar by creating more urine to release glucose. You may have noticed that your diabetic friend constantly needs to use the bathroom. If you’re a diabetic yourself, you know that having a bathroom nearby at all times is critical. Diabetics need to be on top of their water intake.
Spicy food increases your internal body temperature, which makes you sweat and release extra fluid. Indulging in your favorite jalapeno-filled burrito once a week won’t dehydrate you, but if you eat spicy food on a daily basis you need to keep up with your H2O consumption.
You’re in the mountains
Have you noticed that when you’re in a higher altitude you breathe harder? It’s a reason many athletes train in the mountains: working out in the high altitude can greatly increase their stamina. But you also release more water vapor when you breathe harder. If you live in a high altitude or are simply visiting one, keep water on hand at all times.
You’re getting older
There isn’t much you can do about that, but you should know that as you get older, your body can’t hold onto water as much as it used to. Furthermore, your sensation of thirst becomes weaker, meaning your body cannot let you know when you’re thirsty the way it did when you were younger.
You wear tight clothes
Are you a big fan of shapewear to tuck in that tummy? Are you all about the Spanx? Do people call you leggings lady because you always have on some constricting leggings under a big sweater? While these items of clothing may conceal your insecurities, they also make it very hard for your body to regulate its temperature and can cause excess fluid release.
You don’t drink throughout the night/in the morning
Did you know that you can lose a pound of water weight at night while you sleep? And did you know that it’s important to drink 16 ounces of water per every pound of water weight lost? So don’t just have one glass of water first thing in the morning: have two.
You’re taking these supplements
Certain dietary supplements like celery seed, dandelion, and parsley can act as diuretics and cause dehydration. Don’t stop taking these because they do have their benefits, just make sure you up your water intake.
Your estrogen and progesterone levels play a large role in your body’s fluid management. Since these hormones fluctuate during your period, it’s common to become dehydrated. Furthermore, you lose fluid through blood loss. It doesn’t help that you might turn to dehydrating alcohol to combat your PMS symptoms.
You take Adderall or blood pressure medication
Many medications have been shown to have diuretic effects and can cause dehydration. If you take a regular medication, talk to your doctor to find out if this is a side effect. Adderall and blood pressure medication have been found to have strong dehydrating effects.
When you’re stressed, your adrenal gland is overworked. What most people don’t know about this gland that is it helps regulate the fluid in your body. If it’s too busy handling all the stress you’re putting it through, it can’t focus on your hydration levels. Manage your stress not just so you can feel happier, but so you can be hydrated.
You skip carbs
Are you on a low-carb diet? Don’t be surprised if you find yourself extra thirsty, and drinking so much water that you put on water weight, making the low-carb diet a moot point. Carbs are stored along with fluid in your body, and not having carbs can reduce your body’s ability to store H2O.
You think about drinking extra water when you’re hitting the beach for the day, but do you think about it when you’re just running errands and taking the dog for short walks on a hot summer day? These small but frequent bouts of exposure to the sun can cause excess sweating and dehydration
When you’re pregnant, a lot of factors can contribute to dehydration. First off, your cardiac output increases, which naturally makes you sweat more. Then there is morning sickness, which causes you to lose fluid through vomit. Your blood volume also increases during pregnancy, meaning you naturally need more water.