In any scenario, a hydration drink is an efficient way to get a quick shot of vitamins and electrolytes. It’s ideal for busy schedules and settings where slogging back water just isn’t your focus.
But what about those times when hydration isn’t just convenient, but necessary? Keep reading to find out when to hydrate, as well as some telltale signs of dehydration most people miss.
What happens to your body when you get dehydrated?
When you lose too much fluid without replacing it, your blood gets thicker. As a result, the cardiovascular system has to work harder to keep things moving, which is one reason why you’ll get tired.
Plus, your kidneys will start to hang onto whatever water they can find, so you won’t urinate.
Advanced cases of dehydration can lead to organ damage, so it’s best to rehydrate ASAP. If you are dehydrated due to illness and cannot keep fluids down, head to a hospital.
Times Hydration Matters Most
These occasions call for a little more attention to fluid loss. Without extra hydration, you can have trouble recovering, experience more aches and pains, and generally see your productivity and sense of wellbeing suffer.
1. Your job is actual labor.
From construction and agriculture to waiting tables and teaching kindergarten, certain occupations never let us rest. Hydration is as helpful as good nutrition here, as it can fend off fatigue and prevent sore muscles the next day.
One common fallacy is that your fluid levels aren’t in jeopardy if you’re not hot and sweaty. In actual fact, colder temps can lead to dehydration just as easily, especially since you’re less likely to notice.
You can learn a bit more about this in our blog on hydration facts and myths.
2. Before, during, and after a workout.
We associate hydration with exercise more than pretty much anything else. But are you addressing it at every stage? Go into your HIIT session hydrated, whether it be from hydration drinks, water, or water mixed with your favorite pre-workout energy supplement.
From there, top up by sipping water when you can during the workout. Finally, opt for that hydration drink or recovery solution to replenish after you’re through.
This is also something to stay on top of if you’re exercising to lose weight. Dehydration slows down calorie burn, so if you want to keep making progress, hydrate. Some research has even shown that drinking water before eating increases metabolic rate.
3. First thing in the morning.
Our bodies do their best to moderate fluid loss while we sleep, but we’re still missing out. And if we don’t happen to sleep that well or long enough, we lose even more. This is evident after a restless night, where we commonly experience dry mouth and eyes.
No matter the quality and quantity of your sleep, make rehydration the first part of your waking routine. It stimulates the metabolism, kickstarts a day of great digestion, promotes regularity, and may even lead to healthier choices at breakfast.
4. Working around the house.
Our daily chores may be a bit more strenuous than we think. Just 30 minutes of vacuuming, washing the car, playing with your kids, or raking leaves can burn a few hundred calories. Gardening or making repairs can burn even more.
If you don’t want to be dog-tired by dinner, don’t forget to hydrate accordingly. It helps keep the joints lubricated and energy levels up.
5. You’ve been sick, even mildly.
Proper hydration facilitates so many bodily processes, including detoxification. There’s no better time to flush toxins than when you’re sick, but dehydration is a common symptom of many illnesses.
We’re not just talking about the dehydration that comes from sweating, vomiting, and diarrhea. The flush of even a low-grade fever can cause additional fluid loss. An increase in mucus production during a common cold is dehydrating as well.
Hydration drinks with electrolytes, vitamins, and other nutrients can help you avoid prolonged illness by compensating for fluid loss and supporting the immune system at the same time.
6. Out having fun with friends.
When you’re enjoying yourself, you’re less likely to notice how hard your body is working. Still, recreational activities can be just as depleting as anything else. It’s usually those situations where we’re preoccupied that we “accidentally” become a bit dehydrated.
So, whether you’re dancing the night away or playing a full 18 holes, come prepared. Slip a few hydration packs into your pocket to help keep the good times going.
7. Having a drink (or three).
Let’s say those recreational activities involve a few drinks back at the clubhouse afterward. Now hydration will impact how you feel tomorrow as well.
Alcohol removes fluid from the body at such a rate that just a few drinks can impact hydration levels. Plus, it interferes with the absorption of B vitamins and minerals like sodium, magnesium, potassium, and zinc.
You can read more about alcohol and dehydration, but the bottom line is that this is a prime time to include a hydration drink with electrolytes and vitamins.
Unusual Signs of Dehydration
Fatigue, lightheadedness, headaches. You might be familiar with the most obvious signs of dehydration, but these symptoms could slip under the radar.
1. Bad breath.
If someone offers you a mint, take that as a sign that you need to hydrate.
Dehydration famously causes dry mouth, but others could notice this before you do. That’s because the lack of saliva could leave bad breath-causing bacteria to sit undisturbed on the teeth, gums, and soft tissues of the mouth.
Your daily fluid intake includes water from food. Your body recognizes food as a water source, so you may get hungry before you get thirsty. This is very fortunate, since skipping fluids to the point of thirst is a sign dehydration has already set in.
Some studies back this up, finding a correlation between too little water and greater appetite.
Furthermore, if those hunger signals include a craving for something sweet, you could be advancing through the stages of dehydration. The body can request sugar for an energy boost when dehydration-related fatigue begins to set in.
3. Dry skin.
At some point during dehydration, you’re going to stop sweating – if you ever even started. After all, your skin needs fluid too, so even those with oily complexions can dry up.
Dry skin from dehydration can happen quickly under extreme conditions, but it could also be a sign you are mildly dehydrated regularly. If hydrating isn’t a habit, start now and you can see results in days. It’s more economical and effective than a fancy moisturizer.
Is the finger pinch test accurate for dehydration?
Speaking of dry skin, a lot of people use what’s called the pinch test to see if they’re dehydrated. The pinch test is where you pinch the skin on one of your knuckles for three seconds and let it go. If the skin snaps back within a few seconds, you’re fine. If it stays up, you’re dehydrated.
This test is a pretty good indicator of hydration for many, but it won’t be accurate for everyone. Older people, for example, have less elastic skin, so the skin may not snap back regardless of hydration.
If age-related skin elasticity isn’t a factor, a failed pinch test could be a sign of significant dehydration. In other words, it doesn’t catch dehydration early enough. The simplest and most reliable way to tell how hydrated you are is by looking at the color of your urine. If you’re hydrated, it will be clear to light yellow.
How can I hydrate myself quickly?
Regular water consumption is the best defense against dehydration, but if you’re starting to feel the effects and need to bounce back right away, choose hydration drinks.
Hydration drinks contain minerals that function as electrolytes. Electrolytes carry an actual electrical charge that helps maintain your fluid balance, among many other things.
Read more about how LivPur has the potential to hydrate two to three times faster than water and sports drinks. You’ll also find more ways to stay hydrated without drinking a ton of water at once.
The symptoms of hydration hinder performance, kill productivity, and impact overall wellbeing. It’s not all about sweating it out on the field or in the gym, however. Whether you’re sick in bed or chasing the children, you’re losing fluid.
Hydration drinks are a quick solution for everyday life’s twists and turns. Mix in water, and you’ll get sodium and other electrolytes for biological balance, plus vitamins you need every day anyway. And when you choose LivPur’s Hydrate formula, you also get plenty of amino acids to help sustain those energy levels and maintain muscle.