our Health Index for More Subjects, Conditions and
hydration is crucial to a healthy body
What is dehydration?
Dehydration is simply a lack of
enough water and electrolytes in the body.
Causes of Dehydration
It can be caused by water loss or
by an inadequate water intake.
Water loss can be due to excessive physical activity,
sweating due to heat, vomiting, or even diarrhea.
Dehydration can also occur due to
alcohol consumption and caffeine consumption both of
which cause water as well as vital nutrients and salts
to be flushed from the system.
Another cause of dehydration is due
to some prescriptions. When taking
prescription medications, necessary care needs
to be taken to make sure that this is prevented.
Any sport or exercise that causes one to sweat can
cause dehydration if it lasts long enough, is
strenuous enough or is accompanied by either hot
weather or too much clothing. Dehydration is even present when its cold out and you
are involved in sport like skiing, snowboarding or running. Due to
the cold you don't notice how much fluids your body is
Symptoms of Dehydration
The usual first symptom on dehydration is
thirst. When the body is dehydrated it can give the perception of
hunger, when in fact, it is actually in need of hydration.
As a person becomes more dehydrated - irrespective of the cause -
symptoms include dry mouth, weakness, dry skin,
nausea, headaches, dizziness and tiredness.
What are electrolytes?
Electrolytes are minerals, such as
potassium, sodium, calcium and magnesium. They are dissolved in the body’s fluids Electrolytes affect the movement of substances
between body fluids and tissues, and are crucial for
normal function and metabolism. Electrolytes can also
help regulate your body’s acid-base balance
Heat exhaustion is the commonest form
Heat exhaustion occurs when your body gets too hot. . Its
symptoms are profuse sweating, dizziness and weakness,
nausea and vomiting, rapid heartbeat, flushing of the
skin, headaches, muscle cramps and extreme fatigue.
An example of a warning sign is: when you have been
working in your garden, stand up, are woozy and almost
pass out. Another example is the “oh, I’m so tired, I just have to lie down and take a nap” feeling that comes over you after
a morning on the Little League bleachers. It could be as
subtle as a slight headache after a day at the beach.
The problem with dehydration and heat exhaustion is caused
by the depletion of fluid, salt, potassium and
electrolytes in the body - the electrolytes.
When you sweat, you’re losing
water, salt (sodium), potassium and other minerals from
Water & Electrolytes
So what is “enough water”? You should be drinking half of
your body weight in ounces of water a day, For example, if
you weigh 160 pounds, drink 80 ounces of water, or 10-8
The cells need to be hydrated and you need to drink water.
If you want to drink an “energy”
drink, then stay away from the drinks that are high in
sugar content. There are some “better”
energy drinks that can be found in your local health food
store, but that’s not a
substitute for good water.
Along with the water, you need to have, salt, potassium
and cell salts. These are the components that are
necessary to drive the water into the cells instead of
straight into the toilet.
Electrolyte drinks are useful in overcoming
dehydration and is effective for body re-hydration after exercise. It
helps promote a healthy lifestyle – at any age.
Read more about Dr. Berg's Electrolytes
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