3 Ways to Fight Dehydration

May 7th 2016

If you find yourself dehydrated, break from your normal activities while you recover. Give you body time to come back to balance and homeostasis by staying out of the sun, putting your feet up and not expending extra energy while you recover. Rest and drink plenty of fluids for up to 24 hours before returning to your regular schedule. You can confirm that you've conquered your dehydration by taking a look at the color of your urine. If it's clear, pale or straw-colored, you should be back to normal.

Drink Water

Start drinking water to replace lost fluids as soon as you're thirsty or even before. Pay attention when you get a headache, since often a headache is an early warning sign of impending dehydration. If you've moved to the stage of moderately severe dehydration without replacing fluids, and are experiencing disorientation, a rapid heartbeat and muscle cramps, don't try to drink water, since your body may not let you swallow it. Instead, suck on ice cubes or popsicles to introduce water gradually back into your system.

Drink Rehydration Drinks

If you're more than mildly dehydrated, you're losing important salts as well as fluids. Replenish them by drinking rehydration or sports drinks that are enhanced with potassium and other electrolytes essential to your body. If you're an athlete and have been sweating a lot, you may need rehydration packets in addition to, or in place of, standard sports drinks. You can tell if you're in need of more than just water by pinching the skin on the back of your hand. If it doesn't return into place quickly, you're approaching moderate dehydration and should start drinking rehydration drinks. However, don't give sports drinks to kids 12 and under when they're dehydrated; special rehydration drinks are available for children.

Change Your Diet

Stick to mild foods when you're dehydrated to stave off the stomach cramps that sometimes accompany the condition. Choose saltine crackers, rice, bananas and gelatin products, and keep drinking water as you eat. Bananas, in particular, are a great choice because they're filled with potassium and also have a high water content. Eat some salty snacks, such as pretzels or salted nuts, to restore the salts lost with body fluids during dehydration.

Conclusion

While severe dehydration must be treated by medical professionals, mild to moderate dehydration is treatable at home. The trick is to be aware of your body's gradual dehydration symptoms and to be proactive by staying fully hydrated so that dehydration doesn't become a problem. Water is critical for the entire human body to function properly, and severe dehydration can be life-threatening.

Sources

WebMD.com "Dehydration - home treatment" http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/dehydration-home-treatment
MensHealth.co.uk "Fight the six stages of dehydration" http://www.menshealth.co.uk/food-nutrition/drink-recipes/fight-the-six-stages-of-dehydration-347578
HowStuffWorks.com "5 home remedies for dehydration" http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/home-remedies/5-home-remedies-for-dehydration.htm#page=0

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