What causes dehydration?

As wonderful as the human body is, there is a bit of a lag between our bodies telling our brains that we’re actually thirsty and our brains communicating that message! So if you’re feeling thirsty, you are definitely dehydrated, or you were probably dehydrated an hour ago….

Your body is about 60% water. When we lose even 1.5% of that your mood, energy levels, and cognitive function all drop, according to research from the University of Connecticut. There are obvious reasons you can end up dehydrated—a sunny day, exercise, or not drinking enough in general— but other triggers are less obvious. Check them out:

  • Alcohol: The bottom line is that drinking makes you go to the bathroom, which lowers your body’s hydration levels. Alcohol inhibits an antidiuretic hormone that would normally send some of the fluid you’re consuming back into the body, and instead sends it to your bladder.
  • Your period: Is it that time of the month? Drink an extra glass of water! Estrogen and progesterone influence your body’s hydration levels, so you may need to increase your fluid intake to stay hydrated.
  • Stress: “You’re actually likely to get more dehydrated when you’re under stress, because your heart rate is up and you’re breathing more heavily, so you’re losing fluid,” says Renee Melton, director of nutrition for Sensei. During times of stress, you’re also more likely to forget to drink and eat well. 



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