• Deanne Pandey

What is messing with your Hydration Equation?

We are very well aware about the benefits of good hydration. Keeping hydrated and drinking water is vital for the body. It gets rid of waste through the kidneys and sweat and bowel movements. It helps regulate your body temperature, lubricates joints, and protects tissues. However, Even if you’re making an attempt to stay better hydrated, you may be ingesting dehydrating substances without even realising it. You might be surprised to hear that salt isn't the only thing to look out for. Foods that are very high in sodium are going to be dehydrating to the body. It contains solutes, and once entered in the bloodstream, it will decrease the amount of volume of water. In the case of sodium, it will attach itself to sodium. The kidney will then discreet less water sending a signal to the brain to drink more water. Physical exertion and temperature are notable ways by which we find ourselves dehydrated, but there are also particular foods that could also cause a problem. Sugar, salt, and sodium-heavy foods may be throwing a wrench into your hydration equation.

Here is a list of foods to steer clear of when it comes to hydration-

1. High Salt content

It’s no secret that salt causes dehydration due to the impact that sodium has on the body. Your kidneys will acknowledge this flood of salt and seek to rectify it by pulling water from elsewhere within your body, which of course leaves other organs and cells short on fluid. As a result of this, any food that is high in salt can be highly dehydrating, with packaged snacks such as pretzels and popcorn the prime offenders.

2. Protein

High concentrations of protein can be hugely dehydrating at the best of times, whether they take the form of red or white meat. Perhaps the biggest offender, however, is cured meats. Once we factor in that these products tend to be heavily seasoned with salt you have all the makings of a thirst- inducing meal. Drink plenty of water with your meat, and consider some water-centric fresh fruits and vegetables as a side.

3. Parsley and Asparagus

Asparagus is famous for making your urine smell but this vegetable, along with parsley, is also a diuretic. Needing to use the bathroom more, of course, means that you are losing more and more fluid, so consider switching the asparagus or parsley for spinach for something a little easier on the body.

4. Soy Sauce

The idea of noodles without this topping may be unappealing, and there’s no need to boycott the condiment completely, but remember that it is basically liquidised salt. Use soy sauce in moderation and you’ll be fine, but it’s still worth considering a glass of water alongside your meal to redress the balance.

5. Sugar

It’s not just salt that can dehydrate the body, however. Sugar can have the same effect, and for the same reason – the kidneys will attempt to overcompensate for the fact that sugar does not belong in the blood and will pull fluid from elsewhere, with the effect being the same. Sugary soft drinks are the prime offenders here due to the sheer concentration of the stuff, but of course chocolate and sweets will also be laden with sugar.

6. Processed Foods

Ready meals ted to be packed with sugar and salt for flavour, and are thus to be approached with caution. The same also applies to fried foods, including anything that you may pick up in a fast food restaurant.

7. Alcohol

Of course, there is a need to conclude with one final cautionary note – alcohol. It is a hugely dehydrating substance, which is why the dreaded morning after hangover is so often a symptom of dehydration. This is all because of the effect that booze has on the brain. When we consume an alcoholic drink, it sends a message to the pituitary gland within the brain that the body should quickly produce less of a hormone known as vasopressin – also known as anti-diuretic hormone, or ADH. The purpose of this hormone is ordinarily to encourage us to urinate less, and thus hold onto any precious water already within the body.

Dehydration can be avoided when planning a meal by keeping a careful eye on the salt and sugar content found within the ingredients or recipe, and this is information that is readily available on all food packaging. Start your New Year with great hydration. Take care of you food intake, Stay Home and Stay Safe!

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