Something that is really important to understand is how the food you eat affects your body. There are lots of articles that focus on the positive ways foods can improve your health, but what if you are eating foods that are damaging your health, and you don’t even know.
Hydration is the most important part of human life. Without water our bodies will quickly shut down and we could die within a 5 day period! Of course, you don’t need to be that dramatic to feel the effect of dehydration. By consuming less than our body needs we will find that simple tasks are much harder. A dehydrated brain won’t be able to make logical decisions. Skin will begin to become sallow and your energy levels will dip. So, what are the top things that can cause us to become dehydrated, even if we believe we have kept our levels topped up?
Most of us will know that caffeine is a diuretic and speeds up dehydration. If you exceed five cups a day then you will definitely see the effects. Even two cups could take it’s toll on your body so be sure to increase your water intake
Alcohol is also a natural diuretic which can impact hydration for long periods. After a night of drinking, you end up dehydrated, which is the main cause for the dreaded hangover. You will find you have a lack of energy due to your cells being depleted of water.
This might shock you however, the vegetable contains an amino acid called asparagine, which has a diuretic effect. You may have noticed the strong smell of your urine after eating asparagus but you perhaps weren’t aware that it has been dehydrating you. Other vegetables which have this effect include parsley, celery and artichokes. If you are eating a healthy balanced diet then you won’t notice the effects as most vegetables are packed with water. However be aware of it and make sure, if you have been sweating, to top up your water levels just in case.
A high-protein diet can cause you to become chronically dehydrated if you don’t increase your water intake. The body has to use more water to metabolize the naturally occurring nitrogen in protein. Cured meats, like bacon or ham are even worse because of the extra salt they contain. You may find yourself feeling more thirsty after a bacon sandwich but you must remember. If you feel thirst it is a sign you are already dehydrated.
Salty foods increase fluid loss in your body because water is needed to eliminate all the extra sodium naturally present in salt. Sometimes we don’t realise the high sodium content of foods including fast food, canned or frozen meals, condiments, and salad dressings so it is important to get to know what is in your food and best to try and stick to a low sodium diet.
There are loads of other foods which will leave you starved of water, so pay attention to what you are eating and keep those water levels high!