Why Your Habits Are Putting You at Risk for Dehydration

Why Your Habits Are Putting You at Risk for Dehydration

Dehydration pulls fluid from your body, often increasing fatigue and pain. If you’re tired of feeling tired and achy, try altering certain habits. 

Dr. Jason Chiu, medical director of The Painless Center in Carlstadt and Tenafly, New Jersey, offers suggestions for simple lifestyle changes that could dramatically improve your health. Utilizing his extensive background in pain management, Dr. Chiu customizes your treatment to relieve your chronic pain.

Quench your thirst for better health

As much as 78% of your body is made of water. This life-giving liquid assists digestion, lubricates joints, balances hormones, and helps regulate temperature.

Quenching your thirst is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to dehydration. By the time you feel thirsty, you may already suffer from dehydration. Certain habits increase your risk, including:

Excessive sodium intake

Processed and fried foods are usually loaded with salt. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends 2,300 mg of sodium per day at most, and less for individuals with certain health conditions, such as heart or kidney disease. 

Salt also encourages fluid retention, which may result in high blood pressure. Reduce your intake of high-sodium foods, such as:

Dr. Chiu recommends limiting sodium by choosing low- or no-salt alternatives, or skipping these foods altogether, to remain healthfully hydrated. 

Consuming too much caffeine or alcohol

Look for hidden sources of caffeine in soda, tea, chocolate, and energy drinks. It also helps to consume a glass of water between alcoholic beverages.

Eating snacks loaded with sugar

Indulging in too many sugary treats forces your kidneys to work harder to flush out sugar from your system, which can result in dehydration.

Waiting too long to hydrate

After a full night’s sleep, your body craves water. Start your day right with a glass of H2O.


Many medications impart a drying or diuretic effect. Drink more fluids to compensate.

Drinking too little water while exercising

If you’re not drinking enough liquids before, during, and after your workout, your body may suffer.

Following a diet that reduces hydrating foods

Certain diets, such as high-protein, ketogenic, or low-carb, which reduce hydrating fruits and vegetables, accelerate dehydration. Most fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon, cucumbers and zucchini, are high in water. They’re also extremely healthy, so enjoy! 

If you follow any of these diets, Dr. Chiu recommends increasing your fluid intake.

Water, water everywhere

The discs cushioning your spine are made of pliable material containing water. When you don’t consume enough water, you may increase your neck and back pain. Sip water generously throughout the day to keep your body functioning at its best.

Symptoms of dehydration include:

Over time, dehydration can lead to adverse electrolyte levels, low blood pressure, mental confusion, excessive fatigue, and reduced kidney function. On the other hand, drinking plenty of cold water may actually boost your metabolism.

Make good health a lifelong habit

If you experience ongoing symptoms of dehydration, visit Dr. Chiu. He reviews your issues and medical history, and checks your urine, blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature. 

Even simple changes help: Sleep in a cooler room, use a lighter comforter to sweat less, or forgo that salty bedtime snack.

Discover how your lifestyle choices influence your pain and overall health. Contact Dr. Chiu for an appointment at The Painless Center in either Carlstadt or Tenafly, New Jersey today.

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