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A functional nutritionist sheds light on the perils of dehydration in the summer

Mugdha Pradhan, a functional nutritionist, highlights the importance of being hydrated during summers as it affects the overall health and wellbeing of our body.
Mugdha Pradhan Updated: 19 May 2021, 06:45 pm IST
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Even though we are in the midst of a lockdown due to Covid-19, the summer season allows a considerable amount of physical activity, which in winters we tend to avoid due to the low temperatures. In light of these circumstances, the body requires the one element that is the fundamental element of its composition, i.e. water. 

Regular hydration is quintessential to ensure the optimum performance of every organ in the body. It becomes even more critical when water in our body is regularly drained due to perspiration caused by high temperatures. 

Dehydration makes you hungry

It may come as a surprise to many that dehydration can cause hunger. Hunger is defined as a lack of calories in the body. However, it may not be the case with dehydration. The reason people tend to confuse hunger and dehydration is because the symptoms for both may resemble each other. These symptoms include headache, restlessness, difficulty in concentrating, fatigue and light-headedness. 

Therefore, it is essential to know the difference between hunger and dehydration. One must focus on how it feels to be dehydrated, as opposed to being hungry. The difference in time-lapse between consuming water and food is pivotal in differentiating the symptoms. 

Dry skin issues

Self-care is of utmost importance, and we apply numerous products to ensure that our physical appearance is intact and well groomed. However, the fundamentals of self-care are ignored when we focus on using beauty products. Adequate intake of water acts as a natural moisturizer for the skin and maintains its natural glow. When we are dehydrated, our skin is dried out to an extent that distorts the naturally occurring shine from the skin. 

Hydrate yourself properly. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Harmful impacts of Dehydration

Being hydrated is critical to our functionality and sustenance. Hence, dehydration causes various adverse impacts on our body, such as: 

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1. Fatigue

To regulate our daily activities, the body needs to burn energy adequately. However, lack of water can hamper the conversion process and cause fatigue. It is immaterial that your body is equipped with an adequate number of calories. Lack of water could still stimulate a sense of exhaustion and lethargy. 

2. Muscle cramps

We often see our favourite athletes kneel on the playing field as they experience unexplained excruciating pain without any physical injury. Muscle cramps cause this as dehydration leads to an imbalance of electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and chloride. 

Stay hydrated to stay fit. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
3. Headaches

Small blood capillaries in the brain react to low water levels, resulting in pain and even migraines. Dehydration causes the brain to temporarily contract or shrink from fluid loss, leading to the brain to pull away from the skull, causing pain and resulting

4. Constipation

Water is an essential component that stimulates the movement of bowels in the intestines and acts as a stool softener. The deficiency of water can make the stool hard, leading to constipation. It is pertinent to note that water is vital to ensure proper digestion and move the waste along the digestive tract. 

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5. Dizziness and blurred vision

A decrease in water levels in the body can cause inconsistencies in blood circulation. This can reduce the efficiency of most organs that execute essential functions. When you suffer from dehydration, brain blood circulation decreases, making you feel dizzy and further impairing your vision. 

Staying hydrated positively influences your overall health and wellbeing. So, do not wait any longer and grab that glass of water! 

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About the Author

A functional nutritionist and a TedX speaker, Mugdha Pradhan is the founder of iThrive. Despite having a Master’s degree in Food Science and Nutrition, her own health took a nosedive in 2019. That's when she discovered Functional Medicine. Using modern principles of functional medicine along with ancient wisdom about food, she delved into the root cause of her health issues and recovered from a multitude of health problems. ...Read More

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