Published On: Jun 24 2014 01:04:20 PM EDTUpdated On: Jul 25 2014 02:00:00 AM EDT
Staying hydrated is actually about more than just drinking eight glasses of water a day. Here are 14 surprising causes of dehydration that may be drying you out, according to Health.com:
14. Breastfeeding -- Breastfeeding is all above moving water and other nutrients from your body to your baby, so you must be sure to drink plenty of water to keep both of you hydrated.
13. Not enough fruits and veggies -- Filling half your plate with produce at each meal gets you about two cups of water a day. If you skimp on the fruits and veggies and don't drink extra water to compensate, you'll end up dehydrated.
12. Alcohol -- Even a bit of imbiding can leave you dehydrated. Why? Because alcohol makes you go to the bathroom more. It also impairs your ability to sense the early signs of dehydration, so it's easy to drink well past that point.
11. High altitude -- Your body acclimates to high altitudes by speeding up your breathing as well as increasing the amount of urine you put out. Constantly peeing and panting, which causes you to exhale more water vapor, can lead to dehydration.
10. Dietary supplements -- "Natural" supplements like parsley, celery seed, dandelion and watercress have all been shown to increase urine output. Ask your doctor before taking anything new.
9. Aging -- Your body's ability to conserve water declines as you age. So does its sensation for thirst, making it more difficult to tell when your fluids are low and you're dehydrated.
8. Pregnancy -- Blood volume and cardiac outpout increase during pregnancy, which also ups your need for fluids. Nausea and vomiting associated with morning sickness can also take their toll on hydration levels.
7. Your workout -- If you're sweating out more than you sip, you could become dehydrated. Experts say you should drink 16 to 20 ounces of water for every pound you may have lost after a workout.
6. Irritable bowel syndrome -- Symptoms like nausea and chronic diarrhea that can come with this disorder can also cause dehydration. Many people who suffer from this condition also try to eliminate certain foods from their diets. If those foods contain a lot of fluids, you could be putting yourself at risk of dehydration.
5. Stress -- Your adrenal glands pump out stress hormones when you're under duress. If you're in a constant state of stress, these glands can become exhausted and cause an adrenal deficiency, which can trigger dehydration and low electrolyte levels.
4. Low-carb diets -- Whole carbs like oatmeal, whole grain pasts and brown rice soak up water during the cooking process, so eliminating them competely from your diet puts you at greater risk of dehydration.
3. Prescription drugs -- Many medications act as diuretics, upping your urine output and increasing your risk for dehydration. Blood pressure medications are a good example.
2. Your period -- Estrogen and progesterone have an influence on your body's hydration levels, so you should definitely drink an extra glass of water or two when it's your time of the month. Women with heavier periods are at an even higher risk of dehydration.
1. Diabetes -- When blood sugar levels are too high, our bodies try to get rid of the excess glucose by increasing urine output. All those extra bathroom trips can dehydrate you if you aren't drinking enough water.