What does the term rehydration mean? This means that you have lost body fluids – dehydration, and you need to replace it fast. Dehydration varies in severity but no matter how mild it is, it affects your body’s physiology. While the body tries to adjust to this change, if prolonged or if the fluid loss is severe, then it becomes an immediate health concern that must be addressed urgently to prevent acute and long-term health complications.
Visiting or living in Cyprus during the summer is a lot of fun. However, its soaring temperatures can lead to significant fluid losses through sweating. Although many may not be aware of this, the skin is the largest single organ in the body. For this reason, a hot and humid atmosphere leads to huge losses of body fluids and salts through sweating. What can you do to correct lost fluids, rehydrate, from your body? As you start your rehydration process your aim should be:
- Replace lost fluids and salts
- Maintain your regular fluid needs
- Prevent any further loss that exceeds your fluid intake.
Consider the following ways to achieve this.
- Take water.
Plain water is the best and most effective way of managing mild dehydration. Avoid intake of copious amounts in a short while. It is preferable to take little by little to give your stomach enough time to absorb the water into the body. Taking much water can cause stomach upset and some people get complications when they cool their body suddenly.
- Consume fresh juicy fruits and vegetables.
Fruits contain plenty of sugars and salts. When you consume these, they will help in replacing the electrolytes that you have lost in your sweat. Many fresh vegetables also provide important electrolytes. In most cases, cooked vegetables contain salt which further help to replace lost body water and salts.
- Start using coconut water.
This is perhaps the best natural rehydration fluid. It is superior to most sports drink. It contains enough potassium and sodium that help to prevent effects of low potassium (hypokalemia) and low sodium (hyponatremia). It contains low natural sugars and so it is of low caloric value. If you have it available go for it instead of a sports or energy drink.
Many people unknowingly take certain drinks hoping to rehydrate their bodies. As a rule, avoid all types of sodas. Soda manufacturers hardly mention the fact that these drinks promote further loss of fluid from your body. They act as diuretics. This makes you more dehydrated and expose you to among other problems, kidney stress.
Coffee and tea contain caffeine which is a known diuretic. So avoid these two as rehydrating fluids.
Alcohol must be avoided. It is a powerful diuretic that will force your body to eliminate the little water that is remaining. Alcohol can push you fast from a mild state of dehydration to moderate and even severe type. If you must take alcohol in the hot Cyprus climate, then for every pint of alcohol taken, take an equivalent amount of water.
These simple measures will keep your body well hydrated as well as energized and you will enjoy your holiday or outing even more.