Dehydration is defined as being the state when the body doesn’t have as much water as it needs; in other words your body is losing more fluids than it takes in. Without enough fluids, the body cannot function properly.
Dehydration is caused by excess sweating, insufficient fluid intake and excessive heat. Fluid is also lost through diarrhoea, vomiting and excess urination. If you are diabetic or drink a lot of alcohol, you can dehydrate much more easily. In addition to losing water, when dehydrated the body also loses salt and sugar. To help restore salt and sugar levels you should drink water, fruit juice or squash and salty things like soup.
Symptoms of dehydration include excess thirst, dark yellow or strong smelling wee, feeling dizzy or light-headed, tiredness, dry mouth/lips/eyes, weeing little (less than 4 times a day), headaches and muscle cramps. Long term results of dehydration are diuretic conditions (eg. urinary tract infections) and severe edema.
Dehydration occurs due to a low number of electrolytes and mineral salts in the bloodstream and nervous system. Water and other beverages on their own often aren’t enough to combat dehydration on their own. You should replenish properly by drinking something with the right balance of sodium, potassium and glucose (such as celery and apple or celery and cucumber juice) to replenish electrolytes. Mineral salts keep the kidneys and adrenals functioning properly: this is why we often get swollen ankles when we are low in mineral salts. When dehydrated the body retains what little fluid it has. Mineral salts regulate body temperature – they prevent you from over-heating as well as getting too cold. It is essential therefore to stay hydrated in hot weather so that you don’t overheat.
In hot weather we should all increase the amount of water, fruit, veg and salt we consume. All fruit and veg have a high water content but the following ones are particularly beneficial:-
Celery – Provides mineral salts to the central nervous system; strengthens the digestive system and provides a fantastic health boost.
Cucumber – Strengthens kidneys and adrenals; cooling effect; reduces bloat, hydrates at deepest cellular level possible.
Melon (especially Watermelon) – The water in melon in nearly identical to our blood and provides an abundance of sodium, potassium and glucose; one of the most hydrating foods.
Coconut Water – Supports neurotransmitters; high in electrolytes and trace minerals.
Lemons and Limes – Great source of mineral salts and trace mineral salts so ultra-hydrating and electrolyte producing. Great for thirst, dry mouth, headaches, fluid retention and blood sugar imbalances. Drink lemon or lime water first thing in the morning.
Here are some simple recipes for you to try!
Celery and Cucumber Juice
In a blender blend 4 sticks celery, ½ a large cucumber and 1 cup water.
In a juicer juice 4 sticks celery and 1 large cucumber.
Celery and Apple Juice
In a blender blend 4 sticks celery, 1 chopped apple and 1 cup water.
In a juicer juice 4 sticks celery and 1 sliced apple.
4 cups diced watermelon
Juice from 1 lime
1 handful finely chopped mint leaves
Put the watermelon in a serving bowl. Squeeze lime juice over and sprinkle with mint leaves. (You can also add small chunks of feta cheese to make it more of a lunch dish.)
Helen Shortland is a Reiki Master Healer/Teacher, Meditation Teacher and Holistic Therapist based at 15 Wheeler Gate in Nottingham city centre. She is currently studying Raw Food Nutrition to find out more about the healing power of natural food. Helen offers several healing treatments such as Reiki, Angelic Reiki, Faery Reiki, Angel Therapy and Fairy Blessing Guided Journey, as well as Usui Reiki and Faery Reiki training courses. She has been on the spiritual path for 15 years and has extensive knowledge of healing and the healing journey. For further information about her Reiki courses, therapies and workshops, please visit her website http://helenshortland.com or visit and ‘like’ her Facebook page Helen Shortland Holistics & Enchantment.