These Drinks are Contributing to Your Dehydration
Dehydration is more common than you’d think. In fact, for most Americans staying hydrated is a real challenge. Though most of us drink about 8 servings of hydrating beverages per day but this number can be offset by caffeinated & alcoholic beverages as well as a high sodium diet. Not being properly hydrated can cause fatigue and affect your mind and mood in negative ways. A few drinks that may affect your body’s hydration include:
SODA. Hopefully you are not shocked this item made it on the list. Soda’s are packed with ingredients specifically known to be dehydrating such as sugar, caffeine & sodium.*tip: Carbonated/ Sparkling water is a great alternative to soda. The best alternative would be sparkling mineral water because that way you also get valuable minerals as well.
COFFEE. The key is to drink coffee in moderation, but even after the second cup your body may start to suffer from some dehydration. Though amount of water in coffee outweighs the amount of caffeine it is best to make sure coffee doesn't affect your body’s wellbeing limit your coffee intake to 1-2 cups a day. *tip: your coffee will be less dehydrated if it contains no sugar! Drink it black and feel much better long term.
LEMONADE. I was shocked too! Lemonade though it appears to be highly hydrating and refreshing it may actually have the opposite effect but that’s only due to the high sugar content in most lemonades - especially the ones made from powder or fountain drink machines. *tip: Make lemonade at home with real lemons and with zero to little sugar, make sure to refer to this list of natural sweeteners for an even better result!
SWEET TEA. Tea, like coffee is also a diuretic making it naturally dehydrating. However, since sweet tea is also packed with sugar it is even more dehydrating. In fact, adding any sugar to your tea automatically cancels out any antioxidant benefits so it’s best to keep it unsweetened or follow it with plenty of water. *tip: Herbal teas without sugar are much more hydrating.
ENERGY DRINKS. Energy drinks are like a compilation of all the previously mentioned drinks. They are full of caffeine, sugars, complicated chemicals making them highly dehydrating. *tip: if really needing a quick boost of energy drink plain tea or coffee. You can also refer to this least for some ideas on foods that will naturally provide you with a boost of energy.
ALCOHOL. Any beverages that contain alcohol are dehydrating. Though beer and other alcoholic drinks may feel like the perfect drink on a late summer afternoon, they will actually dehydrate you more than you’d expect. Alcohol causes cells to shrink, which squeezes water out removing water from your tissues. *tip: It is highly advised to drink even more water when drinking alcohol to balance the effects of it in your body!
HOT COCOA. Depending on how you make hot cocoa it is possible that one cup of this delicious warm and inviting drink has more sugar and calories than a can of soda therefore also making far from hydrating. *tip: Make hot cocoa at home with zero to no sugar and enjoy this delicious beverage.
FRUIT JUICE. Specifically referring to boxed juice, since it normally has added sugars or high concentration of natural sugar. Though juice is made from fruits, it may not feel hydrating because it is lacking the beneficial fiber found in fruits and it is packed with sugars. *tip: It is far more hydrating to simply eat the fruit from where the juice comes from than just the juiced version.
It’s weird that some liquids may actually work against hydration, but it’s true. The best thing you can do is to make sure you do not reach for any of these beverages the next time you feel thirsty since thirst is already a sign of onset dehydration. For more ideas on how to stay hydrated naturally & well see our post on naturally flavored waters.