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Ask Dr. Nandi: What to drink when you're dehydrated

Posted: 11:22 PM, Jul 10, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-10 23:22:18-04

With hot and humid days like today, it’s easy to become dehydrated which can impact your health. And with all the hydration drinks on the market to choose from, what are the best fluids for our bodies?

There are plenty of replenishing fluids on supermarket shelves like sports drinks and flavored waters.

Now sports drinks were originally created for hard-core athletes. And even though water is the main ingredient, they contain other substances like electrolytes and carbs. These supposedly help athletes improve performance and replenish sodium and potassium levels that were lost through sweating.

But for most people, water is really all that is needed. And I’d avoid store-bought flavored water because these can be full of added sugars or artificial sweeteners.

For the most part, you don’t need to replenish vitamins. If you do decide to drink them, you need to be mindful of other products you may be consuming that are fortified with vitamins so that you don’t overdo it.

Now plant waters are pretty trendy. There are maple, coconut and cactus drinks and some of these products lead you to believe that they’re more hydrating than water. But there’s not much backing up these claims.

However on the plus side, plant waters tend to be lower in sugars.

You can make delicious homemade flavored water by adding sliced fruit, or cucumbers or lemons and limes. I like homemade because you control the ingredients.

I also recommend homemade ice tea because of the healthy antioxidants it contains. Just make sure you freshly brew your tea as antioxidants do dissipate as the days go by.

We’re going to have a lot more hot days like today so it’s really important to be mindful and replenish lost fluids. Because if you’re not hydrated, you won’t function properly. You can feel tired, develop headaches, constipation and your cognitive function can drop.

If you’re not careful, dehydration can lead to serious things like seizures, heat injury and low blood volume shock which can be life-threatening.