Beat dehydration

Hydration (Photo: Getty)
Hydration (Photo: Getty)

There are many things which mark women out as different to men - childbirth, period pain and the horrors of waxing spring to mind.

But now there's a new one to add to the list, because apparently women tend to get dehydrated more than men. As well as meaning hangovers are kicked up a gear, this can cause more headaches and tiredness.

"It's because of lowered blood volume," Dr Stacy Sims, who is exercise physiologist at Stanford University, told Women's Health magazine.

"When your oestrogen and progesterone levels are high you lose around eight per cent of plasma volume - that's the watery part of blood."

High progesterone levels can make your body warmer which makes you feel sleepy, plus they play havoc with sodium levels (sodium is what tries to get water into your blood).

All of this means it's important to think about what you're ingesting. Obviously alcohol is going to wreak havoc with your hydration levels, which is why the age old advice of alternating drinks with glasses of water is still one to stick to.

Potassium works alongside sodium to shift water into blood, so it's a good idea to seek out foods which boast both of these. However, don't go too far. Eating too much sodium can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke so you need to ensure you have a balance.

For example, vegetables are a good option if you are eating sodium-rich foods like cured meats and table salt because they are rich in potassium but low in sodium. Try leafy greens like spinach, plus orange vegetables such as sweet potato and squash, dried beans and citrus fruits like oranges.

Another reason why fruits and vegetables are great at fighting the dehydration problem is their high water content. Watermelon for example is 90 per cent water, while vegetables have water and other nutrients too. Oatmeal, soup and smoothies also have hidden water in them, so think about varying your diet to ensure your body is quenched too.

An alternative to beating dehydration is oral hydration solutions, these are specialized water-based formulas targeted at treating vomiting, diarrhea or hangovers. Try Nudrate, which is an oral hydration solution that restores electrolyte balance and aids in supporting rehydration by replacing lost fluids with ingredients like prebiotics and zinc.

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