HEALTH AND NUTRITION

Heatwave: Beverages that could actually be dehydrating you

Dehydration causes the blood pressure to drop and this can be fatal.

In Summary

• Certain drinks contain ingredients that may increase the urine output and this could contribute to dehydration if consumed in large amounts.

• Dehydration causes the blood pressure to drop and this can be fatal.

Hydration helps the immune system run optimally
Hydration helps the immune system run optimally
Image: Pixabay

With different parts of the country experiencing record breaking temperatures over the past few weeks, everyone should be doing what they can to stay safe.

Experts do recommend drinking water and applying a sunscreen with SPF above 30, both indoors and outdoors.

However, they also warn that there are certain foods and beverages you should avoid as well.

Certain drinks contain ingredients that may increase the urine output and this could contribute to dehydration if consumed in large amounts.

According to Harvard Health Publishing, excess consumption of stimulants like tea, coffee or energy drinks helps the kidneys to flush excess water in your body, leaving you hydrated.

Taurine found in energy drinks, is a compound with diuretic effects. It’s commonly added to energy drinks because it can enhance athletic performance.

Cold carbonated drinks may be more thirst-quenching, potentially causing you to drink less water. Therefore sodas and energy drinks should be taken in moderation.

Dehydration causes the blood pressure to drop and this can be fatal.

Before and after you try out your favourite iced coffee or tea, ensure you drink a glass of water.

Iced coffee
Iced coffee
Image: JASONBON: Pixabay

Perhaps you are not a huge fan of coffee, but that glass of your favourite cocktail is not different from coffee.

Alcohol
Alcohol
Image: MARGARET WANJIRU

Alcohol also has diuretic properties. It has natural diuretic properties that forces your liver to go an extra mile to keep the system in check.

Experts advise on alternating glasses of water with your favourite cocktail to save you from that weird hangover feeling, headache or extreme fatigue.

Cold mango juice
Cold mango juice
Image: MARGARET WANJIRU

It’s mango season in Kenya, and many will opt to make a mango smoothie to try and beat the heat, but mangoes are another food that may actually flush water out of your body.

Researchers say its high content of potassium, which is a natural diuretic, could actually leave your body dehydrated

Instead, try a watermelon, strawberries, pineapples or oranges.

Many people stop drinking fluids in the evening because they don’t want to be disturbed by bathroom breaks during the night, but being dehydrated will also cause you to wake up. 

Ensure you hydrate well during the day and before bed to avoid any inconveniences.