Everyone knows how important it is to stay hydrated but what happens when we get dehydrated?

What happens when we get dehydrated

Dehydration is a massive problem in society – far bigger than many might imagine – with research suggesting that one in five people in the UK don’t know how much water to drink.

When it comes to health and nutrition, good hydration is key and, for those on the Nutritious Lolly 6-Week Whole-Body Plan, you’ll know how much I encourage you to drink enough water.

You might feel like you’re peeing like a racehorse in the beginning but this will settle down!

The importance of good hydration becomes even more crucial when you add in physical activity. The more intense your activity, the more fluids you will lose and the more you need to drink to replace them.

Of course, none of this is rocket science. But I’ll say it again, please ensure you’re drinking enough water and this is around two to three litres a day on average, but should be more if you’re doing intense physical activity.

If you are somebody who does any form of cardio exercise at high intensity for 60 minutes or more at a time then you should have an electrolyte drink.

What happens when we get dehydrated?

So, what happens when we get dehydrated? Well, the first sign of dehydration is normally feeling thirsty. We all get this from time to time and we don’t think too much about it. We just have a drink and forget about it.

But really, we shouldn’t let it get to that stage. Our body is telling us that it’s already becoming dehydrated. If we’re really looking after our hydration, we should never really feel thirsty.

Other more severe symptoms of dehydration include feeling dizzy or light headed, feeling faint, tired and even headaches.

You might also notice that your pee is darker or more strong smelling than usual. If you notice that you’re peeing less than usual, that’s another signal that you’re dehydrated.

Most of us will have experienced these symptoms before; we’re all guilty of letting ourselves get dehydrated from time to time. But, if we’re letting this happen regularly then there’s a serious risk of causing long term damage to our bodies.

Why do we need to stay hydrated?

At face value, we all know that we NEED water to survive. But what many don’t know is that our bodies require good hydration for everything from maintaining temperature and blood pressure, lubricating joints, aiding digestion, maintaining organ performance (including our brain!)… and the list goes on and on and on.

In short, if we’re not properly hydrated our bodies cannot perform these functions the way they were intended to and the result is we end up feeling unwell from it.

Have I made this clear enough yet? Please, please ensure you are drinking enough water every day!

What good nutrition can do for you

You’ve probably read lots of ‘weight loss secrets’ online. Well, here’s one that shouldn’t be a secret but I sometimes feel like it is, good hydration can help you to maintain a healthy weight!

As well as that, good hydration can improve sleep, our skin and even improve joint and cartilage repair.

Good habits, just like bad habits, are developed over time so start your good habit of drinking more water today and give your body what it needs to perform the way it should.

Motivation can be such an elusive thing sometimes. Here one minute, gone the next. But there are steps we can take to ensure a more steady and reliable flow of motivation during our busy weeks.

Here are five methods I use to keep my motivation levels up, which I know will help you too.

Motivation comes with realistic goals

This is the biggest factor in determining whether we nail it or get disheartened and give up. Time and again I see people set themselves completely unrealistic goals in a particular timeframe and when they fail, they beat themselves up so bad that it’s counter-productive.

It doesn’t have to be like that. It takes times to achieve your goals.

Instead of one big goal that you’ll feel like you’re constantly trying to achieve, break them up into smaller goals. When you hit these little milestones on the way, the feeling of achievement spurs you on even more.

Reward yourself

If you’re a complete badass who can keep going like a machine without ever stopping to reward yourself, then go you. But that’s not me.

My advice would be to always, always reward your achievements with a treat. Did you hit another little fitness or body transformation goal this week? Great. Reward yourself for it. For me, it might be a Prosecco or two or maybe even sharing a Friday night pizza with the family.

Take a step back

We are all often far too hard on ourselves. Be kind to yourself. Take a step back every week and a deep breath and applaud yourself for what you have achieved and getting a step further to your ultimate goal.

Record your progress

Recording your progress is important. I like to record not only my fitness performance but also my body transformation.

So, write down how you felt after my 10-minute exercise videos, a brisk walk or run or whatever it is that you love to do. Also take weekly photos of your physique. Seeing and feeling changes in your body is an extremely powerful method of keeping motivated.

Remind yourself of the ‘why’

This is incredibly powerful but we don’t do it enough. Often when we feel like giving up, that overwhelming urge to can it all in is the only thought we have.

That feeling like you’re failing (see point 1 about realistic goals) can completely take over and that’s okay because here is how you’re going to stop it in its tracks.

Take a deep breath and ask yourself ‘why’? Or rather, remind yourself why, you  started your journey for a purpose; with a goal in mind. Think hard at this moment what that goal was. Think back to the moment you decided why you were going to do this. Now think about how important that purpose, that goal was to you then.

Then you’ll remember that it’s just as important now and you’ll keep going. I know you will.

Lolly Cunningham is the founder of Nutritious Lolly and was featured in Huffington Post. Read the story here.