The dangers of dehydration!
I’m not going to insult your intelligence – most of you probably know that dehydration is bad but you may not be aware of some of the side-effects of dehydration or how it can affect your mood.
- Fatigue: A lot of people come to us complaining about constantly feeling tired or run down but are perplexed about why. Well it turns out water is pretty important when it comes to keeping you feeling bright and energised and if you’re not drinking enough, you will definitely feel more light-headed and less like your usual self
- Irritable: Feeling a bit more grumpy than usual? Noticed that your loved ones are giving you a wide berth because you’ve become as snappy as the average piranha? Well dehydration could be to blame as a lack of fluid can affect your central nervous system, making you feel disorientated, confused and much, much more irritable!
- Dry Skin: Dry skin is a fairly common problem and a number of factors can be at play, however dehydration could be the culprit. Your skin relies on a steady supply of H20 to keep it elasticated and soft – without enough water, your skin will become delicate, sensitive and prone to irritation
- Dark coloured urine: Darkly coloured urine is usually a sign that you are suffering from a urinary tract infection. If you aren’t drinking enough water, your body won’t be able to flush out bacteria quite as effectively, often resulting in a UTI that can cause a significant amount of discomfort
- Constipation: Believe it or not, dehydration can cause constipation. When your body becomes dehydrated, the colon starts to lose a lot of fluid and your stools lose a significant amount of bulk, making them slower to pass, resulting in constipation
- Muscle cramps: When you lose fluid you also experience a drop in your salt levels which can stimulate muscle cramps in your legs.
The above symptoms are just some of the more moderate side-effects of dehydration – if you become severely dehydrated it can take a real toll on your health, often resulting in little to no urination, delirium, fever, rapid breathing and low blood pressure. Not at all what you want, especially when you’re trying to enjoy yourself at a festival!
Why are you more likely to become dehydrated at festivals?
The truth is that dehydration can pose a real problem during the festival season. While most of you are probably quite good at keeping on top of your fluid intake during the week, this can go straight out the window as soon as you find yourself caught up in all the distractions that festivals have to offer – it simply isn’t at the forefront of your mind anymore.
However it really should be as festivals are prime places to become dehydrated. Think about it – you’re spending long periods of time dancing and moving around outside under a scorching summer sun. Your body is going to be working up a real sweat in these conditions and guess what sweating means – losing fluid and valuable electrolytes!
And that’s without even mentioning alcohol or caffeine!
What can you do to help?
Drinking more water might seem like the most obvious answer and you’re absolutely right, under these conditions you should definitely be drinking more water. Keeping a bottle of H20 on hand would go a long way towards tackling those dehydration symptoms but I would also like to share some additional tips to bear in mind.
- Try some Coconut Water: Let’s face it, ordinary plain water, whilst being extremely thirst-quenching and hydrating, is not a particularly exciting option. Nobody ever really gets enthused about that great tasting bottle of mineral water they just bought, which is why I’d like to offer an alternative. Coconut water can be just as hydrating as regular water but it also offers a delightfully sweet flavour and is packed with electrolytes, helping to regulate the fluid balance in your body!
- Grab our Balance Drink: Speaking of electrolytes, let’s talk about our Balance Drink. It’s absolutely crammed full of electrolytes which are crucial for a number of bodily functions, including maintaining your hydration levels, supporting your nervous system and promoting proper muscle function. Lactose and gluten free, this lovely strawberry-flavoured drink contains L+ lactic acid, helping to balance your body’s pH and create a good gut environment! It’s simple and easy to take –mix one sachet with 150ml of water and voila! You have a lovely, electrolyte-rich drink that’ perfect for combating symptoms of dehydration. Better yet, some of our customers have even found it can help to perk you up after a long night – an added bonus!
- Watch your alcohol intake: It’s probably something that you’re used to hearing in relation to festivals and yes, I’m going to remind you too! Alcohol and caffeinated drinks may taste great but they’re no substitute for water. Now I’m not saying that you have to cut them out entirely and enjoy a dry festival season but everything in moderation. A good rule to follow might be the one for one policy – for every glass of alcohol make sure you have the equivalent in water. Not only will this go a long way towards helping to protect you from dehydration, it may also take the edge of your hangover the next day!
- Take shelter: Sun equals heat which inevitably amounts to sweating and sunburn. Now, I don’t know about you but spending a lot of time outdoors resembling a tomato is not my idea of a good time. If you really want to avoid sunburn and dehydration, try to find some shade and remember to cover up. Sun hats are definitely back in fashion and we’re sure you’re familiar with this handy invention known as sun cream!
- Eat lots of fruit! Telling you to eat more fruit might sound a bit bizarre and out of context but hear me out. Water-rich fruits such as watermelons, strawberries and pineapple are packed full of vitamins and minerals and can help to keep you hydrated. It also helps that they also taste amazing and are a lovely, light alternative to more stodgy typical festival food.
Other useful tips & advice
Dehydration isn’t the only thing you have to watch out for at festivals so I thought I’d also add in my thoughts about some other issues that you may encounter during the festival season.
- Hangovers: Inevitable in some cases, nothing quite sets the tone for the next day like waking up feeling fuzzy, confused and with the added joy of a banging headache. Taking a gentle liver tonic can help to support you during this troubled time which is why I’d recommend taking some Milk Thistle away with you. Available in tablet or tincture form, it will help to maintain your liver function and may even work to take the edge off that blaring hangover!
- Sunburn: I touched on this earlier but nothing ruins the festival experience quite like flaky, sore, bright red skin. Packing a decent sun cream is crucial and thankfully Jan de Vries stock a number of potent natural sun creams that should help to protect your skin without aggravating or irritating it, especially if you suffer from delicate, sensitive skin
- Hayfever: Grass pollen accounts for up to 90% of hayfever symptoms and guess where most festivals are held – that’s right, a nice big grassy field. Unless you want to spend your time fighting off your allergies, preparing for pollen is essential. Try checking out our Pollen Forecast so you can get a good idea about what you’re in for and remember to pack some of our Pollinosan Tablets and Luffa Nasal Spray to make sure you symptoms don’t ruin your experience
- Insect repellent: Buzzz….buzzzz….something is hovering outside your tent asking to be let in. Bugs and creepy-crawlies are definitely not ideal company and don’t have any boundaries when it comes to personal space, especially the bloodsucking variety. Whether you’re partying abroad or in the UK, a good insect repellent is definitely in order and I’d definitely recommend our Neem Insect Repellent to ward off those irritating pests!