An unseasonably warm September is chasing many of us from our homes to cooler venues – be it the allure of Indian hill stations, or that trip abroad that’s been on your mind since the pandemic began! Travelling can be a great rejuvenator, but it brings with it the hidden danger of dehydration. Don’t we all have at least one story when one member of our travelling party was out for the count?
There are several reasons why you can get dehydrated while travelling.
Not enough rest stops: If you’re travelling by bus or train, it can be a major deterrent to drinking enough water. After all, if your next toilet break is going to be in 4 hours from now, dehydration isn’t going to be your No.1 concern!
Salty food and sugary drinks: Sugar and salt dehydrate you because of the way the body manages these substances. Your kidneys are part of the system that works hard to regulate your blood sugar and salt concentrations. They do so by channelling these into urine – so, sugary drinks and salty foods (yes, that packet of chips and soda you had on the bus) are not only going to make you urinate more, but will also cause you to feel more thirsty, because the body wants more water, to dilute these substances!
Dry air when flying: Airplane cabins have very low humidity levels, because nearly 50% of the air circulating in the cabin is pulled from the outside. Given that planes fly at high altitudes, the air is almost completely devoid of moisture. This is why on long flights, your throat, nose and skin feel dry.
Alcohol: You’re probably going to drink more alcohol on your holiday than you normally would. Alcohol suppresses how much vasopressin the body makes. Vasopressin is a key antidiuretic hormone that limits the amount of urine kidneys can make. When suppressed, the kidneys work to remove alcohol (and what it breaks down into) from your body by making lots of urine. The more fluids you lose through urine, the higher your chances of dehydration.
Break from your routine: On a normal day, you’re probably great about tracking your water intake. You have a routine that involves eating and drinking at particular times, you have access to a clean toilet (so you don’t restrict fluids) and you’re in control of what you eat (neither too much sugar or salt, and lots of hydrating fruits and vegetables). When travelling, or on holiday however, it’s unlikely that you have access to a kitchen, or the willingness to cook your own meals! This translates into more salt and sugar, less fruits and veg, and a tendency to drink less water, because you’re out sightseeing.
You’re probably in a different temperature zone: It’s easy to think that you need less water in colder places, particularly if you just came from much higher temperatures. Cold weather, particularly in high altitudes, means less humidity, and wicks away more moisture from your skin and through your breath. If you’re not compensating with hydrating fluids, dehydration can catch up to you.
Given that you can’t really expect the number of rest stops to increase, or even expect clean bathrooms everywhere, you need to get the maximum hydration out of the water you drink. Fortunately, hydration is more about fluid balance (water plus electrolytes), than just the amount of water you consume.
One of the best ways that you can hydrate yourself effectively, without consuming massive amounts of water, is by eating water rich fruits or going back to your backpocket remedy for dehydration – Electral WHO ORS. Electral’s formula is proven, and it is the most recommended ORS by doctors.
In fact, one of the least fussy ways to consume Electral ORS is the ready to drink Electral tetrapak: no need to measure or mix. Just pop open and drink! The next time you’re packing your bags, add Electral to your travel checklist!
This is a Partnered Post.