Dehydration: More than just water

I had a really bad sleep last night. As regular readers will know, I suffer from bad allergies but am not taking any medications for them at the moment. Even after sleeping in a bit and having a good breakfast, I still felt exhausted and unwell so I went back to bed for an hour.

I then had my first breathing test (spirometry) at the hospital in the afternoon. This involved breathing into a tube so they could measure the amount of air my lungs can hold, then giving me a drug to open up the airways and measuring again. The drug they gave me was a version of Ventalin, the stuff in every asthmatic’s blue inhaler. Normally the dose is two puffs however, for the test the nurse gave me five! Somewhat unsurprisingly, this opened up the airways nicely. But it also made me feel incredibly shaky, headachy and lightheaded. It made getting home on public transport fun!

It was later on at the train station when I realised the other reason I was feeling so poorly is I’d had very little to drink that day. Normally I would have an herbal tea at my desk in the morning, and sip water all day. But I’d spent the morning in bed and the afternoon at the hospital. As usual with these things, the tests at the hospital had taken far longer than planned, so I didn’t bring any snacks or water with me. I’d had my usual amount of black and green tea, but I’ve found anything with caffeine has a mild diuretic effect on me.

The problem with dehydration is that it’s not just about water. The fluids found inside the body, like blood and intracellular fluid, contains a variety of minerals (sodium, potassium, calcium, etc.) in carefully controlled concentrations. Too much water might dilute the concentration of these minerals, so if you simply down half a litre of water in one go, the kidneys ramps up urine production to get rid of it.

This is why when I got to the station and realised I was dehydrated, I didn’t just reach for a bottle of water. As previously discussed, coconut water is high in potassium, but is rather low in sodium and chloride (salt) so I also went for some salty snacks. The simply carbohydrates in coconut water and rice cakes also encourage the body to absorb more water, so you rehydrate faster. I tried to balance this with a bit of protein, so I didn’t get a sugar spike and felt fuller for longer.

Lesson learned: Always take water and a snack, no matter how long you plan to be gone!

The Score for 15 March:

Calories: Protein: Carbs: Sugars: Fat: Sat Fat: Fibre:  
1771 88.46g 229.38g 100.96g 50.53g 14.47g 29.23g  
21% 52%   26%    
     
Calories burned through exercise: 0      

What I ate:

Time Item Amount Calories Protein Carbs Sugars Fibre Fat Sat Fat Alcohol
08:45 Centrum Multivitamin,  Vitamin E 400IU, Vitamin D 25 µg
Tap water 250mL 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Pan scramble with eggs, 2 large 115g 150 14.49 0.00 0.00 0.00 10.35 2.88 0.00
Onion, 23g 9 0.28 1.82 1.29 0.32 0.05 0.00 0.00
Green pepper, 40g 8 0.32 1.04 0.96 0.64 0.12 0.04 0.00
Spinach, 20g 6 0.56 0.32 0.30 0.42 0.16 0.02 0.00
and Tesco extra mature cheddar cheese 10g 41 2.54 0.00 0.00 0.00 3.49 2.17 0.00
Genius brown sliced gluten free bread, 2 slices toasted 60g 147 1.48 26.57 1.42 5.90 3.89 0.30 0.00
with butter 7g 52 0.04 0.08 0.04 0.00 5.75 3.65 0.00
and St Dalfour Raspberry fruit spread 22g 54 0.12 12.88 12.88 0.46 0.18 0.00 0.00
Black tea 450mL 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
12:15 Homemade carrot and lentil soup 350g 217 8.93 26.68 9.45 4.69 7.53 1.47 0.00
Tesco free from seeded sandwich thins 54g 134 4.21 17.44 0.60 5.83 4.11 0.33 0.00
Skimmed milk 250mL 87 8.50 12.50 12.50 0.00 0.25 0.00 0.00
Plums, 2 small 119g 50 0.71 10.47 10.47 1.92 0.12 0.00 0.00
13:00 Green tea 350mL 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
15:30 Snack a Jacks mini rice cakes, sour cream and chive 26g 108 2.00 20.40 1.70 0.30 2.00 0.20 0.00
Kings Rib eye flavoured beef biltong 30g 79 15.09 1.85 1.71 0.36 1.19 0.49 0.00
Innocent coconut water 500mL 95 0.50 23.00 17.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Water 250mL 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
19:30 Homemade chilli con carne with extra vegetables 310g 278 23.01 21.85 14.64 5.49 9.16 2.14 0.67
Brown basmati rice 130g 150 3.75 30.83 0.51 1.44 1.23 0.29 0.00
Fresh blueberries 48g 32 0.34 6.96 4.80 1.15 0.14 0.00 0.00
Yoomoo frozen yoghurt ice lolly, mixed berry 1 lolly 74 1.60 14.70 10.70 0.30 0.80 0.50 0.00

 

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