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What Foods Make You Feel Dehydrated?

by
author image Susan Lundman
Susan Lundman began writing about her passions of cooking, gardening, entertaining and recreation after working for a nonprofit agency, writing grants and researching child development issues. She has written professionally for six years since then. Lundman received her M.A. from Stanford University.
What Foods Make You Feel Dehydrated?
cup of caffeinated coffee on newspaper Photo Credit Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images

Your body is about two-thirds water. Dehydration reduces the amount of water in your body. Severe dehydration can lower blood pressure and the amount of oxygen available to your cells, which may lead to coma and death. Besides the usual causes of dehydration, like excessive sweating from heat exposure, vigorous exercise, fever, diarrhea, vomiting or just not drinking enough, some foods can reduce water and other body fluids. When you eat these foods, avoid dehydration by drinking and extra glass or two of water.

Diuretics

What Foods Make You Feel Dehydrated?
artichokes in wooden bowl Photo Credit Nilgun Tosun Wadey/iStock/Getty Images

Diuretic foods increase urination and thereby reduce the amount of water in your body, making you feel dehydrated. Foods known to have this effect include parsley, celery, asparagus, artichokes, and melons. Two common diuretics, alcohol and caffeine, affect millions of people daily, with alcohol having a stronger diuretic effect than coffee. To offset the effects of alcohol and caffeine, drink one glass of plain or sparkling water in between each glass of wine or coffee.

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Sodium

What Foods Make You Feel Dehydrated?
plate of french fries Photo Credit Sandra van der Steen/iStock/Getty Images

Foods high in sodium boost your body's sodium levels. To dilute the salt, your cells excrete water and send a thirst signal to your brain saying they need more water. Foods that taste salty, such as french fries and salty snack foods, contain high amounts of sodium. But you might not be able to detect the high sodium levels in other foods, such as fast food meals, canned foods, deli meats, frozen dinners, processed baked goods and bottled condiments such as salad dressings.

Sugar

What Foods Make You Feel Dehydrated?
couple eating oranges together Photo Credit Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images

Sugar affects your body in the same way salt does, drawing water out of your cells and making you feel thirsty. Ironically, sports drinks with sugar can actually quench your thirst more slowly than plain water because the sugar draws water from your cells. Moreover, the sugar in beverages such as fruit juices, vitamin water and sports drinks is absorbed by your body more slowly than plain water. You should eat snacks from two food groups to avoid feeling dehydrated, such as a piece of fruit plus a piece of cheese or fruit plus whole grain crackers.

Diarrhea

What Foods Make You Feel Dehydrated?
red meat on cutting board Photo Credit Jacek Chabraszewski/iStock/Getty Images

Any food that causes diarrhea can also dehydrate you. If you are lactose intolerant, those foods include most dairy products. Some lactose-intolerant people react to smaller amount of lactose in baked goods, cereals, soups, drinks, lunch meats, salad dressings and powdered drink supplements. Excess iron, either through iron supplements or too much red meat, also can cause diarrhea, according to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

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