Many of us have grown up drinking caffeinated diet sodas as an alternative to sugary regular sodas. We figure this is a better choice rather than loading our bodies and our children’s bodies with large quantities of sugar. Whilst diet sodas do help us avoid a sugar overload (which can lead to weight gain) we should also be aware of the effects of caffeine contained in many cola-flavored diet sodas.
Caffeine is a diuretic causing the body to excrete water. The net result of drinking several caffeinated drinks during the day is to deplete, rather than replenish the body’s fluids. Where such drinks are the primary source of daily fluid intake, the net result may be a loss of water which may actually lead to dehydration. It is not uncommon for many of us to be unknowingly dehydrated!
Here are some common symptoms of dehydration. If you recognize any of these symptoms you may be able to improve your health by simply drinking 6 to 8 glasses of pure, freshwater a day.
1. The most common symptom is headaches. A major function of water is to flush toxins from the body. Your brain is 75% water, so even being slightly dehydrated can cause headaches.
2. Poor concentration/fatigue. If your body can’t get rid of the toxins it will struggle and you will feel less energetic as your body diverts energy to deal with the toxins.
3. Constipation. Your body will divert water to more essential functions and as a result, your stools will be harder and more difficult to expel.
4. Reduced urine output or dark urine. Did you know that up to 200 liters of water are passed through your kidneys daily? Without a fresh supply of water for the kidneys to filter waste products out of the blood, your urine will become darker.
5. Furry tongue or bad breath. If you don’t have enough water passing through the mouth to wash away food particles, bacteria can proliferate and result in that ‘furry’ feeling or bad breath.
6. Skin. Your skin should feel elastic. When you pinch the skin on the back of your hand it should snap back instantly.