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3 Devious Ways Sugar Dehydrates You

Sugar, in all its addictive sweetness, can have unexpected consequences for our hydration levels. Yep, it’s not just raising our risk for heart disease and obesity, it’s also dehydrating us. Here’s how.

In the modern world, sugar has woven itself into the very fabric of our diets. It's there, hiding in our morning coffees, lurking in our favourite snacks, and sweetening our desserts. But what if we told you that beyond its well-known reputation for impacting our waistlines, sugar possesses a stealthy, less-discussed quality? It can quietly lead to dehydration, affecting our bodies in ways we might not even realise. From sending us to the toilet a little too often to wreaking havoc on our hormones, there are more than a few ways in which the sweet stuff leaves us worse for wear. 

Increased Urination

Sugar can kickstart your bladder, sending you in search of the nearest bathroom. Why? Well, when you consume sugary foods or beverages, your body tries to eliminate the excess sugar by excreting it in your urine. To do this, your kidneys have to work harder, leading to fluid loss and potentially causing dehydration if you don't replenish the lost fluids adequately. In some cases, frequent urination after sugar intake may be a symptom of an underlying health condition, such as diabetes or kidney issues. If you consistently experience excessive urination after consuming sugar, especially if it is accompanied by other concerning symptoms like excessive thirst, unexplained weight loss, or fatigue, it's important to consult a healthcare professional for evaluation and diagnosis.

Decreased Thirst Sensation

Consuming sugary beverages, especially soda and fruit juices, can suppress your body's natural thirst sensation. These drinks can be so sweet that they temporarily "trick" your brain into thinking you're well-hydrated when, in reality, you may be becoming dehydrated. As a result, you may not feel the urge to drink water, leading to insufficient fluid intake. We also know that the hypothalamus, a region of the brain, plays a crucial role in regulating thirst and fluid balance. High sugar intake can temporarily interfere with the hypothalamus's ability to accurately assess the body's fluid needs, leading to a reduced sensation of thirst. 

Osmotic Effect

Sugar has an osmotic effect, meaning it draws water out of your body's cells and into your bloodstream. When you consume sugary foods or beverages, the high sugar concentration in your digestive system prompts water to move from your body's cells into your intestines. This can lead to an increased volume of liquid in your digestive tract, potentially resulting in diarrhoea or loose stools. Not so fun, right?

Tips to Maintain Hydration

To avoid the dehydrating effects of sugar and maintain proper hydration, consider these tips:

  • Limit Sugary Beverages: Reduce your consumption of sugary drinks, including soda, fruit juices, and sports drinks. Opt for water, herbal tea, or infused water instead. Rehydrating with sugary drinks has been proven to have the opposite effect!
  • Moderate Sugar Intake: Be mindful of your overall sugar intake. Read food labels and choose products with less added sugar.
  • Balance Electrolytes: If you consume sugary sports drinks, consider replenishing electrolytes lost through exercise with an electrolyte-rich beverage or a balanced snack.
  • Eat Hydrating Foods: Consume water-rich fruits and vegetables like watermelon, cucumbers, and oranges to help maintain hydration.
  • Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to your body's thirst signals and sip water regularly throughout the day - there's no need to chug the stuff!

Need a little help getting your health back on track? Join us for the 8-Week Program and we’ll help you change the way you look at food – and that doesn’t mean you have to follow restrictive diets or miss out on your favourite foods; we believe you can still enjoy delicious food without jeopardising your health. With celebrity chef Sarah Glover on our panel of experts, you’ll have an array of fun recipes at your fingertips, along with our own exclusive armoury of simple, tasty and healthy recipes for everything from daily meals to impressive entertaining. We know it can be hard to stick to your health goals – especially when you’re trying to manage it alone. When you sign up with us, you’ll have access to clear-cut meal plans, community support and exclusive access to our sugar-free content. Here’s what’s on offer:

  1. 8 weeks of meal plans and shopping lists.
  2. 90+ member-only recipes.
  3. Community forums to share your journey.
  4. Support and guidance from the I Quit Sugar team.
  5. Exclusive content from our panel of experts.

So, if you’re ready to ditch sugar and the host of maladies that come with it, it’s not too late to join. We’d love to help you get started on your health journey. Sign up HERE today!

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