Depending on seasons or lifestyle, our bodies tend to react differently, which could include a harmful reduction of water in different parts of the body. Dehydration, experts say, is caused by a lack of enough fluids in the body, or losing more fluids than you take, for example through sweating, vomiting and/or diarrhoea. However, many tend to ignore it yet it can get worse. All body parts contain water but differ in amount, of which lacking water in any of the parts leads to dehydration and later causes other several illnesses, says Philemon Kwizera, a nutritionist at Nutri-Sante Nutrition Cabinet. “Blood contains about 83% water, while lean muscle tissue is about 73% water. Body fat contains about 25% and even though bones seem hard, they too contain water, about 22%, leading us to fight dehydration at all levels,” he says. Kwizera further says dry mouth, flushed skin, fatigue, headache, constipation, impaired physical performance and thirsty feeling, are all signs of dehydration. He adds that a few individuals adapt to drinking water when thirst occurs, yet it is actually more like a warning, a bodily sensation that a body calls for more fluid to perform. “For instance, when you experience the increased body temperature and dizziness as a result of dehydration, it indicates that you have lost up to 11% of your body and you may have muscle spasms, swollen tongue, poor blood circulation, kidney failure, and many more,” says Kwizera. Experts say evading dehydration will accumulate your body temperature stay at 36.1°C, a normal body temperature, and it will produce heat, including great performance to any physical activity. Through perspiration, heat escapes from the body as water evaporates on the skin. With dehydration, lubricate joints and cushion organs and tissues harden, but also the oxygen, cells and nutrients to the body are blocked, hence waste products are not fully and well transported, resulting in constipation too. According to Dr Sandra Manirakiza, a general practitioner at University Teaching Hospital of Kigali, many things could lead to dehydration. “Although it is common in toddlers, dehydration happens to everyone, especially when an individual is having run outs like diarrhoea and vomiting,” Manirakiza says. She goes on to say that diarrhoea stops the large intestines from absorbing water from the food matter, whereas vomiting leads to loss of fluids in the body and makes it difficult to replace water wasted, even by drinking it. Foods to help with dehydration Dr Manirakiza says although the amounts of water needed to fight dehydration may seem a lot, total water comes from many other sources, even some solid foods. Cantaloupe Cantaloupe contains the highest water content 90%, serving 120% of your body’s hydration. They are also rich in vitamin A, potassium and fibre, says Alain Kamanzi, a student at University of Rwanda’s College of Medicine and Health Sciences. Sweet potatoes Sweet potatoes are a great source of electrolytes, especially unpeeled, due to the fibre present in them, making the body and retaining water, 75%. They naturally provide potassium and magnesium, maintain water balance in the body and keep you hydrated and your cells functioning effectively. Green bananas These contain powerful vitamins and minerals, Kamanzi says; green bananas are fewer fat proteins that contain high potassium and retain water in the body, which may help persons suffering with dehydration, high blood pressure, stroke and kidney stones. Boiled eggs Studies have shown that hard-boiled eggs can boost your daily water intake and help prevent dehydration. When an egg is boiled, 75 per cent water content remains and combines with high protein levels and a bounty of essential nutrients to make boiled eggs a great source of hydration. Skimmed milk Research has shown that skimmed milk provides more hydration than water and this is because of its winning combination of sugar, lactose, protein, and tiny fat percentage, all of which slow down the rate at which fluids are emptied from the stomach. Fruits and vegetables Kwizera says, while drinking water is important, fruits and vegetables contain adequate vitamins and minerals to keep your body healthy. You can consume a significant amount of water by including a variety of water-rich fruits and vegetables such as watermelon, bananas, strawberries, broccoli, cucumber, lettuce, spinach, carrots, cabbage, eggplants, and many more. “You can make smoothies out of them, to make them more effective for dehydration, but it is advised to mix veggies and fruits that fall under the same category to avoid too much sugar that could lead to obesity,” he says. Kwizera adds that an individual can as well try out chicken, beef or vegetable broth (such as celery and onion broth), as soups are great for dehydration. According to Healthline, sugar-sweetened soft drinks and alcohol, especially beer, can actually make your dehydration worse and lead to further kidney-related dehydration problems. As refreshing as a cold beer might sound when you’re exceptionally thirsty, you should avoid alcohol if you’re trying to rehydrate, the site states.