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How Dehydration Affects Blood Sugar Levels

Updated: Jun 7, 2022

What Is Hydration

Your body depends on water to survive. Every cell, tissue, and organ in your body needs water to work properly.

Is Hydration just water inside your body or your cells? Actually, it's not.

Hydration is the body’s ability to replenish and absorb the water lost from processes like sweating, exhaling, and eliminating waste.

Ability is the key word here. The ability of our body to absorb water will depend on several factors, such as age, climate, and levels of physical activity, but most importantly electrolyte balance in your body.

To adjust fluid levels, the body can actively move electrolytes in or out of cells. Thus, having electrolytes in the right concentrations (called electrolyte balance) is important in maintaining fluid balance in your body.

Maintaining the right balance of electrolytes helps your body's blood chemistry, muscle action, nerve cells, and other processes.

Here is a simplified diagram explaining how it works at the cellular level.

You can see on the diagram above electrolytes like Chloride (Cl−), Potassium (K+), and Sodium (Na+).

You need the right amounts of these electrolytes to make sure that the cell is hydrated.

Key Lesson: electrolytes are important because they help: Balance the amount of water in your body. Balance your body's acid/base (pH) level. Move nutrients into your cells.

Why Does Your Body Need To Be Properly Hydrated?

Water helps your body function to:

  • Carry oxygen and nutrients

  • Produce hormones

  • Produce saliva

  • Regulate your body temperature

  • Swallow food

  • Optimize Neurotransmitters Function (They are the molecules used by the nervous system to transmit messages between neurons, or from neurons to muscles).

  • Dissolving minerals and vitamins in your food

  • Protect your joints/organs/bones thru shock absorption

  • Lubricate your joints

  • Keep your eyes moist

  • Help in bowel movements

  • Memorize the food you eat

  • Insult your brain, spinal cord, organs, and fetus (in pregnancy)

  • And much more...!

What Is Dehydration

Dehydration means your body loses more fluids than you take in. If it's not treated, it can get worse and become a serious problem.

Causes of dehydration:

  • Diarrhea

  • Vomiting

  • Fever

  • Excessive sweating

  • Increased urination

  • Stress

  • Extreme heat

  • Alcohol consumption (excessive)

  • Coffee consumption (excessive)

  • Excessive pure water consumption (water without the salt) ("dilutes electrolytes")

  • Electrolyte imbalance

What Are The Symptoms Of Dehydration?

  • Feeling very thirsty

  • Dry mouth

  • Dark yellow and strong-smelling pee

  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded

  • Dry skin

  • Feeling tired

  • Feeling lack of energy during exercising

  • Feeling a dry mouth, lips, and eyes

  • Peeing little, and fewer than 4 times a day

  • Sweating less than usual

How Can I Know That I Am Dehydrated?

You can understand if you're dehydrated based on the symptoms above.

How Can I Prevent Dehydration?

  1. Pay attention to the symptoms of dehydration

  2. Avoid things that can deplete your electrolytes, like alcohol (an excessive amount), coffee (an excessive amount), heavy exercise or physical activity, and chronic stress (When adrenal fatigue progresses, aldosterone drops causing dehydration and low electrolytes levels).

  3. Check your urine color, it should be clear or straw color, like light yellow color, as opposed to a darker yellow or brown.

  4. Don't force yourself to drink too much, but remember about hydrating yourself with good quality water (preferably mineral water, which contains high amounts of minerals and other naturally occurring compounds, including magnesium, calcium, bicarbonate, sodium, sulfate, and chloride). A good rule of thumb is to have 8 glasses of water a day. Remember that it's just a rule. It may work slightly differently for each of us. We recommend not forcing yourself to drink more, but also not forgetting to drink water. For example, in very specific scenarios, like kidney stones, you should drink at least 2.5 liters of fluid with electrolytes every day. This dilutes the substances in urine that lead to stones.

  5. Be sure to up your water intake while exercising.

  6. Drink more water if you're sick.

  7. Eat hydrating foods like melons, cucumber, and lettuce.

  8. Bring in extra electrolytes when needed. For those who are stressed or are engaging in physical and mental activities, it might be appropriate to replenish their electrolytes, which is most easily done through a supplement.


How Dehydration Affects Blood Sugar Levels

When you don’t drink enough water, the glucose (sugar) in your bloodstream becomes more concentrated. This leads to higher blood sugar levels.

While the amount of sugar in your bloodstream hasn’t "technically" increased, it can result in high blood sugar levels because the ratio of sugar to water has changed. Less water = more concentrated sugar.

Even a mild level of dehydration can easily leave your blood sugar levels 30 to 100 mg/dL higher than if you were drinking enough water.

Mild to moderate levels of dehydration—especially during hot weather, intense exercise, or illness (diarrhea or vomiting), raises blood sugar levels.

For people with type 2 diabetes, dehydration can be especially dangerous.

It causes blood pressure to fall. In addition, your body secretes stress hormones, like norepinephrine, which may raise blood sugar levels.

When that happens, high blood pressure forces you to go to the bathroom more often, resulting in more urine production and more fluid loss. This further leads to dehydration (fluid loss).

Severe dehydration can be life-threatening. This is because of concentrated blood sugar levels and too low levels of electrolytes, sodium, and potassium.

How to Stay Hydrated if You’re Managing Type 2 Diabetes

  1. Have some salt (Sea salt is high in electrolytes like Magnesium, Potassium, Calcium, and Sodium. These minerals are key for muscle, brain, and heart health. Adding sea salt and a squeeze of lemon is more helpful to increase electrolytes than popular sports drinks). I recommend 4700 mg of potassium and 2300 mg of sodium a day. It's more or less 1 tsp of salt a day. "Why I Have been told to avoid salt"? You have been told to avoid salt as it may increase your blood pressure. Now, this is true only in certain conditions. Firstly, you may have insulin resistance or diabetes. In these conditions, you retain more sodium in your body and you get rid of too much potassium. This results in too high blood pressure. Solution? Follow a healthy diet! Avoid processed foods, sugar, and foods high in carbohydrates. Processed foods have too much salt in them and are sugary and high in carbs foods making your body retain more water. Secondly, you may be a salt-sensitive person. If you don't feel well after salt, try having more potassium and less sodium. Thirdly, don't eat too much salt. More does not equal better. Too much salt will increase your blood pressure, resulting in more urine output (water loss) and thus more dehydration. This, in turn, will lead to increased blood sugar (which we want to prevent). Key lesson = consume optimal quality of salt a day.

  2. Check your blood glucose if you're worried and drink more water if it's too high.

  3. Beware that hydration fluids like Gatorade and Pedialyte can contain sugar—read the nutrition labels carefully.

  4. Have some electrolytes if needed. Electrolytes are good for diabetics, especially those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. They replenish minerals and help to control blood sugar levels. Electrolyte Boost Pro is a sugar-free formula, which may help you with this.

  5. Above all, pay attention to your thirst signals. Ultimately, ensuring you’re well-hydrated will help you better manage type 2 diabetes.

  6. Be mindful of heat exhaustion. If you have diabetes, you're at a higher risk of overheating and dehydration. This problem can be compounded if you're working or exercising out in the heat, or even if you're simply outside with friends or relaxing at the beach. Keep cool while exercising.


What Are Some Good Alternatives To Water?

  • Sparkling water

  • Water with lemon or lime

  • Unsweetened tea

  • Coffee (in small amounts only, like 1-2 cups a day) is also hydrating, as the diuretic effect of coffee (making you urinate more) is less than the amount of liquid you drink.

What Type Of Water Is The Best?

Mineral water is natural water that has a constant level and relative proportions of mineral and trace elements, containing no less than 250 parts per million total of dissolved solids, according to the water association. No minerals can be added to it.

Then there's artesian water, which is derived from a well that taps a specific layer of rock or sand. As such, the water has a rich concentration of natural minerals. It is also considered to be free from contaminants. It's very healthy.

What Type Of Water Is The Worst?

In general, we don't recommend tap and distilled water. They usually lack minerals or are full of harmful substances, like Chlorine.

What about alkaline water? We also don't recommend it. This is because the consumption of artificial/human-made alkaline water can neutralize the different acidic fluids in the body. This can lead to problems with electrolytes absorption, but also problems with digestion or too alkaline urine. It may also affect your heart (the heart is affected by electrolytes).

Support Your Hydration

Using all the strategies listed above will help to prevent and manage dehydration. However, it is more important than ever to ensure you’re getting all the electrolytes needed to stay hydrated and healthy, especially during stressful, or mentally and physically demanding days. That’s where supplementation comes in helpful. In fact, we spent over a year formulating Electrolyte Boost Pro.

Electrolyte Boost Pro are minerals that help your body do much of its work — producing energy and contracting your muscles, for example. It will help you to be effective during your workout and enjoy it...without having trouble starting your morning training or making millions of pauses! It will also help you with staying hydrated, and having more mental energy!

It will also help you boost your mood. Let me ask you, have you ever tried a low carbohydrate diet (like keto), but felt like crap only after a couple of days? It can be, because of electrolyte depletion in your body, and we call it "keto flu". But, don't worry! We've made sure there are enough electrolytes in H-BOSS Electrolyte Boost Pro® to support your mood and energy!


Article Sources

  1. What is Dehydration? What Causes It? Minesh Khatri, MD WebMD. 2021

  2. What to Know About Dehydration, Healthline. 2019

  3. Electrolytes,

  4. Dehydration, Mayo Clinic Staff. 2018

  5. Water: How much should you drink every day? Mayo Clinic Staff. 2017

Updated on: June 4th, 2022 Published on: June 4th, 2022

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