Headaches can occur for hundreds of reasons – loud noises, medical problems, stress. A lot of these reasons are largely out of your immediate control. However, one major cause of headaches can be solved with a simple action – drinking more water! Dehydration is a leading cause of those pesky headaches, but can be easily combated. Below are a few tips to prevent, identify, and treat dehydration headaches.
Stay hydrated! This is easier said than done, especially during a busy day. Although the myth that everyone needs 8 glasses a day to stay hydrated, it is important to make sure that you are drinking enough water for your body. Everyone is a little different, so some trial and error to figure out what’s a good level of water for you is always useful.
If you don’t love drinking water, there are still ways to get your daily allowance. Trick your taste buds, try drinking flavored water! Drinking hint water is a great option to get your daily dose of water with delicious flavor and WITHOUT calories and diet sweeteners. Another trick is to eat foods rich in water. Chop up a salad full of water rich veggies to get hydrated and some nutrients too!
Headaches can feel different for each individual, but it is possible to identify the all the different types of headaches by watching for trends in how they feel and when they come. If you are starting to feel a headache coming, take a moment to observe your situation to identify any common triggers for headaches. Many with chronic headaches find it useful to keep a headache diary to track when they get headaches, how they feel, and what factors were present. This will help you identify how to approach the headache.
If you find that your headaches are occurring at times that you have not drank enough water or have been exposed to strenuous exercise/heat, then you should consider treating your headache as a dehydration headache.
We often intend to stay hydrated, but it does prove difficult sometimes. If you find yourself developing a dehydration headache, the earlier you address the problem the better. Studies have found that dehydration headaches can actually be alleviated between 30 minutes and 3 hours after drinking enough water. When you feel the early signs of a headache, it is good practice to go ahead and get hydrated to prevent it from progressing. Even if the headache had another trigger, getting hydrated can help your body function at its best.
We hope you keep these tips in mind next time your head starts to ache. Let us know your tips and tricks to fend off dehydration headaches!
Popkin, Barry M., Kristen E. D’Anci, and Irwin H. Rosenberg. “Water, Hydration, and Health.” Nutrition Reviews 68.8 (2010): 439-58
Benelam and L. Wyness. “Hydration and health: a review.” Nutrition Bulletin 35 (2010): 3-25.