It’s finally warming up and hopefully you’ve had the chance to get outside and enjoy some of this beautiful summer sun! Summer is great for a lot of reasons, but the blazing heat makes it harder to stay hydrated… especially when you’re taking phentermine. In our polls, the most commonly reported side effect of phentermine is dry mouth (medically referred to as xerostomia), and growing dehydrated in the summer sun only makes it worse. Even if you don’t suffer from dry mouth, proper hydration is tremendously important for health and weight loss! Here we’ll talk a little about dry mouth, the importance of hydration in weight loss, and some ideas to help keep you hydrated and minimize dry mouth on phentermine.
Dry Mouth on Phentermine
Phentermine is great for weight loss, but many users are left to cope with dry mouth, lips, tongue or throat while using the medication – especially when they are new to phentermine. These side effects stem primarily from decreased saliva production and are worsened by inadequate fluid intake. One of the main treatments for dry mouth is constant sips of water, but since it’s not only thirst that makes your mouth feel dry and uncomfortable many people find they still need something else. The American Academy of Oral Medicine offers the following tips to cope with dry mouth:
- Chew sugar-free gum, or suck on sugar-free candies to stimulate salivary production
- Sip on water throughout the day to externally hydrate tissues
- Minimize caffeinated beverages since they’re diuretics and often make dry mouth feel worse
- Eat foods with higher water content to help hydrate the tissues at mealtime
- Use lip balm to protect chapped lips
- Run a humidifier in your bedroom to relieve some nighttime discomfort
- Try an OTC saliva substitute if these other options aren’t working
If you experience prolonged periods of dry mouth, it’s also important to pay extra attention to your oral health. Dental problems like cavities and sores can worsen faster if your mouth is dry, so it’s important to take care of your teeth and see your dentist regularly. Dry mouth is also something worth speaking to your doctor about if it lasts for days or weeks at a time.
Hydration and Weight Loss
Even if you don’t have dry mouth, hydration has lots of health benefits for health and weight loss! Your body is more than 60% water, and it reacts to even small changes in hydration. The popular recommendation is 8-12 cups of water per day through food and drink, although this varies a lot with climate, activity, size, and other factors. Hydration needs increase in the summer and in hotter climates, or with more physical activity, to replace fluids lost through sweat. They are also higher for bigger people (whether taller or heavier) because there is more tissue to hydrate. While taking phentermine, some members of our support groups report drinking upwards of 16 glasses of water per day to deal with their dry mouth. To gauge your specific needs, one of the best indicators of hydration is urine color. You should drink (and eat) enough fluids to frequently produce light yellow urine and quench your thirst. While taking phentermine, staying hydrated is important to help promote weight loss, protect your tissues and feel your best. Here are just some of the specific ways proper hydration can help you.
Decrease your Caloric Intake
One of the most well-documented and important benefits of hydration is its ability to decrease the number of calories you eat. Water fills the stomach similar to food, so drinking more water can actually result in eating less. This is beneficial when you are trying to lose weight given that water is calorie-free while food is not. Moreover, studies show that our bodies sometimes confuse thirst and hunger, prompting us to reach for a snack when all we really need is a glass of water. Maintaining proper hydration can help you better identify when you are truly hungry versus just tired or thirsty. Finally, recent research has shown a link between proper hydration and healthy body weight. Subjects with a BMI in the overweight or obese range were more likely to be dehydrated than those with a healthy BMI. This emphasizes the importance of developing healthy hydration habits over the long-term, and paying close attention to hydration at all points in your phentermine journey.
Protect your Kidneys
Water is necessary to help flush toxins out of your kidneys. This job proves especially important when you are taking a medication like phentermine that you want to keep flushing out of your system. The kidneys flush waste out of our blood by eliminating it in the urine. However, there is a maximum amount of waste that the kidneys can flush out per volume of fluid, so it’s important to give them plenty of water when you’re trying to flush out more waste. Our blood should also have a certain thickness (osmolality)and volume. Hormones help signal the kidneys about whether to produce more or less urine depending on this thickness. Have noticed that when you’re well-hydrated you pee more than when you are dehydrated? This is because your kidneys are always working to keep blood thickness right, so they hold onto more fluids when you’re not drinking enough. In both its waste management and fluid balance functions, your kidneys have to work harder when there’s not enough water. Staying well-hydrated helps decrease the stress on your kidneys, which keeps them working better in the long run.
Hydrate your Skin
Your skin needs moisture to stay healthy, so drinking water is a great way to help keep your skin firm and glowing. A common concern among phentermine users is the loose skin that appears with rapid weight loss, and drinking water can help! The skin is about 30% water, so increasing water intake can increase skin tightness, elasticity and density. While you may not notice much difference if you’re already drinking enough water, proper hydration can make a big difference in your skin if you’ve been feeling dehydrated.
No More Boring Water!
Now that you know more about the benefits of drinking water, hopefully you’re reaching for something refreshing to drink! An ice-cold glass of water is wonderful on a hot day, but sometimes it’s hard to hydrate enough when all you’re drinking is water. Luckily, there’s a wide variety of options if you just know what to look for. Hydrating beverages should ideally be caffeine-free and low in calories. Caffeine is a diuretic so it actually contributes to dehydration, and low or no calorie options are important because liquid calories add up quickly when you’re drinking a lot. With all the hard work you’re putting into your weight loss, empty calories in drinks are the last thing you need! Here are some do’s and don’ts for selecting drinks to keep you hydrated!
Do you have any favorite drinks or tips to stay hydrated? We’d love to hear about them in the comments section below!