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Women's Health (South Africa) - - BACK TO BASICS -

The rea­son de­hy­dra­tion af­fects us more than men? “It’s be­cause of low­ered blood vol­ume,” ex­plains Dr Stacy Sims, an ex­er­cise phys­i­ol­o­gist. “When your oe­stro­gen and pro­ges­terone lev­els are high [dur­ing the luteal/pre­men­strual phase of your cy­cle], you lose around eight per­cent of plasma vol­ume – that’s the wa­tery part of the blood.” And the higher pro­ges­terone lev­els also cause a rest­ing rise in core body tem­per­a­ture, which can make you start to feel tired sooner, as well as de­crease your tol­er­ance for heat. That’s where sodium or salt lev­els come into play. Sodium helps trans­port wa­ter into the blood, but those el­e­vated pro­ges­terone lev­els make this harder. Pro­ges­terone fights for the same re­cep­tors as al­dos­terone (the hor­mone re­spon­si­ble for reg­u­lat­ing sodium), which in­creases the amount of sodium your body kicks out. And if you’re on the Pill or other hor­monal birth con­trol, the oe­stro­gen and pro­ges­terone in your sys­tem can be as much as six to eight times higher. Feel­ing thirsty yet?

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