For anyone that has vaped long enough, you may have noticed some less-than-pleasant side effects along the way. One of the most common side effects that new vapers face is a dry mouth and throat, cracked lips, and headaches, all of which can be extremely unpleasant.
You may have caught yourself wondering if these, and other symptoms, are signs of dehydration. It can’t be, can it? Could vaping be causing you to become dehydrated?
The quick answer is yes, vaping can and does cause dehydration. This can be made worse by certain factors like using high propylene glycol vape juice, and not drinking enough water. Most of the side effects of vaping dehydration can easily be avoided by implementing certain changes, like knowing when to avoid vaping.
Can Vaping Cause Dehydration?
Yes, vaping can cause dehydration. However, it is worth noting that this is typically only through excessive vaping or chain vaping.
The main mechanism which causes dehydration is the presence of propylene glycol (PG) in most e-liquids.
This substance, used in e-liquid for its throat-hit qualities, is hygroscopic in nature. This means that it attracts water molecules in the mouth to itself, leading to dehydration as these molecules are pulled from your body.
The Signs and Symptoms of Vaping Dehydration
Dehydration from vaping can come with various symptoms. These can be most noticeable in the mouth due to the hygroscopic nature of PG found in e-liquids.
- Dry mouth and throat
- Cracked lips
- Increased thirst
- Decreased sense of taste
- Infrequent, dark-colored urination
- Dry eyes
Is Vaping Dehydration Dangerous?
Dehydration is never something that you want to ignore. Thankfully, vaping-related dehydration is significantly less severe than other forms of dehydration. What’s even better, it can be fairly easily avoided.
If you are experiencing symptoms like headaches, it is a good idea to reduce your vape intake and increase the amount of water being consumed.
Because vaping dehydrates the mouth and throat more than the entire body, it isn’t as dangerous as some of the other more common types of dehydration, such as from exercise and alcohol consumption.
How to Prevent Dehydration from Vaping
Avoiding dehydration is relatively simple, even when it comes to vaping. Here are some of the most important things that you can do to avoid feeling the effects of dehydration when vaping.
1. Drink More Water
You would be hard-pressed to ever find a reason not to drink more water. It can help the body in a host of ways and one such way is by reducing the dehydrating effects of vaping.
Simply ensuring that you have a water bottle next to yourself at all times when vaping can hugely mitigate any potential side effects.
If you feel any of the symptoms of dehydration, one of the first things that you should do is reach for a good ol’ glass of H2O. The first sign will usually be a dry mouth.
2. Avoid Alcohol
This is a no-brainer for most of us.
Drinking alcohol is one of the fastest ways to get yourself dehydrated. Adding vaping on top of this only speeds up and compounds the process.
While it certainly won’t guarantee safety from a hangover or dehydration, drinking water with alcohol can reduce the effects of dehydration. This remains true for vaping while drinking alcohol as well.
It’s also a good idea to take a break from vaping during a night out. Although, that’s easier said than done, especially for social smokers trying to kick the habit through vaping.
3. Reduce Your Caffeine Consumption
Although it is to a lesser degree than alcohol, caffeine also leads to dehydration. One too many cups of coffee alongside your favorite high-PG vape is a recipe for dehydration.
One of the best ways to prevent this one-two combo is to avoid vaping with your morning coffee. Most of us will only have a cup or two to get started in the day, meaning vaping a few hours after these can reduce the risk of dehydration.
4. Rotate Out High PG E-Liquids
Because high PG ratios can worsen the dehydrating effects of vaping, it can be beneficial to swap out for a lower PG substitute if you are feeling the effects more.
This doesn’t have to be a personal change if your favorite vape juice is high PG, but taking a break can certainly help.
Other Side Effects of Vaping
While vaping is certainly much safer than traditional cigarettes, like most things we consume, too much can have side effects.
- Coughing: Coughing is one of the most common side effects of vaping. It can manifest itself in two ways. The first is when just starting out and inhaling too big of a pull, resulting in a reactionary cough. The second is from continuously inhaling large volumes of vapor. This is a common side effect of swapping over to mesh coils.
- Nicotine Addiction: Of course, ingesting an addictive substance like nicotine means you run the risk of getting hooked. A good way to fight these effects is to opt for a lower nicotine e-juice and taper off.
- Shortness of breath: This can occur in the long term and short term. You may notice your fitness is affected slightly directly after taking a drag on your favorite device.
- Soft tissue irritation: Your mouth, nose, and throat are susceptible to drying out from vaping. This can lead to irritation in these delicate areas. This is yet another reason to drink plenty of water when vaping.
When to Avoid Vaping
There are a few reasons you should take a pause on vaping when it comes to dehydration. These can range from self-inflicted Friday night shenanigans to the common cold.
One of the most common times your body can be dehydrated is when you are sick. This ranges from the common cold to a stomach bug. Being sick runs down the body and vaping on top of it can make one of the most common symptoms – dehydration – worse.
Another time is when you are already dehydrated from strenuous activity. This can be from either sports, a heavy workout in the gym, or even sitting by the pool on a hot day. Hot weather can really compound this effect.
As hinted at earlier, it’s also a good idea to put the vape down when you are drinking as the combination of vaping and alcohol can only increase the effects of dehydration.
The bottom line
It may not be the most obvious issue, but vaping does in fact lead to dehydration. It does not have as severe an effect as some other products most of us consume, but if the signs make an appearance then they should not be ignored. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to reduce this the next time you’re feeling any of these effects while vaping.