Saturday, September 27, 2014

Bottoms Up!

I want to chat about hydration today. Seems simple, drink more water and feel better. Right? Surprisingly, it gets more complicated than that (as if we didn’t have enough to worry about already!). Did you know that by the time you feel thirsty you are most likely already dehydrated? I get a lot of questions about how much water is enough, and what types of drinks are best to drink throughout the day to stay hydrated.

So lets start with how much you should be drinking daily. Divide your body weight (in pounds) by 2 and that is how many ounces you should be drinking daily. For example, I weigh 130lb/2 = 65oz of water daily. I find the best way to actually keep tabs on this amount is to pick out a water bottle, and know exactly how many ounces it holds.  Do the math to find out how many refills you should have each day. 

Why is this so important you ask? First, your body is composed of 75% water. All of your organs depend on water to function in one way or another. Water disposes all of the junk out of your body, such as toxins, dead cells, and pollution particles.  Also, water allows the flow of your lymphatic system, improving immunity against illness. It does this by moving white blood cells, electrolytes, and proteins throughout the entire body. In addition, staying hydrated prevents deterioration of your kidneys (people in constant dehydration can be causing kidney disease later in life). Water helps your body circulate blood easier too, dehydration has been linked to poor heart health, because your heart has to pump harder to circulate when dehydrated. Dehydration has also been directly connected to decreased mental concentration and energy level.

Are you thirsty yet? Go grab a glass of water! Notice I said WATER, not Gatorade or juice. Nothing compares to water. If you drink juice or soda all day, you are not hydrating yourself properly. They have added sugars and coloring, which are things your body will need to remove later on. Go easy on yourself and stick with water. If you aren’t a fan of the taste, add some sliced fruits into your water bottle. I love adding strawberries to mine!  Don’t include anything but water into your daily needs discussed earlier.

Note: Some signs of dehydration are thirst and dry mouth, dark colored pee, or lack of pee, dizziness, sluggishness, or inability to focus. In more severe cases you could faint, be confused, or even die. 

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