It sneaks up on you. You’re running around, doing chores or errands, trying to remember everything that you have to remember. And somehow, if you’re like me and so many others, one thing you can’t seem to lock into your brain is to drink enough water, every day. Chronic dehydration has become the perpetual condition of your status quo.
I guess the one good thing about that is that you aren’t warming the toilet seat as often. But considering the downsides to dehydration, not really a good thing. I mean, you need lots of water for all kinds of functions.
YOUR BODY, IT’S FLUIDS & 5 IMPORTANT FUNCTIONS
- According to Harvard Health, fluids flush the toxins out of our systems for one. And considering all the pesticides and herbicides that get used on our food, plus the ones we inhale and a thousand other ‘not-goodies’ everywhere, there’s a lot to flush.
- Fluids carry nutrients to every cell in our bodies. And nutrients means healthy, happy cells which means a stronger, healthier you.
- Helps you perform better physically. Fluids reduce fatigue, improve endurance, lower your maximum heart rate and you’re less sore after you’ve gotten some exercise.
- Drinking enough water also helps you think clearer.
- Prevents constipation.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF DEHYDRATION?
You don’t actually need to be a doctor to spot the signs of dehydration thank goodness. And by the way, don’t rely on your sense of thirst either. Because as you get older, you won’t actually notice as easily that you’re thirsty. That’s why it’s really important to figure out a system and develop a habit of drinking your daily requirement.
Other than thirst, feeling kind of wobbly and light headed are signs. Dizziness and confusion too. You’d feel any or all of those because dehydration typically makes your blood pressure drop. Dark urine in the toilet is a sure sign too.
But there’s also one other sign that may or may not affect you but is something to watch out for. And this I learned from personal experience. I had a day a few months back, where I couldn’t seem to get enough hand lotion on. Sure, I’d been hand washing a lot of dishes that day, but it just seemed that no matter how many times I used something on them, they were still heavily creased and the skin felt weirdly stiff.
DEHYDRATION, DESERT GUY AND MY WRINKLY FINGERS…
It reminded me of an episode of CSI Las Vegas. They’d found a body of someone who’d lain in the desert for a long time and his skin was all dried out. Kind of naturally mummified. In order to get an ID, they had to soak his hard, leathery hands to get them to plump up so that they could get a finger print. My finger tips looked like desert guy’s.
But it didn’t make sense at that point to imagine that soaking them in some more water, would make the situation any better. What I did figure out, brilliant mind that I am, is that I was probably dehydrated. Not too difficult a conclusion to come to, mind you. Thinking back, besides my morning coffee and the little bit of soy milk on my tiny bowl of cereal, I couldn’t really say with any kind of certainty, that I’d actually had any water at all.
Over the next few hours, I drank a tall glass of water every hour. By the time the fourth one was in the rear view mirror for an hour at least, my finger tips had returned to a far more normal, plump and almost creaseless state. So yeah folks! Drink your water! It’s amazing how easy it is to forget! Besides, if it’s doing that to the skin on your fingers, think what it’s doing to the delicate thin skin on your face? Scary thought isn’t it? How much older do you look because dehydration has become your friend?
AVOIDING DEHYDRATION HAS SOME GREAT BENEFITS…
While you can get your fluids from a variety of sources, you’ll enjoy the benefits of hydration no matter where it comes from.
- Drinking enough water makes it easier to lose weight and especially if you do it just before each meal.
- Your thinking is clearer! And there’s not one of us who can’t benefit from that.
- Improves your mood (your family will love you for staying well hydrated in view of this benefit I think).
- Protects your vision.
- Prevents disease and headaches. Diseases prevented would include kidney stones, UTI’s, coronary heart disease and a few other ‘not-goodies’.
- Water is integral to the structure of your cells. So lack of water might be equated to trying to build a house with less wood than is actually required. You can get a structure ‘up’, but how safe (or in this case, healthy), would that be?
- Fluids are a solvent for your body’s chemical reactions.
- You want to transport the waste at the cellular level, to it’s proper destination so that you can get rid of it.
- You’ll perform physical tasks better. You won’t get as tired as quickly, your endurance is improved and your heart functions better. Also, after you do get some exercise, you’ll be less sore so your recovery time is improved.
- It’s also easier to maintain your body temperature.
- And your blood pressure is lower.
SO HOW MUCH WATER SHOULD YOU BE DRINKING?
Here’s the thing. Your body is about 60% water. And with all that it does for you, it’s important to keep your levels topped up always. So you ladies need to drink 2.2 litres per day while your guy should be drinking 3 litres.
But that just takes us right back to the problem of making sure we actually do it eh? So this is where you need to come up with some strategies to make sure it happens.
STRATEGIES TO AVOID DEHYDRATION AND ALL THE NEGATIVES!
TRACK YOUR INTAKE
Get yourself either a 2 litre pitcher or better yet, check out some of the really cool water bottles that you can order through Amazon even the housewares department of your local supermarket.
- A two litre jug that you fill up every morning is an idea you could try. Get through that in a day and you know you’re doing good. I came across this insulated water bottle from Amazon and it’s actually pretty cool. Comes in 7 gorgeous colours, is insulated, BPA free and at 64 ounces, is just shy of 2 litres. It has a convenient handle for carrying it but that folds down and out of the way if you’re just using it in the house.
- On the other hand, if you’re wanting to get out and about, maybe something a little more streamlined would work better for your lifestyle. Something like this 24 ounce Thermos Intak bottle might be just the thing. Also in gorgeous colours and with a non slip grip, it’s also BPA free and dishwasher safe. Active people will love the easy opening and well designed hygienic sipper lid that opens with one hand. It also has a rotating meter that helps you monitor your daily water consumption.
USING AN APP ON YOUR PHONE
. – My husband does this. He enters how much water he wants to be drinking each day and then the app basically just reminds him periodically, to get another glass of water. It also has a breakdown of the kinds of beverages you might choose like plain water, coffee, fruit juice, sports drinks, etc. When he’s done that, he just checks off what kind of drink it was. And when he reaches his quota, the app will restart the next day.
SETTING UP A SIMPLE ALARM ON YOUR PHONE
– Or you could use that old alarm clock that you’ve had stashed in the back of a drawer. Just something to remind you that ‘it’s time again’.
VISIT THE BATHROOM, THEN GET ANOTHER GLASS OF WATER
– follow up every visit to the bathroom with another drink of water. Consistency here means that you’re replacing what you just go rid of. Avoiding dehydration becomes just a little more automatic by developing this as a habit.
START EACH MORNING WITH A TALL GLASS OF WATER
– then have your coffee. According to WebMD even that coffee is a source of hydration despite it’s being a diuretic. So first water, then coffee…..and now your day can begin right! ,
EAT MORE FRUIT AND VEGGIES
– Fruits are always a great source of water. Oranges, watermelon, cantaloupe, anything that’s going to leave you sloppy and messy fingered when you eat them is a great choice. It all counts. And that includes things like cucumbers and potatoes, peppers and lettuce and well, just about anything that grows in a garden. There’s water in all of those and they also, all count.
A SIP OR TWO WHEN YOU BRUSH YOUR TEETH
– Try and get in the habit of brushing, rinsing, spitting and then a little sip of water. Just one more opportunity to avoid dehydration.
IMPROVE THE FLAVOUR OF YOUR WATER
– by dropping a slice of lime or lemon in your bottle. Geeze, there are so many wonderful fruits that you could try, like slices of kiwi or oranges or strawberry halves….use your imagination. The whole point is to make your water so yummy, that you can’t help but drink more and more and more!
COCONUT WATER, SPORTS DRINKS OR PLAIN WATER? WHICH IS BETTER?
Coconut water has become very popular as a rehydrating drink. Besides being 95% water, it’s also a great source of potassium, Vitamin C and a bunch of other antioxidants and much less sodium than the sports drinks contain. There have to be more studies done, but so far it’s suggested by University Health News Daily , that the potassium in coconut water might be very effective at controlling high blood pressure.
In a small study, 8 healthy men had exercised strenuously for an extended period and during the heat of the day. They worked out until they actually lost about 3% of their body weight from sweating. Afterwards, two hours rest and they each drank, either a typical sports drink or fresh young coconut water or plain water.
DIFFERENCES THOUGH SMALL, WERE NOTICEABLE…
While the differences in the outcome were pretty small, it was possible to to see that the guys drinking the coconut water were more completely rehydrated than any in the other two groups. Surprisingly, that benefit was increased even further when a tiny smidgen of sodium was added to the coconut water. Another good thing they found was that those who drank it mentioned less nausea and fullness from their drinks. In order of best effects, the coconut water worked best. Next was the sports drink and the plain water was the least effective.
THERE ARE SOME WHO SHOULD BE CAUTIOUS ABOUT COCONUT WATER.
Drinking water throughout the day is a must for avoiding dehydration in the first place. But it seems coconut water might be better at rehydrating you if you’ve accidentally let it go too far. Besides, it’s also a natural drink without the excessive sodium and sugars that the sports drinks have and it’s always good to choose ‘as natural as possible’ don’t you think?
All that being said, there are some folks who should be cautious about drinking it. If you’re pregnant, already have low blood pressure or are prone to kidney stones? Not a good idea. Or any other kinds of kidney problems or cystic fibrosis or are planning on surgery soon. It seems that it’s ability to lower blood pressure and it’s high levels of potassium are the problems for some of you. If you have any of those or really any kinds of health issues, check with your doctor before you use coconut water.
THERE HAS BEEN SOME RESEARCH, BUT….
It’s always better to be safe than sorry right? And in the case of coconut water, it seems that there’s still a need for more research, although the impression I got from my reading is that it looks promising. Unfortunately, some things move at the speed of molasses on a cold night in November. This is probably one of them. So don’t just stock up at Costco and start pounding them back because ‘it’s a natural product’. If your health is compromised at the get go, then definitely check first okay?
And that’s my case for you and me both, to make sure we start drinking enough water! I don’t mind using guilt on us at all. If you love your body, be kind to it and go eat a cucumber. Or drink some strawberry water. Personally, as I’ve been writing here, I’ve obviously been reminded and I’m doing a good job today. And I’m thinking postive thoughts for tomorrow! Whatever the case, I’d love to hear what you’ve got to say! Do you have a system that works for you? Share your thoughts and let me know what you think. In the meantime, be safe, be kind and enjoy your day wherever you are!
As always, I will remind you that I’m not a medical doctor. I’ve spent the last 20 years focusing on and learning to ‘grow’ my own health however. And that’s what I’m sharing here. All of it based on my own experiences and also the things that I’ve learned from the real experts! Those are the researchers and doctors who’ve seen the actual patients, worked in the labs and write the medical reports that are sprinkled throughout these posts.
My goal is to motivate and help you find your best way to live a healthier and more peaceful life. But I suggest strongly that you talk over any changes in your routines, with your doctor. This would include changes to your exercise routines and any medications you might be taking or other supplements.
And lastly, this blog and each post may contain affiliate links. That means that if you buy something through them, I’ll receive a commission, at no extra cost to you.