Everyone knows that drinking water is essential to good health. The direction used to be to drink 8 glasses of water per day. Actually, a good rule of thumb is drinking half of our body weight in ounces per day. Heavy workout? Add some more. Drink a half a pot of coffee this morning? Yup, add even more water. I know, I know..you’ll never be able to drink all that. Keep reading. I’ll give some tips at the end for getting it all in.
Nearly every client that comes to me is walking around in a state of constant dehydration. I know that seems like an exaggeration but it’s true. Our bodies are made up of 60% water. So when we aren’t properly hydrated, our systems and organs can’t function as they should. The symptoms of being mildly dehydrated are things like: thirst, fatigue, dry mouth, darker urine, muscle cramps, cravings, anxiety, headaches/migraines and an inability to concentrate. These symptoms can show up when you are even just a little dehydrated (like 2%!!) The signs of chronic dehydration are: heartburn, joint pain, back pain, constipation, colitis and exercise-induced asthma.
Yikes – you just read that last paragraph and realized I was describing a bunch of stuff you experience regularly, right? It seems so simple yet so many people get halfway through their day and haven’t made the switch from their morning coffee cup to their HydroFlask.
The signs of being mildly dehydrated are things like: thirst, fatigue, dry mouth, darker urine, muscle cramps…headaches/migraines and an inability to concentrate.
Let’s dig a little deeper to WHY you need to focus on getting it in. Besides the symptoms dehydration can cause, it’s what it provides for your body that makes it a critical need. In your body water:
- Improves oxygen delivery to cells
- Transports nutrients
- Maintains healthy skin & joints
- Hydrates your cells
- Cushions bones & joints
- Aids in digestion
- Helps to regulate body temperature
- Removes wastes
- Flushes toxins
- Maintains the normal electrical properties of cells
- Improves cell-to-cell communications
- Supports immune function
I could go on. The list of benefits is pretty extensive. So, here are a few tips and tricks for upping your water intake.
- Add lemon, lime, cucumber, mint, berries. Sometimes a little flavor makes it a little more exciting.
- Find a bottle that you like and that helps you keep track of how much you are drinking. Running around all day? Put it somewhere that you see it and take a swig every time you walk by.
- If you don’t like your tap water or aren’t sure about quality, invest in a good filtration system.
- Get adequate electrolytes – add a pinch of unrefined sea salt (like Redmond’s Real Salt or Himalayan Pink Salt), LMNT electrolytes, or ConcenTrace Mineral drops are all good additions.
- Drink a glass of water upon waking and 30 minutes before each meal. And don’t drink too much water with your meals – it will fill you up and also dilute your stomach acid that you really need for proper digestion. You’ll end up feeling unsatisfied and bloated.
- Take sips. Don’t chug if you can avoid it. This will help to reduce the thousands of trips to the bathroom.
- Finally, at the first sign of any of the symptoms listed above, drink a glass of water!!
So if you are feeling a bit off – start with a big glass of water. Your body will thank you for it!
What are your tips to staying hydrated?? I’d love to hear from you.