Anyone who knows me has heard me say, “You need to drink more water!” My go-to diagnosis for fatigue, lightheadedness, mental sharpness, weight gain/loss, constipation and poor skin tone is dehydration. My favorite gift to friends is a Yeti Rambler (it’s pretty, hip and easy to carry and keeps water icy cold). Lots of water, all the time and all will be right with the world.
Why is this news to anyone I always wonder? Our bodies are made up of 55% water and it’s not easy to maintain that level. I’m sure everyone of you has experienced dehydration at one point in your half century on this planet. So why not be mindful and smart about staying hydrated in 2019?
But how much water should you drink? 8 Glasses of water a day is not a myth. But how about twice that amount when you’re exercising heavily, could you drink too much? I did.
I have a dehydration story that transformed my daily life which was the result of over-hydrating which illustrates the delicate balance and dangers of not staying in the zone of hydration. The medical term is Hyponatremia and it happens when you actually drink too much water. I ended up in the hospital after my second 100 mile ride, day 2 actually of a 5 day bike event.
Bloated like I was 5 months pregnant, dizzy with raging diarrhea and the oddest thick feeling on my tongue, I fell asleep shivering only to awake 2 days later in Brattleboro Vermont’s Hospital with an IV in my arm and gash in my tongue. I had a Grand Mal seizure from extremely low sodium levels. My electrolytes had plunged into the danger zone.
I was lucky, I recovered and got back on the bike and I am fine.
But I digress, my point is hydration, and how it affects our overall health.
According to Web MD... “There’s been a real water revolution in this country,” says WebMD Weight Loss Clinic Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LD. “Water is non-caloric, it plumps up your skin, and it hydrates your muscles. Water is the staff of life, and now it’s everywhere. It’s very socially acceptable to walk around with water bottles, sucking on them.”
Most of the body’s water is in the intracellular fluid (2/3 of the body’s water). The other third is in the extracellular fluid (1/3 of the water).
The amount of water varies, depending on the organ. Much of the water is in blood plasma (20% of the body’s total). According to a study performed by H.H. Mitchell, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the amount of water in the human heart and brain is 73%, the lungs are 83%, muscles and kidneys are 79%, the skin is 64%, and the bones are around 31%.
So it shouldn’t be a surprise that staying properly hydrated should be a daily mantra for all of us in 2019.
And did you know that the benefits of staying hydrated is the gift that keeps on giving. Here’s what you can expect….
- Water for weight loss… Water boosts your metabolism and can help with belly fat.
- Water for skin tone, wrinkles and cellular health….
- Staying regular.. If you have less than 3 bowel movements a week then click here….
- Better brain function…Read this great piece in Psychology Today If you hate to drink water…. then check out these foods that keep you hydrated….suggested by MedExpress
1. Start your day with oatmeal. This one is a classic. Not only is it hearty and filling, oatmeal is also very hydrating. When oats are cooking, they expand and absorb the water or milk they’re being paired with. Not into warm breakfasts when it’s hot out? Try overnight oats. Served cold, overnight oats pack all the benefits of hot oatmeal with no heat. As an added boost, sprinkle chia seeds in your overnight oats when preparing, which soak up 10 times their weight in extra liquid and keep you full all morning.
2. Include more moo. According to a study by McMaster University, milk is more hydrating than water or sports drinks due to its source of protein, carbohydrates, calcium, and electrolytes.3 Bring it on!
3. Try carb alternatives. When it comes to meal planning, ditch dry, carb heavy staples like pasta. Opt for zucchini noodles, or zoodles for short, which can contain about 95 percent water. When paired with a tomato sauce, which usually has about 90 percent water, this meal can pack a hydrating and healthy punch.
4. Sip smoothies. Between the yogurt and all the fresh fruit, smoothies are a great, and tasty, way to stay hydrated. Not sure what fruits and vegetables to pick? Strawberries, peaches, cucumbers, spinach, and blueberries are all excellent options.
5. Pack your plate with vegetables. Much like smoothies, salads are a great way to give you a hydrating boost. Most lettuce greens contain at least 94 percent water, and that’s before you add any other vegetables. Next time you whip up a salad, include celery, tomatoes, bell peppers, and carrots.
6. Slurp soup. When the craving strikes for a filling and hydrating meal, look no further than broth-based soups or gazpacho. Served cold, gazpacho won’t make you break a sweat come summer. Blend cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, and garlic cloves for this satisfying soup.
7. Freeze your fruit. Feeling nostalgic about the popsicles you used to enjoy as a child? Bring back this classic treat as a delicious way to rehydrate. Blend a hydrating ingredient like watermelon and fill Popsicle molds and freeze for 1 hour.