Thank you so much to Karoline Gore for the freelance contribution!
Are You Dehydrated?
We can’t survive more than three or four days without water, but even during our daily lives, we suffer symptoms from a loss of only 1 to 2 per cent of our body’s water, usually without realizing it. And it’s more common than you might think. The next time you’re feeling stressed, more tired than usual, experiencing a headache or slight fever that seems to come on out of nowhere, try an alternative to taking an aspirin or a nap: these are all signs of dehydration, and clues to remind you to drink, drink, drink.
The body and the water bottle
Think of your body like a giant water bottle. Seriously. Your lungs are 83% water, and your brain and heart are 73%. Your skin is made up of over 60% water, and even your bones are made up of more than 30%. Overall, you are approximately 60% water. So, if you don’t want to melt away like the Wicked Witch of the West, you’d best start replacing what your busy life has your body dripping out. It’s all about recycling… yourself.
Water loss and consumption
Even as you breathe, your body puts out water, so the key is to hydrate continually. Between 9 and 13 cups a day is required for adults, with 11 cups being the average to replenish your system if you’re highly active. It’s good practice to drink before your workout, even the night before if you know you are going to exercise in the morning, as we generally wake up dehydrated. There are all kinds of bottled waters to choose from, those with vitamins added or natural fruit flavorings to keep your taste buds from going to sleep. Consider a drink of Pedialyte (no, it’s not just for kids) with added electrolytes to kick start your engine, especially after a strong workout.
You can eat your water too
There are a lot of foods that quench your system – and not just watermelon, although watermelon is over 90% water and packed with nutrients. Most fruits are a good source of hydration, especially strawberries and cantaloupe, as well as vegetables like cucumbers and lettuce. Mix up a vitamin rich smoothie loaded with all kinds of goodies for your overall health. The added flavor treat might just give you the energy you’ve been hoping for to do those things on your wish list – take a dance class, create a home garden, prepare more of your own food, or even stay up a bit longer to read that juicy novel.
The best approach to staying hydrated is to keep water around you and make a habit of drinking throughout the day. It’s easy to forget, so if you have a smartphone, get it in the loop with a water drinking App that can keep track of your intake and give you a friendly reminder to drink drink drink.