Water is so important. In fact, it’s so crucial for human life that we cannot survive without it! Every cell, tissue and organ in the body needs water to work efficiently. Without enough water, poor health is quickly on the horizon. There are a number of essential actions that water does for the body, including; regulating body temperature, transporting nutrients and electrical signals to cells, lubricating the joints and flushing out toxins and wastes. A mere 5% drop in the body’s water levels can cause a 30% loss of energy.
Symptoms of dehydration include little or no urine, or urine that is darker that usual + headaches, dry skin, fatigue & constipation. Even mild levels of dehydration can cause the metabolism to slow down by 3%. When you’re dehydrated, toxins are reabsorbed by the body, stressing your liver and eventually weakening your immune system. And, water is especially important while cleansing or after intense sweat sessions!
To stay properly hydrated, aim to drink 1⁄2 your body weight in oz. daily. This will help to keep your body systems regulated. Don’t like the taste of water? Add lemon or lime! You can also add cut cucumbers, watermelon and fresh mint leaves.
Aim to drink 1⁄2 your body weight in oz. of h20 daily. If this is your goal, you’ll surely be hydrated (as most of us don’t end up hitting that daily target!) Carry a large water bottle with you whenever possible. When traveling or on the go, try your best to drink out of glass water bottles! Avoid plastic water bottles, as most contain BPA’s that disrupt hormones and endocrine function.
While water is important to stay healthy and hydrated, the quality of water is often overlooked. Today’s water is treated, however, and some harmful chemical and pollutants along with heavy metals and various fertilizers get past the treatment process. Chlorine levels in water have also been shown to decrease vitamin E levels in the body and destroy beneficial intestinal flora. Filtering tap water with a high-quality filter is helpful & there are several companies that offer monthly deliveries of mineral-rich spring water in glass bottles.
Many fruits are more than 90% water. For example, watermelon and strawberries are 92% water. Other hydrating fruits include grapefruit cantaloupe and peaches. Eating fruit with high-water content may hydrate you twice as effectively as a glass of water because of the natural sugars, mineral salts, amino acids, and vitamins that are present. Veggies like cucumbers and lettuce have water content of 96%, while vegetables like zucchini, radish, celery, tomatoes, cauliflower, cabbage, and spinach fall just behind that.
Water alone doesn’t always mean optimum hydration. Electrolytes play an important role, as they are responsible for fluid regulation, muscle contraction, our heartbeat, and nerve function. Electrolytes can be naturally found in coconut water and sea vegetables as they contain high levels of calcium, chloride, potassium, magnesium, and sodium. A small pinch of mineral-rich Himalayan salt can also be added to water for an electrolyte boost.
Soup is essentially just seasoned water with an array of ingredients. The canned stuff, however, is often over seasoned, extremely high in sodium, and often loaded with “less-than-nutritious” ingredients. Try making your own, it’s easy to do and allows you to include as many hydrating vegetables as you’d like!
Coffee, tea, and energy drinks are diuretics, which increase urine flow and flush water from the body, eventually leading to dehydration. Most OTC’s, pharmaceutical drugs & recreational drugs have a similar effect.
Alcohol is a natural diuretic that depletes your cells of water. This eventually leads to dehydration (hence the “hangover” headache the following morning.)
Drinks with a high-sugar content can increase water loss in your body. Sugary drinks create an acidic environment that can impair enzyme function and decrease your body’s water storage capacity.
If you’re on a high protein diet, you may end up dehydrated if you don’t increase your water intake. The body has to use more water to metabolize the naturally occurring nitrogen in protein, and cells can become water-depleted. Pay extra attention to cured meats, like bacon and ham, because of the extra salt they contain, which further dehydrates.
Salty foods increase fluid loss in your body because extra water is needed flush all of the extra sodium. Foods like soy sauce, popcorn, sausages and fried foods, should be carefully consumed. Plus, most processed and packaged foods have a very high-sodium content.