Water, water everywhere but not a drop to spare???

It’s coming for us, believe it or not (if you have snow on the ground you might not believe it) Summer is almost here! *Dun Dun Dun*  Seriously in a few more months we will start to feel the heat.  Here in Vegas we are already getting in the 80’s.  So with the heat coming let’s review some of the reasons why it’s important to stay hydrated and what to stay hydrated with. Let me throw out my disclaimer and get it out of the way, shall we?  I am not a doctor or any type of physician or nurse.  I am also not a dietician so if you have specific medical needs in regard to water intake, please refer to them for help.  For ways to contact them check out my disclaimers page where I have some links.

Now to get on with it, when we get thirsty there are a great deal of people that reach for a variety of fluids.  They go for the “ades”, soda, coffee, and juices in an effort to quench their thirst.  It’s not that these are the worst choices in the world and despite what Mayor Bloomburg feels free choice comes in here.  The problem becomes when we choose these options and leave out water completely.  So here are a few tips or thoughts to ponder before reaching for that drink.

  1. Soda, “ades”, juices, some coffee and tea drinks some with a ton of added sugars.  Honestly although I might not completely agree with the approach of the Mayor of New York I hope he brought some awareness to how much extra sugar we drink.  You want to lose weight take a look at the labels on your drinks, you might just be drinking your caloric intake away.
  2. Kidney health is impacted by what we take into our bodies.  If you have compromised kidneys many of those fluids are high in sodium as well as sugar.  Let’s face it we really don’t need to add more sodium to our diets.  Again your medical professionals are a good place to go here for some guidance.
  3. There are a lot of health benefits to water.  It is thought that it can help with issues of inflammation by lubricating and cushioning joints.  It helps us to keep our body temperature normal; protects our spinal column and other sensitive tissues; and it well *ahem* keeps things flowing in our waste disposal. (CDC on water)
  4. It helps to prevent dehydration, which is no laughing matter.  If you are drinking a lot of caffeinated drinks, caffeine is a diuretic so really you are more likely to pee out more fluids than you can take in.  In mild cases of dehydration you will start to feel energy loss or tired and sleepy (funny that is when most of us turn to caffeine).  You might also feel an intense thirst and a dry sticky mouth.  On the worse side you stop sweating, peeing, being able to cry, become delirious, run a fever, and oh yeah you can DIE. (Mayo clinic on dehydration.)

So the next logical question is how much should I drink?  Maybe not the written or old spoken rule of 64 ounces a day.  Really how much you drink depends on body weight, activity level, environment, and any medical conditions.  A general rule (I picked this up from my nutrition peeps) is .5-1 ounce a day per pound of body weight.  Again this could vary and shouldn’t be done all at once.  *IMPORTANT*  If you have specific medical needs, medications, or conditions it could be different for you as well.  So please check with your doctor first, dietitian, or certified trainer.

From personal experience I can also tell you moving to a different environment will change things too.  You have to be aware of how it may make it different.  I grew up in a very humid environment and moved to a desert.  I was used to feeling the sweat as a signal that I needed water.  Well in the desert where there is very little humidity the sweat evaporates quickly.  I let myself get dehydrated a bit much before I caught on.  I had to change up my workouts and be much more mindful as a result.

So the question of the night is, if you don’t drink much water why and how might you change that?  If you have changed it maybe you can give some tips on how you did it.  For me it started off with adding lemon.  Now I seriously have to get off of here, because writing this has made me really thirsty, LOL!

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