Hydration is an overlooked area of “diet” or “health & wellness”. Staying hydrated may be the most important thing you do throughout the day, yes even more important than eating veggies or eating that kale salad.
Rather than writing a long lead up to our tips on hydrating, lets just jump right into it because hydration is one of those things you know but choose to ignore.
Damage done by dehydration:
1. Organ Failure
2. Lose of Muscle Strength- you only need to lose 2 to 4 percent of your body’s water before your muscles begin to lose strength
3. Brain Function- Brain tissue fluid decreases with dehydration, thus reducing brain volume and temporarily affecting cell function.
4. Mood- Even just losing 1% of water volume can affect your mood. So don’t grab a soda or a cup of coffee, its not caffeine, your body wants water!
5. You Stop Peeing and this hurts your cardiovascular system? Once you start to lose water your blood becomes more concentrated and, at a point, this triggers your kidneys to retain water. This causes you to urinate less. The thicker and more concentrated your blood becomes, the harder it is for your cardiovascular system to compensate by increasing heart rate to maintain blood pressure.
How much water should I consume a day? Alright so a study was presented in 2004 by the Institute of Medicine claiming “The adequate water intake for adult men and women is 3.7 and 2.7 liters per day, respectively.”
This varies based on diet, exercise program, activity during the day, and some other factors. Another note, you should consume 80% of your daily water intake through liquid and the other 20% by food.
The best way to hydrate
1. Drum Roll Please…..WATER: Your body craves water, so this is the obvious choice when it comes to hydration. Also, it has zero calories which helps all you fitness buffs out there. “When you feel thirsty, its too late. You are dehydrated”. Don’t wait for your body to crave water, sip it throughout the day and stay hydrated.
Water will help with mental focus, strength, organ function, and SKIN HEALTH.
2. Electrolytes: Electrolytes are minerals in your blood and other body fluids that carry an electric charge. When we sweat, we lose electrolytes, which are minerals found in the blood that help to regulate (among other things) the amount of water in the body.
Studies suggests sports drinks or coconut water can help prolong exercise and rehydrate our bodies because they contain electrolytes. Which water cannot help with. While an ordinary workout may not require electrolyte-replenishing, those participating in longer and more intense periods of exertion, such as running a marathon or going through a particularly intense workout, will benefit from a good dose of electrolytes mid-workout.
3. Fruit: This can be a great source to grab H2O or electrolytes throughout the day. Bananas are known for having high levels of the electrolyte potassium, making them a great option for refueling during an intense workout. Watermelon is another great way to hydrate. Just don’t over do it with the fruit, the high sugar can throw off your diet.
4. Recommended Beverages:
• Coconut Water
• Low Calorie Sports Drinks. Body Armor has a great formula and fewer calories than most brands!
• Fruit Juices
• Vegetable Juices with low sodium
• Low Fat Milk