Gulp….Gulp… Aaaaaaah!

28 Nov

Following this weekend’s Shenanigans, I’m still feeling a little bit dehydrated this morning.  Anybody who knows me knows that I drink water in quantities that would rival those of a camel (though my bladder is comparable to that of a skittish puppy) and I am never without my water bottle.

Sadly, 75% of North Americans are living in a state of chronic dehydration.  Go figure, since we have some of the most accessible clean water on the planet!  Some people may blame a lack of information, but I find it hard to believe that 3/4 of our population have never heard the words “drink 8 glasses of water per day”.  Maybe they just don’t understand the value of these words.

Two thirds of our bodies are made of water and they are in constant need of replenishment.  Just as a plant will shrivel up and die if you stop watering it, the same is true to the human body.  Water helps to regulate the body’s temperature, aids in digestion, elimination, circulation, joint lubrication, enables the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to cells, and maintain proper metabolism….. amongst other things.

You DO need to drink water and no, coffee/juice/pop are NOT water equivalents!  Sorry.  Whatever site or article or “friend” told you that is either misinformed, or is lying to you.  Caffeinated drinks contain diuretics, which cause the body to actually lose water.

 Quick Facts:

-For every 1% your cells are dehydrated, they lose 10% of their power to produce energy

-Most of the time people think they’re hungry, they’re actually just thirsty!  The hypothalamus controls both hunger and thirst, so it sends the same signal regardless of which you are experiencing.

– You will know if you’re drinking enough when your urine is very pale or clear.  Dark urine indicates that your kidneys are working too hard to concentrate the urine.

-You can live without food for several weeks, but less than 1 week without water

Symptoms of Dehydration:

You may be dehydrated if you begin experiencing dry mouth, dizziness, nausea, heart palpitations, weakness, decreased urinary output, and cramps.  But don’t just wait until your mouth feels dry to start drinking water – by that point you’ve waited too long and damage has already been done to your body’s cells, resulting in the current symptoms.  If you are consistently ignoring your body’s cries for hydration, you put yourself at risk of developing more serious conditions that are caused by chronic dehydration.  Some of these complications include, but are not limited to: fatigue, depression, kidney stones, ulcers, digestive disorders (acid reflux, heartburn, constipation), headaches and migraines, high/low blood pressure, osteoporosis and joint pain, respiratory issues (allergies, asthma) weight gain (obesity, diabetes, water retention), eczema and acne, and UTI’s).

Water Consumption Requirements:

100lbs – 50oz

150lbs – 65oz

200lbs – 70oz

Another quick-and-dirty rule is to drink half your bodyweight (in lbs) in ounces of water per day.  For example, I weigh 125lbs so I should drink 62oz.

And remember, if you’re active you should drink extra water before exercise, during (at least 1L for every hour of exercise), and after your workout.

Tips For How To Drink More:

As with everything health and fitness related, consistency is key; you cannot drink gallons of water one day then none the next, and simply chugging back a few glasses after reading this post will not make up for your previous weeks or even years of deprivation.  Moreover, it is highly unlikely that a person who is so used to dehydrating themselves will suddenly and drastically change their behaviours.  Therefore, start slowly.  I don’t mean that you should limit yourself, I just mean that making small changes to your water consumption will go much further than trying to do too much all at once.  Here are some easy first steps:

-Make a point of drinking water at these crucial points in your day: when you first wake up in the morning, with every meal/snack, and before bed.  If you can do that, you’ll be getting at least 5 of your 8 daily glasses of water!

-Switch 1 of your non-water beverages (coffee, juice, soda) to water every day.

-Tea counts!  If you really don’t like the taste of water, try drinking tea instead.  You can drink it hot or cold and there are hundreds of flavours to choose from.

-Again, if you don’t like the plain flavor, consider adding cut up fruit to your water.  You don’t have to stick to the classic lemon/lime either – try strawberries, blueberries, watermelon, or oranges.

*A note about calorie-free flavored bottled water: these drinks are full of chemicals that make it possible to basically drink juice without any guilt.  Personally, I would stay far far away from them.  It would be better to take in those extra few calories by adding fruit to your water than to pump your body full of those horrible toxins.

-Carry a bottle full of fresh water with you ALWAYS!  If it’s there, you’re more likely to drink it.

-Next time you think you’re hungry, drink a glass of water first and wait 5 minutes before reaching for a snack.  If after that time you’re still hungry, then by all means!  No harm done.  If it turns out you were just thirsty, you’ve just saved yourself a bunch of calories 😉




4 Responses to “Gulp….Gulp… Aaaaaaah!”

  1. getfitwithles November 28, 2011 at 2:56 pm #

    What a coincidence! I wrote about the importance of drinking water today too!! WEIRD!! Great info though 🙂

    • Tess and Jess November 28, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

      Whoooaaa! I swear I didn’t copy you lol. Well, hopefully if we bombard the internet with this information more people will start drinking water haha.

  2. A Fine balance November 29, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

    I adore water. But there are days where I just cant drink it – not because I dont want to but because I can’t spend most of my day running back and forth from the bathroom : (

    Love fresh fruit in my water though I am a classic Lemon/lime girl 🙂

    • Tess and Jess November 29, 2011 at 3:45 pm #

      (Tess) Nisara, I feel ya – on days that I’m going to be taking long car rides I sadly have to restrict my water intake because it’s like every 30 minutes that I have to go otherwise 😦 Thank goodness I don’t take many road trips!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: