Staying Hydrated

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Posted by gilly

With summer in full swing in this area of the hemisphere the topic of hydration is one of vital importance. Soaring temperatures, combined with excessive sweating, and inadequate water consumption can cause serious problems. But did you know that dehydration is not simply a summer phenomenon? Any situation in which the body's delicate water equilibrium is disturbed can cause serious problems. Here are some hints on beating the heat (or the cold) and keeping you H20 levels on the mark.

  • Start your day with a glass of water - before doing anything else. A common habit is to have a coffee first thing in the morning - however, as a diuretic, coffee may put your body into a hydration deficit. (Alcohol is also a diuretic)

  • Drink liquids throughout the day, whether you are thirsty or not. Thirst is not always an adequate indicator of your level of hydration. In fact, by the time you realize you are thirsty, you are often already in the early stages of dehydration.

  • Water is best your best bet, however juice, milk, soups, herbal teas, and juicy fruits and vegetables (think watermelon, lettuce, cucumbers, apples, celery) all contribute to hydrating the body.

  • If you have a hard time consuming liquids - keep these in mind:

    • People are more apt to consuming beverages they like. If plain water is too plain, add a slice of lemon, or cucumber for extra taste. If you cannot manage with this, use some of the ideas above.

    • Many people do better to consume liquids that are cool - not ice cold. Find the temperature you enjoy most.

  • Enjoy refreshing liquids at every meal.

  • Be sure to drink lots of fluids in the time leading up to exercise - particularly in hot weather, or activities in which you may sweat a lot (skiing, swimming, etc.). Continue to drink fluids during your exercise routine.

  • If you exercise for more than 1 hour at a time, you may need to intake sports drinks or other solutions to balance both water and electrolyte loss.

  • Often times, headaches, nausea, fatigue, and infrequent urination are signs of dehydration - don't ignore these cues.

  • Be careful to balance your liquid consumption with a snack now and then. Although not as common, too much liquid in relation to salt in your system (hyponetremia) can cause serious problems (this is where ingesting electrolyte solutions such as sports drinks comes into play).

  • Have a drink before bedtime - many people lose water in sweat overnight.

I hope this helps you to stay hydrated! Until next time I wish you health, happiness and balance!

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This Post was written by gilly from Humble Pie


Thanks for this Gilly. Such a good point. I never drink enough water so the more tips the better for how I can up my intake. Unfortunately I've passed this bad habit on to my children so I'm now having to work on them to drink more. Thankfully they don't like fizzy drinks and have never had tea or coffee.

July 5, 2007 at 5:22:00 PM GMT+2  

Gilly, these are just wonderful tips. Although I do watch that I live a healthy life I know my weakness lies in drinking the right amounts of liquids throughout the day. Then in the evening I realize I should have taken more liquid to me and try to make up for it. Not very good!! But these tips are very helpful and my new weeks resolution (sure we can have these) is to follow these guidelines.


Meeta K. Wolff said...
July 10, 2007 at 8:45:00 AM GMT+2  

Thank you for this post! While I personally don't think coffee is a much stronger diuretic than pure water is, switching to tea or herbal teas in the summer is definitely lighter on your stomach (and you will drink more automatically!).
I always keep a glass or a bottle of water close to my bed - never start your day dehydrated!

July 10, 2007 at 11:28:00 AM GMT+2  

What do you know about those little drink mix packets that are made for the ubiquitous 8oz water bottles? Crystal Light and Propel and Kool-Aid, as well as others make them. You have to read the box for information on sugar, but some of them don't seem too bad.

Glenn Blakney said...
July 17, 2007 at 7:39:00 PM GMT+2  

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