Of all of the nutrients you consume every day, water is arguably the most important. Without water, the body cannot absorb, or properly utilize, other nutrients.
An estimated 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. Often, hydration levels are low towards the end of the day – and while playing catch-up helps a little, the problem is that the body can only absorb about one 8oz glass of water per hour – everything else is lost.
In addition to not taking in enough water, we lose water constantly. Breathing, sweating, and waste elimination are three normal ways your body loses water. And when you’re sick, vomiting and diarrhea can lead to rapid dehydration.
A 2% drop in hydration can literally cause shrinkage of the brain – with affects like decreased concentration and focus, sluggish thinking and mental fog as well as headaches.
Physically, the affects of dehydration can be quite severe. As with the brain, just a 2% drop in water levels can lead to sudden and unpleasant affects like decreased reaction times and balance, fatigue, poor endurance, a dramatic loss of strength, muscle, poor recovery from exercise, dry, tight and flaky skin, joint pain, thickening of the blood and poor immune function. The digestive system is severely impacted by dehydration, too. There is also a very strong correlation between weight gain and dehydration.
Most people know they should drink 6 to 8, 8-ounce glasses of water each day. However, different people need different amounts of water to stay hydrated. If your urine is usually colorless or light yellow, you are well hydrated. If your urine is a dark yellow or amber color, you may be dehydrated.
Also, be aware of what you are drinking: coffee, tea, beer, soda, juice and energy drinks can be part of your daily water intake, but be careful of too much caffeine, sugar, or alcohol. Certain foods are high in water, so seek those out if you have the urge to snack: oranges, grapes, celery, cucumber, watermelon and tomatoes make great nutritious snacks.
Tips for staying hydrated
Make it delicious! Add a squeeze of lemon or lime to still or sparkling water, for a healthy and refreshing drink that helps cleanse your body while keeping you hydrated. You can also fill a pitcher with fresh fruit, and infuse flavors into your water.
Start early! Drink a full glass of water with lemon first thing in the morning to jump-start your metabolism and start the day off fresh, invigorated and you’ll feel less need to have coffee to get started!
Keep it easy! If it’s too much bother to go make yourself a drink, you may not do it – so keep a bottle or glass of water at your workspace, right in sight, so you are reminded to drink often.
Hydrate from the outside too! Apply a hydrating moisturizer within 2 minutes of leaving the bath or shower. The skin is still porous and is vulnerable to products applied following the bath or shower, allowing better absorption. Prior to your moisturizer, apply a product containing hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid holds 1,000 times its weight in water, thus attracting water to the skin and holding it there.
Be kind to your body and soul and book some me time. Bliss on Broadway offers full service treatments for your skin, body and mind. Call us at 562-439-4333. http://www.blissonbroadway.com/