HYDRATION: WHAT YOU’RE DOING WRONG


Keeping your body well-watered is important and quite easy – as long as you avoid the common mistakes.


Dehydration happens when you’re losing more water than you take in. It affects your health in many ways – just two percent can already slow down your physical and mental performance.

Water helps the body to do important jobs. Here are a few of them. Water lubricates the joints, cushions the brain, spinal cord, and other sensitive tissues, regulates your temperature, helps maintain blood pressure, is vital for digestion and for cleaning out waste.

DO YOU REALLY NEED 8 GLASSES OF WATER PER DAY?
Ask anyone anywhere how much water you need to drink per day and the answer is likely to be eight to ten glasses. That's not true because the amount depends on many factors, such as weight, age, activity, weather and even height above sea level. The National Academies of Sciences says most people meet their needs by allowing thirst to be their guide.

Urine is a good guide for hydration. Light yellow or straw is the right colour. Darker is probably a sign that you’re dehydrated. Just keep in mind that certain medicines and things like fizzy vitamin tablets can change the colour of urine.

Crystal-clear urine probably means you’re over-hydrated. It’s also bad since it can disturb the balance of electrolytes in your body.

When you’re thirsty, have some water. When you’ve had enough, stop.



DRINK WATER AT ROOM TEMPERATURE
On hot days or after a workout you might be tempted to down a bottle of water. Drinking too much water at one time can overwhelm the kidneys and cause your cells to swell. Most of the water will run straight through as well. Sip the water, drink often and regularly so your body can absorb it better.


Drinking ice-cold water isn’t good. It can stimulate the vagus nerve which can cause shock and cause you to pass out. Cold water also constricts the blood vessels, which makes it harder to hydrate. Water at room temperature is best.

WATER ON AN EMPTY STOMACH
Our bodies don’t absorb water as well as some other drinks, such as milk or fruit juice. The reason is that your body needs macronutrients and electrolytes to do their bit in helping it absorb and retain water. Drink your water with a meal or snack so there are other nutrients present to help with the process.



START THE DAY WITH A GLASS OF WATER
Caffeine is a diuretic (it lets you wee more) but it’s not as bad as we used to believe. An easy way to avoid dehydration is to start the day with a glass of water. You lose body fluids while you sleep, mostly through breathing. You lose even more if you breathe through your mouth, snore or have sleep apnea. A hot or dry room will make you sweat too much and lose even more fluids. That’s why water and then coffee in the morning is a sensible routine.

WORKING OUT WITH WATER
You lose water through sweat and breathing while you exercise. Drinking water afterward is good but also drink water before and during a workout.

THIRST IS OFTEN DISGUISED AS HUNGER
Hunger and thirst can feel very similar so it’s easy to get them confused. If you think you’re starving, first have some water. That way you’ll be sure it’s food you need.

DON’T FORGET THE FOOD…
Fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, watermelon and cucumbers are full of water. They also contain potassium, which helps with hydration. You should get around 20 percent of your fluid from food.

Make sure that at least half of the food on your family’s plate is a combination of fruit and vegetables. Eat fruit slices as heathy, hydrating snacks in between. Eating lots of protein means you’ll need more water for digestion.

LACK OF SODIUM CAN INCREASE THE RISK OF DEHYDRATION​
Sodium is an important electrolyte that helps to deliver water to your body's cells. Too little salt can increase the risk of dehydration. The grittiness on your skin after a good sweat is salt that came out with the water. Unless your doctor has told you to avoid salt, have a salty snack or a drink with electrolytes after a workout.

Sources: www.livestrong.com, www.nutritionnews.abbott, www.thorne.com, thewellnessway.com, www.waterguys.com, The Healing Power of Water by Julia Buxton.


HYDRATION: WHAT YOU’RE DOING WRONG HYDRATION: WHAT YOU’RE DOING WRONG Reviewed by Jet Club on September 13, 2019 Rating: 5

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