7 Things You Didn’t Know About Hydration
Holy July, it’s hot. Thus, we thought it would be a perfect time to talk about water, our body’s liquid life force! Nothing is more refreshing than a sip of crisp, crystal clear water on a hot summer’s day and it’s no doubt our bodies appreciate the refill. Hundreds of physical and chemical processes depend on water— body temperature regulation, lubrication of joints and organs, transportation of oxygen and nutrients to cells, and the list goes on. But when it comes to hydration habits, we want to fill you in on a few pointers! So sit back, have a drink (of water, that is), and learn how you might be able to further influence your health with the tilt of a glass.
- It Can Promote Productivity
Running out of steam? We encourage you to check your hydration status! Studies indicate that even mild dehydration can lead to a large drop in energy and may also have an impact on short-term memory, cognitive performance, alertness, and concentration. So drink up to prevent a foggy brain and encourage maximum performance - after all, water is our liquid life force, not coffee or energy drinks! Tip: It’s a good practice to keep a BPA-free water bottle at your desk as a reminder to refill and replenish throughout the day as to hit your daily target.
- It’s Not Eight Glasses
That brings us to the question: What should be your daily target? We don’t necessarily promote the 8 x 8 rule as one size does not always fit all! A better target is half your weight in ounces (e.g. 75 oz for one who weighs 150 lbs). However, remember that other factors such as activity level, age, weather conditions, digestive power and level of toxins in the body play a role as well. Have a goal in mind but also consider that your needs evolve and be mindful of your body’s nudges and cues throughout the day.
- It Can Help Your Stress Less
Water to de-stress? Yes! Studies indicate that dehydration not only has an impact on cognitive function but can also alter mood and exacerbate anxiety, tension, and agitation. Furthermore, it’s not just about the physiology— water can have a naturally calming effect when you drink mindfully. Have you ever noticed the ease and satisfaction, that sense of “ahhhhhhh” you feel as your sip of water washes your thirst away? Make conscious drinking a practice. Drink slowly and observe how it makes you feel more alert and refreshed. For an added bonus, visualize the “liquid energy” recharging the very cells of your body!
- It’s Not Just About Water
Water should be your number one go-to, but herbal teas, coconut water, and low-sugar kombucha may be good drink options as well. Also think food! Soups, watermelon, strawberries, lettuce, and celery contain more than 90% water and can contribute to your fluid intake. Moreover, if you are feeling especially dehydrated due to the heat, an extreme workout or illness, you may want to aim for this hydration-boosting equation: Electrolytes + water + a hint of natural sweetener. This might mean coconut water, bananas and water, chicken soup or your local health store’s organic version of an electrolyte drink. Note that sports drinks often contain simple sugars and artificial ingredients that don’t quite fit the bill for this formula!
- It Aids in Digestion
Water is essential for digestion as it not only helps to move away wastes, but it also allows for the absorption of nutrients. Many vitamins and minerals are water-soluble, so proper hydration is necessary for absorption into the digestive tract. Water may also help to prevent or even heal digestive conditions such as constipation, ulcers, and gastritis. Therefore, water should be the medicine first in line! Note: Be sure your drinking source is filtered and pure, as water with bacterial and/or chemical contamination may contribute to digestive issues.
- Children Need a Nudge
Children may not have the same sensitivity to thirst as adults, meaning, their thirst “alarm” in the brain may not be as quick to sound. Or in some cases, they may hit the “snooze” button as to not interrupt their playtime fun! Whatever the case, it’s important to make sure your kids and/or little loved ones are hydrated even if they claim they are not thirsty. When playing in the sun, they should take a break for water every 20 minutes or so to ensure proper hydration. Ring the “bell” to keep the kiddos safe!
- It Can Alleviate Your Pains
Feeling a bit like achy and stiff like Tin Man? We have lots of tips here, but as it relates to hydration, first and foremost, drink up! There are numerous links between dehydration and ailments such as joint pain, stiffness, and muscle weakness or cramping. Fluid serves as a lubricant to joint spaces and is also a vital component of blood flow to the muscles, delivering oxygen and nutrients to tissues. If you feel your water intake is on-point, be sure visit one of our musculoskeletal doctors or another healthcare provider for further guidance or to explore chiropractic adjustments and/or manual therapy for your condition.
Speaking of aches and pains, learn how to harness the healing power of essential oils.
The information and reference guides in this website are intended solely for the general information for the reader. The contents of this web site are not intended to offer personal medical advice, diagnose health problems or for treatment purposes. It is not a substitute for medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. Please consult your health care provider for any advice on any exercise, medication, nutrition, or supplementation.