Lazy, hazy summer days have arrived!  I really enjoy being outside during this time of the year – sitting in the shade, watching my boys play in the sprinkler, going for a run or a bike ride.  As wonderful as the outdoors are, it is important to remember a few key things.  The first is to remember just how important it is to stay properly hydrated!  I’ve included a few stats from a gentleman who I studied extensively during school.

Water Tips and Stats:

  • Lack of water is the primary cause of daytime fatigue and headaches.
  • 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated, particularly the elderly.
  • The thirst mechanism is often so weak that it can be mistaken for hunger.
  • Even mild dehydration will slow down one’s metabolism by as much as 3%, and more severe dehydration by 5%.
  • One glass of water stopped midnight hunger pangs for almost all of the dieters studied in a University of Washington study.
  • Preliminary research indicates that 8 to 10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.
  • A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or an a printed page.

Elson M. Haas, MD

Well, I’m convinced!  Drinking water and staying hydrated is vital for your health, especially during this heat wave!  While water is my favourite way to stay hydrated, I hear that some folks struggle with water tasting boring.  I get it, your taste buds are looking for some pizazz!  The caution with all of the prepared juices and drinks is that they are so chock full of sugar and other chemical nasties, it hurts my teeth & tummy just thinking about it!  Try taking your water to the next level by adding lemon or lime slices, strawberries or cucumber and mint.  Be creative!  Fill a glass jar with water and some fruity add-ins.  Allow the fruit to infuse the water overnight in the fridge.  Another idea is to make herbal iced tea.  There are so many varieties out there to choose from – peach ginger, berry blends, green tea and the list goes on.  If you need a little a sweetness, try using a bit of honey.  While many of us still enjoy our coffee or tea in the morning, or iced versions later in the day, it is important to remember that caffeine containing beverages are diuretics, as are drinks containing alcohol.  This means that they actually lead to dehydration.  For every caffeinated or alcoholic beverage, drink two glasses of water.  Give these suggestions a try and let me know what you think.  Next week we will talk about the other really important issue I’m thinking about – summer time skin care.