We’ve all been there. It is 4:00 in the afternoon and you can’t remember the last time you grabbed a sip of water. It’s time to wet your whistle! It is easier during the hot days of summer to remember to drink, but once the leaves start falling off the trees and you’ve traded your flip flops for socks, it’s easy to forget the importance of good hydration.
Did you know that adult bodies are made up of 50-75%? Infants are around 75% water. http://chemistry.about.com/od/waterchemistry/f/How-Much-Of-Your-Body-Is-Water.htm
Water is incredibly important to how we function. When we are dehydrated, we can feel lethargic, have trouble losing weight, skin can become dry and flaky, acne or eczema can worsen, we may have a headache and we begin to lack focus for day to day tasks.
We need 2-3 litres of water daily for peak performance. Worst case scenario, going 3 days without water can be fatal.
But I Do Drink!
Sure you do, but what are you drinking? Coffee, many teas as well as some sodas contain caffeine. There is much debate as to whether or not caffeine’s diuretic properties can lead to dehydration. Either way, it is good practice to make sure that you are not relying on caffeine containing bevvies for your daily hydration. These drinks are also likely to be high in refined sugar and add empty calories to your day. Add to that that there are other things to consider about increased caffeine consumption like trouble sleeping, jitters and in some cases addiction.
Do something nice for yourself and purchase a fancy water bottle. You know, one you can get all excited to use! I prefer glass water bottles with the option of using a reusable straw. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten out of the car with water down my shirt when I’ve failed to use a straw!
Next, make sure you are using good quality water. Consider installing a carbon filter on your drinking faucet. If you live in an apartment, purchase a mobile water filtration system, such as a Brita water jug. At my house we use a reverse osmosis system to make sure our water is clean. Do some research and don’t purchase the first system you find. There are pros and cons that need to be considered before making such an investment.
Think water is boring? Try adding fruit to your water and let the subtle flavours infuse over night in the fridge. Some of my favourites are mint and lime, lemon slices, or raspberries.
Dehydration can cause weight gain?
Yep, it is true! When we are dehydrated, our body sometimes sends us hunger signals. Instead of grabbing a glass of fresh water, we open the fridge for a snack. Dehydration may be causing you to eat more than you need, all because you are actually thirsty!
When those hunger pangs strike, ask yourself, “Am I really hungry?” Consider the last time you’ve eaten and if it has been recently, pour yourself a cool, crisp glass of water and see how you feel after you’ve hydrated.
Lack of hydration also causes constipation. It is more difficult to lose weight when we are not processing waste efficiently! Some times when we are constipated, it may not be due to lack of fibre, but lack of water instead. When our ‘evacuation’ system is functioning at peak performance, we feel lighter and are more energetic. We are more likely to get out and exercise and be active.
Rehydrate with Broth & Food
You don’t have to just rely on water for hydration. Drinking a cup of broth on a chilly evening is a great way to get some extra fluid in as well as some great nutrients such as collagen, glycine, l-glutamine and protein. You can get my recipe for homemade broth here, but if you are interested in purchasing your broth, I highly recommend Stock Exchange. I had the distinct pleasure of sampling some of their broth and was really impressed with the flavour and quality.
Other great hydrating foods are fruits and vegetables. Ever notice how watermelon is so refreshing on a hot day? Watermelon is about 92% water! Grapefruit – 91% Lettuce – 96% Zucchini, Celery & Radish – 95%
If you struggle with lack of energy, constipation or gas & bloating, I can help you! As a nutritionist, I am trained to be a bit of a food and lifestyle detective. Contact me to book an appointment to find out how I can support you in your quest for good health.