Now more than ever during these hot summer days hydration is of utmost importance. A person can go with out food for sometime, however water is a must. Your body uses water to carry out a myriad of basic biochemical functions, and when it is lacking it will produce symptoms to give you the sign that you need to drink up! Common symptoms of dehydration can be headache, constipation, dizziness, fatigue, chapped lips, dry mouth, and muscle cramps. More extreme signs could be nausea and vomiting, and possibly heart palpitations. All of these noted symptoms could also be due to other medical conditions, so please speak with your doctor.
- Average Daily Water intake: You should be drinking half of your body weight in ounces every day. For example a person who weighs 150 lbs should be drinking at least 75 ounces. Remember though that when you are loosing more water or drinking other beverages that are dehydrating (caffeine, alcohol) you need to compensate. For example if you drink a 12 oz coffee drink you need to drink an additional 12 oz to make up it.
- Urine output: Since you have increased your fluid intake now, you should have more out flow, as in needing to urinate every few hours. Take note of your urine color, note that it may be lighter or pale yellow or darker yellowish color, which the later would indicate it is more concentrated and thus your body didn’t have enough fluid to dilute it. The color can change depending on what you are ingesting. B vitamins will make urine turn a brighter yellow, and beets can change it to a reddish hue.
- Electrolytes: Sodium and Potassium to name a couple are some of the main ones in your body that can affect your hydration status. Sodium in particular helps regulate water in our body. One of the healthiest electrolyte drinks available is coconut water, as it naturally contains sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium. Choose to enhance your electrolytes when you are more concerned about hydration, perhaps after physical activity or being outdoors where you have sweated more, or have vomited, and thus have lost more water than usual.
These 3 things are your basic guide for your body’s hydration. Be proactive and don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink, as then your too late, and your body is already having work harder to compensate for the liquid deficit. Drink throughout the day. A good trick I recommend to my patients is to use a stainless steel or other non-plastic drinking container. Figure out how much fluid it holds and thus how many refills you will need to drink to get in your daily dose. For example take our average person who needs to drink 75 ounces and they have a 20 ounce water bottle, so they should drink about 4 bottles, rounding up some for 80 ounces of water. Here is a special trick a patient taught me, take 4 rubber bands and place them around the bottle. Each time you finish one bottle, remove one rubber band; this will help remove the guessing factor of how many you have drank.
Now for a little bonus tip to accomplish this mission, divide up your day according to drinking those 4 bottles; drink right after you wake in the morning, and finish your first bottle by 10am. Take bottle number 2 from 10am-1pm. Drink your 3rd round from approximately 1pm-4pm, and last 4-7pm or so. Find something that works for your personal schedule, so that the day doesn’t pass only to realize you’ve fallen short on your sipping.
Last but not least, I encourage you to think about the property of water. The book The Hidden Messages in Water by Masaru Emoto and shown in the movie “What the Bleep Do We Know” highlights water’s ability to hold vibrational frequencies, such as love or an opposite state of being. Some people actually write out different words and attach them to their bottle; perhaps you want more gratitude or forgiveness in your life? Your water can become in tune with that and thus help hydrate you with that happiness.
Further, water flows downstream, with ease and no resistance at its best. At is worst, it maybe stagnant or polluted. Your health and different states of bodies of water can be analogous. Take a look at your life and health and see where you can improve, and know that what you resist will persist. Live your life, in all its facets, being in the flow, for this gives you freedom.