How to hydrate your body for summer
Summer is coming! Although it is important to stay hydrated all year around we need to be especially vigilant in the summer. But how can you tell if you need more fluids? Many people who are chronically dehydrated have lost the ability to generate this very important clue of the need for hydration.
There are several signs of dehydration other than thirst. In fact, by the time you have a dry mouth you may well be on your way to being dehydrated. Early warning signs include:
Water has many roles within your body:
How much water does your body need? There are differing opinions but taking into consideration your bioindividualty should factor in to the equation. Divide your weight in half to estimate the amount of ounces of water you need to drink in a day. (For example, a person who weighs 150 pounds needs 75 ounces a day). Don’t exceed 100 ounces. If you are drinking caffeinated beverages you will need to increase your intake to compensate for the diuretic effects of caffeine. In this case you need to drink 12 oz of water for every 8 oz of caffeinated beverages.
Sip it throughout the day and don’t try and catch up by guzzling it all at one time; this can disrupt the delicate balance of electrolytes. Drinking fluids while eating can dilute the enzymes and acid needed to break down your food, avoid drinking more than 6 oz with meals.
Most of us drink bottled water which usually is nothing more than tap water that has been treated with reverse osmosis or in some cases it is nothing more than ordinary tap water. If you are buying authentic mineral water such as Gerolsteiner Sprudel Sparkling, San Pellegrino, or Volvic, read the label and see the naturally occurring minerals. If not, then you can easily add minerals to your water by adding a pinch of mineral rich salt such as Redmonds Real Salt (you can find this at Sprouts or Whole Foods) or a good Himalayan salt. Water depends on electrolytes for proper absorption. The electrolyte minerals in salt are what hold an electrical charge and literally pulls the water into our cells. I encourage you to ditch the Mortons and switch to a high quality salt.
Sometimes I have people tell me that when they increase their water intake they find themselves constantly running to the bathroom. This is why it is important to have those minerals in your water, to create that electrical charge that will draw the water into the cells. Often, this is a temporary problem; once you become more hydrated you will need fewer trips to the bathroom. Think of when you water a dried out plant, initially, the water runs right through but once the soil becomes moist it is able to hold on and absorb the water.
If you are going to be working out and sweating, try drinking coconut water with a large pinch of good quality salt, you can also add a squeeze of lemon or lime. This is a better choice than commercial sports drinks which are filled with sugar, food dyes and other artificial ingredients. Jigsaw has a wonderful single serving electrolyte powder that can easily be added to water. (Amazon). It comes in Lemon or Raspberry flavors. Trace Minerals also has an excellent product called Concentrace Trace Mineral Drops that can easily be added to your water bottle.
Finally, please invest in a good stainless steel or glass water bottle. The convenience of plastic water bottles is overshadowed by the detrimental effects to not only your body but also the environment. I outlawed water bottles in our house about 8 years ago because it made me crazy to see all of the half full bottles around that no one was going to claim. Not only that, but after reading about the harmful effects of the plastic leeching into the water I couldn’t get past the idea that with every drink I was ingesting so many endocrine disrupting toxins.
Drinking plenty of clean filtered water is one of the easiest steps to take in your quest for better health.
I'm Amy Baragar, and I believe food is our first medicine. As a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, I love helping people feel better with easy steps to healthy eating.