We all know water is crucial to survival. Without it, we’ll die within a few days. Still, about 70% of my clients are dehydrated and don’t realize it.
So I’m curious. How often do you experience:
Dark yellow urine
What’s Really Happening When We’re Dehydrated?
About 75% of our body is water. And rightly so, because there are a lot of moving parts and they need moisture to function – just like a bicycle chain requires oil to function.
But here are two important aspects you may not think about:
Blood Flow: When we’re dehydrated, our blood thickens and doesn’t move through our veins efficiently. Since blood carries oxygen, nutrients, hormones and white blood cells (to fight infections), you can imagine what happens if it’s not flowing right – especially if it can’t flow easily through the tiny vessels in our brain, eyes, fingers, toes and genitals. Just knowing the brain can’t get enough oxygen is enough to explain the headaches, foggy thinking, dizziness, crankiness; etc.
Digestion: About 80% of your immune system is in your gut! And your intestines (the part of your gut that enables your body to absorb nutrients from your food) are nearly 30 feet long! And they’re made up of layers that fold upon themselves so many times, that if you laid them flat, they’d cover a tennis court! That’s a lot of tissue! And its’ responsible for digesting your food, removing waste and toxins, and keeping your immune system functioning properly! Imagine what happens if it gets dry and can’t function effectively. I think you can easily see how simple issues like nausea, heartburn, constipation and cravings are symptoms of much larger issues to come!
5 Simple Tips to Stay Hydrated
Consume half your body weight in ounces, daily (e.g. if you weigh 100 lbs., you need 50 ounces).
Keep a water bottle handy at all times. If you need to drink 4 bottles, place 4 rubber bands around the top of the bottle. When you drink a bottle, move a rubber band down. At the end of the day, you should have all of your rubber bands on the bottom. Rinse your bottle out, allow it to air-dry and move the rubber bands to the top to ready yourself for tomorrow.
Sip water throughout the day. Sipping allows your cells time to absorb the water, whereas gulping will let it fall right through – like a dry plant, or a baby alive doll. (Sipping also prevents needing to run to the bathroom every 5 seconds!)
Flavor your water with orange, lemon or lime slices, berries, melon or herbs (like peppermint, yum!) to keep it interesting. Try these recipes.
Allow yourself time to ease into this new routine! Habits take about 21 days to create. So take it a day at time, work towards incremental increases, and celebrate your progress! Having a positive “I can do this” attitude will greatly improve your chance of success.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do coffee, tea, milk, gatorade or soda count?
Not really. They’re dehydrating, so if you consume a lot of them, you actually need to drink a bit more water to offset this effect.
What if I don’t like water?
Play around with flavoring your water. Here are some recipes you might want to try.
How long does it take to get re-hydrated if I’m dehydrated?
It varies! Expect to see improvements in a few days, but it can take several weeks to permeate the layers of tissue inside of you! So give it time – and be consistent! Your body will thank you!