Hydrate for Better Health!
Summer heat is no joke, especially with climate change. Hydration is necessary all year but the summertime is the perfect opportunity to increase and improve the consistency of our water intake. According to a nationwide study from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, more than half of children and teenagers in the United States might not be properly hydrated. One researcher stated, “I was surprised that almost one in four kids drank no water during the course of their day.”
We may think of dehydration as “dry mouth” under a scorching sun but this is not the case. It can sneak up on you if you aren’t aware of the need to hydrate regularly.
Though not usually deadly, mild dehydration can cause cognitive impairment, headaches and even nausea in severe cases. Symptoms in younger children may be fussiness, infrequent urination, dry mouth and a lack of tears when crying. For kids and teenagers, daily water requirements depend on several factors, including age and activity level.
Another study has stated that 75% of Americans tend to be mildly dehydrated. THIS IS AN EPIDEMIC AMOUNT. Our bodies are roughly 60% water by mass depending on age and body composition and adults lose nearly 4 cups of water a day through the skin and normal breathing, not to mention sweating and elimination.
Some Common Symptoms of Dehydration Include:
- Fatigue, Energy Loss
- Digestive Disorders
- High/Low Blood Pressure
- Gastritis, Stomach Ulcers
- Respiratory Troubles
- Acid-Alkaline Imbalance
- Excess Weight (Thirst is often confused with hunger.)
- Cystitis, Urinary Infections
- Joint Pain
- Premature Aging
Some Great Reasons to Drink Water Daily
- Glowing, Soft Skin/Softer Hair/Healthy Weight-Health and Beauty go hand in hand!
- Healthy Heart-A six-year study found that participants who drank more than 5 glasses of water a day were 41% less likely to die from a heart attack than those who drank less than two glasses (May 1, 2002 American Journal of Epidemiology)
- Headache cure (in many cases)
- Breastfeeding-increase hydration because breast milk production increases a mother’s water loss
- Digestion-it’s necessary to digest food properly. Can help cure stomach acid problems and, with fiber, can cure constipation.
- Cleansing/Immunity-it helps flush out toxins and waste products from the body.
- Reduced Cancer risk-has been found to reduce the risk of colon cancer by 45% and bladder cancer by 50%
- Better exercise-Exercise requires additional water, so be sure to hydrate!
Form a routine: Drink a glass…
- when you wake up (an optimum time to drink a lot to flush and detoxify the system)
- with each meal,
- in between meals,
- before, during and after exercise
Carry a bottle:
- Fill a large (20-32 oz) drinking bottle and carry it with you all day. When it’s empty, fill it and empty it again. 64 oz. is a healthy baseline.
Set a reminder:
- Set your clock for once an hour, for example
- For soda, coffee, etc. Try sparkling water at social functions.
- Purchase a filter for your home faucet to save money on bottled water.
- Keep a little log check for each glass you drink daily.
- Add sliced fruits/vegies if you dislike plain water.
This basic habit that gets overlooked by so many people can make a huge difference in your health, well-being, and quality of life! Drink up!