In the first Pillar of Health, we talked about your diet and more importantly keeping your blood sugar balanced. That balance is possibly the most important thing you can do for your health; it keeps you from developing the diseases of modern society and degenerative diseases.
Everything from Osteoporosis to Alzheimer’s have a relationship to your cortisol and blood sugar balance. Moving on to The second Pillar of Health you need to stay hydrated. Staying hydrated is as powerful and infinitely easier to implement into your daily routine. Getting hydrated is simple, drink more high quality water throughout the day. That’s it is that simple.
The benefits are astounding, you have more energy, you’re less hungry throughout the day, you will lose weight, all your organs of elimination (Skin, Kidney, Liver, and Bowel) will work better, you have fewer wrinkles, you are less likely to have back pain, your brain will work better, and so many more things will improve.
The push back that I almost always get is but I’ll have to go to the bathroom all the time. My answer is yes, yes you will but that is a good thing most people have forgotten that going to the bathroom is a good thing and as you get used to drinking more water your body will adapt and actually start to use the water that you drink.
Until it does, you can add a bit of good non-iodized sea salt to your vegetables and meat to help hold onto your water. Often patients will be pushing back because they don't want to give up their drink choice, tea soda or coffee. Full disclosure, I have no validity in telling anyone to stop drinking coffee since I am a bit of a coffee snob/nerd. Jamaican Blue Mountain if you’re asking is amazing but they should limit it to first thing in the morning and usually no more than 2 cups a day. I cannot drink tea myself, but there are much great tea’s that if you enjoy you should drink.
So, when you do choose to drink these natural drinks, you need to drink at least an equal part of water. This means that if you drink 6 ounces of coffee you need to drink at least 6 ounces of water. And for the sodas, the answer is always nope not at all, not ever, don’t even try it that stuff is diabetes in a can. You should ever let that stuff near your body.
Hopefully, you are starting to see and innately know that you need to drink water, and there isn’t a substitute for water. So, the question then becomes how much water is enough? That isn’t as easy, if you aren’t active at all you need 1/2-2/3 of your body weight in ounces of water per day.
Honestly, you need way closer to 2/3rd in ounces every day. If you are even moderately active, talk a lot or sweat at all you need much more to stay hydrated. Probably closer to a full gallon to a gallon and a half of water a day to re-hydrate properly. Then if you drink one of the above-mentioned diuretics (coffee or tea) you need that much more in ounces every day.
The next push back that I always seem to get is that doc I drink a ton of water, well more than likely you aren’t drinking enough to get re-hydrated, or you aren’t utilizing the water you drink properly and probably need to increase your salt intake.
Either way, you need to up your water game and drink more. Here are just a few signs and symptoms of dehydration:
Dry mouth, dry eyes, dry skin, dry lips Chapped lips, Headaches, Weakness, lightheadedness or dizziness, Fatigue, Poor digestion, Allergies, asthma, Poor concentration; lack of focus, Irritability, Excess weight around the midsection, Weight gain, Hunger between meals, Skin rashes.
Self Test 1 Run your finger down you tongue. It should be like ice on a piece of wax paper (no friction or resistance). The tongue should also feel smooth and not have any bumps or raised spots.
Self Test 2: For moderate to severe dehydration Pinch the skin together on the back of your hand. If it does not “snap back” instantly = dehydration. If it stays “tented” for more than 3 seconds = severe dehydration
Self Test 3: On a hot day, notice your rate of sweating Take two glasses of room temperature water If you start sweating more within 10 minutes = dehydration Often, sweating will increase almost instantly What you can do: Drink 2/3 rd of your body weight in ounces as a minimum ever day (6 Liters is your goal)
Spring or filtered water from a good source is best
Keep alcohol consumption moderate
Reduce or eliminate caffeine
Drink extra water in very cold or very hot weather
Drink extra water when working or working out hard
Reduce stress; use anti-stress activities:
Relaxation, yoga, meditation, aerobic exercise, Tai Chi, relaxing hobbies
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