Why befriend your water?
Water is the solvent in which the nutrients and wastes need to travel. It is required in abundance for the kidneys to regulate and for the bowel to eliminate. It is very important to increase your water intake and stay hydrated. The ideal amount would be your body weight in (pounds) divided by 2 = number of ounces per day. One glass is approximately 8 ounces.
Example: 200 pounds ÷ 2 = ounces, 100÷ 8 = 12.5 glasses per day
What does dehydration do?
The body is 25% solid matter; the other 75% is water. 85% of brain tissue and muscle is water, the liver is 82% water and the bones are 22% water. A mere 5% drop in water levels in the body causes 25 – 30% loss of energy. Mild dehydration can cause the metabolism to slow down by 3%. A 2% drop in fluid levels can cause fuzzy short-term memory. A 15% drop is enough to cause death!
What causes an imbalance?
Under-consumption, diuretic medications (blood pressure meds), high protein and high sugar diets, exercise, hot climates, emotional trauma or shock, mental stress, sweating, vomiting, and diarrhea. Consuming excess amounts of caffeine/ alcohol will create a deficit of water i.e. 1 cup of coffee will need to be replaced with 2 cups of water.
Symptoms associated with imbalance
Lack of energy, poor digestion, bloating, sluggish weight loss, acne, skin inflammations, dry skin, low HCL production, heartburn, poor lubrication in the joints, arthritis, constipation, joint pain, headaches, flu-like symptoms, edema, high blood pressure, renal disease, kidney stones and dry mucosal layers.
The internal reaction
Hormones, chemical messengers and nutrients do not get distributed throughout the body. The liver cannot metabolize fat into usable energy. Histamine rations water during dehydration therefore, dehydration causes higher levels of histamine and lowered immunity. When dehydrated, the body uses tryptophan and tyrosine to transport wastes out. However, these are needed by the brain for neurotransmitters, and when they are low, depression results. Overproduction of cholesterol is the body’s defense mechanism to protect the cells from dehydration.
Ways to increase water intake
- Buy a water bottle that is visually attractive to you preferably stainless steel or glass.
- Take your water bottle everywhere you go
- Log your water intake on a tracking app.
- Set an alarm on your phone every 2 hours as a reminder to drink water.
- Infuse your water with your favourite fruit or herbs for flavour
- Team up with a friend to create a water challenge for the week
Best time to drink your water
- First thing in the morning
- Right before going to bed at night
- Half an hour before your meals
- Before and after a workout
- Anytime you are hungry as sometimes this is more a signal for water than food.
Sajeeda Kanji, CNP
Hinton, L., & McBurney, T. (2012). Nutritional symptomatology . Toronto, Canada: Health House/Food for Thought.
Haas, E. M., & Levin, B. (2006). Staying healthy with nutrition: The complete guide to diet and nutritional medicine . Berkeley: Celestial Arts.
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