A Cup of Coffee – Are you dehydrated?

Welcome back! Last week, we talked about Smiling Depression. If you missed that blog and would like to catch up, click HERE.

Are you getting enough water? How do you know if you are or aren’t? How much is too much? Grab a cup of coffee and let’s chat!

Is it really thirst?

You may be surprised to know that sometimes when you feel hungry, you are actually thirsty. Your brain doesn’t even know the difference! It might be wise to drink a glass of water before you hit the fridge, just to make sure you are giving your body what it truly needs.

You dehydrate overnight

Drinking a big glass of water first thing in the morning is a great time to hydrate. You can also add some lemon (try a fresh lemon and squeeze 1/2 of the lemon into the water). Adding the lemon gives you an early morning blast of vitamin C, potassium, and other antioxidant phytonutrients!

Are you sweating?

Any time you sweat, it’s a good time to hydrate. Exercise isn’t the only thing that makes one sweat. Hot tubs, saunas, high humidity, sunbathing, anxiety, and more can cause you to sweat, which means your body is losing fluid. Water hydrates and cools the body down, especially after exercising.

How much should I drink if I’m exercising?

The rule of thumb is to hydrate BEFORE you work out or spend any time outside in the sun. Drink 16 to 20 ounces of water before you go out, then 6 to 12 ounces every 10 to 15 minutes while you are active. When finished, top your body off with another 16 to 24 ounces.

Drink more when you are sick

Staying hydrated can help your body a lot when you aren’t feeling well. When we are sick, we may experience diarrhea, vomiting, and certainly a fever. All of these symptoms can cause extreme water loss. When you first realize you are ill, start drinking water, especially if you have no appetite. Don’t drink alcohol or caffeinated drinks, as they will contribute to more dehydration.

Flying on an airplane

Have you ever felt air sick when flying? Or just felt overall parched after your plane lands? It’s all about altitude. The higher the plane goes, the drier the cabin air becomes. This contributes to a super-low humidity level. Once inside the terminal, buy a bottle of water and start the process of hydrating. The airlines can provide you with water while in flight, but it’s probably better to just buy a couple of extra bottles so you can drink them as needed during the trip.

Massages

If you’ve had a massage, you know that they tell you to drink a lot of water in the next 24 hours. It’s also advisable to drink plenty of water before your appointment. Your muscles will be softer and easier to manipulate in those painful areas. This type of manipulation can release toxins that you will want to flush out with plenty of water and this will be extra important if you get a deep tissue massage.

Menstrual Cramps

Did you know that you can reduce the pain and bloating if you hydrate the week ahead of your cycle as well as during the cycle? Dehydration is one of the most common causes of cramps or headaches. Some women find that staying super hydrated can alleviate pelvic pain, shorten the cycle, and overall reduce their need for pain medication!

The afternoon yawnsies

Have you ever looked at the clock around 2 pm and thought to yourself, “why don’t Americans recognize the importance of an afternoon nap?!” If you hit the wall, avoid the cup of coffee and instead drink a tall glass of water. Add some lemon or other flavoring to reward yourself for hydrating. Hydration will impact your mood, memory, and visual perception!

Those rotten headaches!

Once your body gets used to being hydrated, you may even notice that a slight dip in your hydration routine will trigger a migraine. You are not alone! If you get migraines, keep a water bottle handy and try tracking your intake. You may think you are drinking more water than you are. At the onset of a migraine, start guzzling water to see if you can avoid the pain.

Weight Loss

Many of us are on the journey of weight loss in order to feel better and reduce our chances of chronic illness. According to WebMD, a small study tested people who drank 500 milliliters — that’s a little over 16 ounces — of tap or bottled water about 30 minutes before mealtimes and throughout the day as they wished. Over 12 weeks, the preloaders lost almost 3 pounds more than those who didn’t follow the protocol. That adds up! Water also speeds up lipolysis, your body’s process of burning fat for energy.

You have a huge meeting with the boss coming up

You want to be on top of your game, right? Drink water. Almost three-fourths of your brain contains fluid, and If your levels dip too low, the blood vessels in this organ shrink. This can affect your coordination, short-term memory, attention span, and stamina. Pass up a caffeine-charged energy drink. Simply drink water.

How much is too much?

It is actually possible to overdose on water. You don’t just get fluids from water, you also get fluids from the foods you eat. Maybe you take medications that cause you to retain fluids, or maybe you have issues with low potassium and too much water isn’t healthy for you. People who have congestive heart failure or kidney issues, would for sure need to check in with a PCP or specialist before hydrating more than they normally do. Only your doctor can tell you what the “right” amount of water is for your body. We are all unique and have unique requirements.

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As always, this blog is not a replacement for sound medical advice. I am not a doctor. Please make an appointment to see your healthcare provider and put a good plan in place that works for you and the needs of your body.

That’s all I have for you this week, dear reader. I’ll see you back here next Wednesday to share another cup of coffee. Until then, be good to yourself and each other.

Mind, Body, Spirit…Osteopathic Doctors treat the whole person, not just the ailment. Is your PCP a DO? Would you like to learn more about Osteopathic Physicians? Click HERE!

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