Are you hydrated enough?
It’s amazing how many body functions are affected by not drinking enough water on a daily basis.
I am guilty of not drinking enough water. I’ve been told by health and wellness professionals that I need to drink more water. I frequently shy away from drinking too much liquid throughout the day, especially when I’m not at home for the day. One of the inconvenient symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis is bladder weakness. This, I know to be true. I am the poster child for this symptom with MS. Because of this symptom, I deny my body the elixir of life….water. But that is counterproductive in me…and in most cases. The more liquid we consume, the better the bladder will operate and the better kidneys, liver, muscles, nerves and other important organs and systems will operate.
Hydration is one of the most important aspects of day to day life that helps to keep us healthy, lean and energized.
A vast majority of people today are dehydrated and don’t even know it. This living in a state of dehydration is detrimental to our overall health and well being. Without proper amounts of water our body’s become toxic and congested. Our kidneys stop filtering, our skin becomes dry and dull, our bladder becomes weaker and more prone to infections.
There are many symptoms of dehydration that we don’t connect the dots to. When you are not getting enough water you are fatigued, you are thirsty but likely reach for soda, coffee or fruit juices that don’t fix the thirst. Once your body is telling you it’s thirsty, you are already dehydrated.
The reason I chose this topic for todays post is that I decided I need to drink more water. My body is giving me signs of dehydration and I need to address them quickly before it’s too late. I have downloaded an app on my iPhone that gives me notices every 45 minutes that it is time to drink water. I should be drinking at least 8 times 8 ounce glasses of fresh water daily. Better yet, I’m striving for 10 times 8 ounces of water each day. I have a 32 ounce stainless water jug that I fill. I’m trying to drink 2 to 3 fills of this container. It’s not easy to remember to do this…but the app helps.
Drinking more water makes you less hungry…and so easier to lose weight or maintain weight. I find when I drink a big glass of water before dinner I eat half of what I would normally eat. Less calories….water has zero calories. To make it more interesting, I squeeze fresh lemon into it, maybe a little fresh mint, sliced cucumbers, and possibly a couple of drops of stevia. I also add apple cider vinegar to the before dinner glass of water as that is helpful with digestion .
If you are drinking enough water….you will combat the following symptoms:
- Fatigue: Water is a crucial part of your body’s energy supply. If you aren’t getting enough you will feel day time dips in energy. Water helps your body renew and restore cells, muscles and nerves during the night.
- Being hydrated helps your skin stay soft and supple. Many cases of dermatitis, psoriasis and even wrinkles can be helped by drinking more water.
- Water helps relieve constipation, bloating, gas, IBS, acid reflux and other uncomfortable digestive disorders. Drinking more water helps the body flush out the toxins that contribute to many digestive woes.
- Water helps with blood pressure. Blood is approximately 92% water. When you are properly hydrated your veins and arteries are clear of plaque and your blood flows as it should be.
- A big one for many of us with MS is that water helps flush out bacteria that could cause unitary tract infections for those of us doing more sitting then normal. Looking after your elimination system is key to health. Water is the best medicine for keeping your bladder and kidneys working well.
- Water is anti-aging. All of our bodily functions rely on water to make them work at their peak. When dehydrated your organs have to work doubly hard at keeping you going. If you are making your organs work harder then you are aging them faster then if they were happily living with lots of water. Water keeps your skin and your eyes and your overall outer appearance youthful and vibrant.
Plastic bottled water has become a big product in our grocery stores in the last 15 years or more. Plastic bottled water is not a good choice. It is okay for once in a while but plastic carries with it many toxic byproducts that can wreak havoc with your hormones and other body functions. I suggest investing in a stainless steel portable water jug. One you can fill and carry with you wherever you go.
Plastic bottled water, especially when sitting in a hot car, or possibly a hot truck on it’s way to the store becomes a toxic soup, with the chemicals leaching out of the plastic. Toxins such as BPA, and phthalates are endocrine disrupters proven to be hazardous to human health. Scientists have linked these chemicals from the plastic to cancer, neurological disorders, fertility problems, early puberty and even birth defects in newborn babies. Yukk! I think investing in a stainless steel water bottle and drinking good filtered water is an investment in your health.
One important thing to consider when calculating how much water you have had each day is this……caffeine and alcohol are very dehydrating. If you indulge in either or both of these stimulants then add 2 glasses of water to your daily dose for every cup of coffee or alcoholic beverage you consume.
I am going to be a better water consumer from now on. I know it will help me in many ways. I’ve been told this for years….now is the time to heed the suggestions and hydrate daily.