Some people need more roses, some need more chocolate, but we all need more water. I’m not sure when I first started to realize that I needed more water in my life, but I can take a guess that it was about the time I moved to Phoenix, Arizona in the late 90s. Just reading “Arizona” makes you thirsty, doesn’t it? That’s the desert for you. Anyway, when we moved, I started carrying water with me everywhere. It was partly due to needing it and partly because that’s what everyone else in Arizona seemed to be doing. I figured, as a new resident to the state, I should probably learn how to adapt to the environment by watching those who lived there. And they carried water – everywhere.
A funny thing started to happen once I drank more though. The more water I drank, the more I could tell when I hadn’t had enough. I’d start to get cranky and tired and just feel like blah. Not good. So, I’d drink more water and almost instantly feel better. That’s the thing about hydration, the more you stay hydrated, the more acutely aware you are of being dehydrated.
What is Dehydration?
What is dehydration? Well, simply put, it’s when your body doesn’t have the water it needs to function properly. You may start to experience headaches, dry skin, irritability, sleepiness, and more. It’s your body trying to tell you to drink up!
Did you know that over 60% of your body is water? That’s a lot of water! It’s essential for proper cell function and without it, your body just can’t do the things it needs to do.
So, how do you stay hydrated? Drink water! Avoid sugar sodas, and realize that sports drinks usually have a ton of sugar in them. While you may need the electrolyte boost if you’re a serious athlete, in most cases, a bottle of water is going to be a much better option. Caffeine in coffee and tea can also cause dehydration, so be sure to also pour a glass of water the next time you get down the coffee mug. And, if you like alcoholic beverages, be sure to drink a lot of water afterwards, because alcohol is a great dehydrator (in a bad way).
What Causes Dehydration
Sometimes things like illness (vomiting and diarrhea) and medications can contribute to dehydration, so be aware of that if you get the flu. And, of course, any type of activity that makes you sweat can also lead to hydration. No, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work out (nice try, though), it just means that you need to keep a water bottle with you during the workout and drink up before and after you exercise. If you’re going to be outside in the sun for any period of time, be sure to have water with you then, as well.
Just Drink More Water
Basically, the best thing you can do to avoid causing damage to your body through dehydration is to just drink more water. The recommended amount is about half of your body weight in ounces. So, a person who weighs 150 pounds should drink about 75 ounces of water per day. A person who weighs 200 pounds, should drink about 100 ounces of water per day. Obviously, if you have a medical condition that requires monitoring of your fluid intake, talk with your doctor about how much he or she recommends that you should drink.
So, stay focused, stay alert, stay healthy, stay happy, and stay hydrated! Your body will thank you!