Staying Hydrated

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     By a raise of hands, how many of us drink enough water?  I have been working my whole life in the medical field, and I constantly hear, make sure your patients drink water.  Don't let them get dehydrated.

     Why is this so important?  First of all our bodies are made up of 50-75% water depending on your age.  Infants and babies have more water then adults.  It is important to drink 1/2 your body ounces in water.  So if you weigh 150 pounds that is 75 ounces or 9.3 cups of water.

     What happens if you become dehydrated?  Well there are about ten things that can happen.
     1.  Fatigue, blood flow and pressure drop due to a lack of water.
     2.  Urine becomes a dark yellow, medications and disease can also turn urine dark, so if the water doesn't help it would be best to talk to your doctor.
     3.  Sudden lightheadedness.  If you stand up quickly and you become lightheaded chances are you are dehydrated.  Your heart starts to beat faster and breathing become rapid.  You could pass out! Danger!
     4.  Heart rate increases, also heart palpitations.
     5.  You can overheat.  You can become overheated and dehydrated due to sweating while working out.
     6.  Muscle cramps.  If you become dehydrated there are important electrolytes that help our bodies perform as they should.  Without them your muscles can cramp up.  It hurts!
     7.  The dreaded constipation!  Without water, your stools become hard and hard to pass causing stomach cramps, not to mention hemroids!   I have noticed this in my field.  No fun!  Everyone's BMs are different, but 1-3 per day are pretty normal for me.  I know TMI!  LOL
     8.  Skin loses elasticity.  Has the doctor ever pinched your skin to see if it goes back quickly?  If you are dehydrated your skin will stick and won't return to normal quickly.
     9.  No more tears.  You can always tell when children are dehydrated because if they cry and don't produce tears, they are dehydrated.  Also if they aren't producing wet diapers within a 3 hour period.
    10.  You're Parched.  If you are very thirsty chances are you are already dehydrated.  You need to listen to your body.  If water tastes really good then you aren't drinking enough.

     Just before I go to bed at night, I put a water bottle next to my bed that is filled with 1 liter of hot lemon water, and because it's a thermos it stays warm.  I drink that one liter after waking up, even before I eat breakfast.  I always have a bottle of water with me wherever I go.  On my way to work I drink a cup of Pero.  It's a grain drink and contains no caffeine.  Caffeine is dehydrating so be careful of that.  One thing that the article doesn't talk about is kidney stones.  I have had my fair share of them, so I drink water like a fish swims.  I also have noticed that if I don't drink enough, I get a headache. At the close of that day I like to unwind by drinking a cup of tea with some soy milk in it.  Helps me get ready for bed.  Tea and Pero are okay and works to get your water requirement in.

     DON'T DRINK SODA!  I will be writing another article on soda next time.    

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