It’s getting warmer and warmer outside, and if you work at AHS, chances are your indoor office is getting warmer and warmer too. This means more perspiration, even if you’re sitting still at your work station — which we don’t recommend for long periods at a time. If you’re not sitting still, chances of perspiration and even dehydration are high once it starts to scorch out there.
You may not know this, but even the most health-conscious of us sometimes don’t drink enough water to stave off mild chronic dehydration.
I’ve heard every excuse in the book for why people don’t drink more water, starting with my favorite (straight from my grandmother’s mouth): “I just don’t like water.” Another of my favorites: “I get sick of drinking it.” Those two I personally don’t get, but I can definitely abide that some people “forget” to drink water or “just aren’t thirsty.” I’d be willing to bet, however, that the same folks who forget or aren’t thirsty don’t forget to eat lunch or make a quick run to the vending machine for something that’s likely sweet or salty — increasing your chances of dehydration.
A side note: often times our brains confuse hunger and thirst. If you’re always munching and never seem to get full, or if you’re finding yourself more hungry between meals and snacks than you should, try drinking a glass of water before you reach for the sweet or salty snack.
Here’s the deal. As human beings, our bodies are made up of about 60% water. Not juice, not coffee, not milk, certainly not soda.
While a good number of us may know that, we might not realize just how many things go wrong when we don’t drink enough.
- Are you working at a desk most of the day? Do you get exhausted at around 2pm? Water, not coffee, will help your body metabolize your food into energy.
- Do you go to the gym regularly but find yourself backsliding in your stamina? Water, not Gatorade, will give your cells what they need to kick up that ATP production.
- Do you find that sometimes you have trouble with irregularity? Do you go “#2” only a few times a week? Water, sometimes with the aid of insoluble fiber, will do the trick in aiding digestion. It will also stimulate the production of gastric juices.
- Do you have high blood pressure? Proper hydration is required for our blood (made mostly of– everyone say it with me — WATER) to be the proper density to flow through our veins.
The list goes on and on. Check out this resource to learn just how essential adequate water intake is to good health.
Plain-jane water isn’t the only way to get hydrated. There’s a number of tasty ways to enhance water without adding sugar — infusion is my favorite.
Fill a gallon pitcher with filtered water, add 1 whole sliced cucumber and stick it in the refrigerator. Do the same thing with fresh, sliced organic strawberries (a cucumber-strawberry combo is pretty awesome too). You can do this with fresh mint, lemons, limes, and even pineapple. Just don’t add sugar or sweetener, as both are dehydrating. It might also be fun to get one of those soda stream machines and turn these infused goodies into natural soda.
One more side note: Caffeine acts as a diuretic, so while tea is great for lots of reasons (including upping your liquid intake), don’t count on it as your only source of hydration.
Another way to quench your thirst is to drink fresh coconut water. While coconut water does contain some sugar, it’s not a lot if you stick to 8 oz or less, about 10 grams. (I sometimes dilute mine with H2O and often include it in my smoothies). This delicious beverage is like nature’s Gatorade. It contains healthy amounts of potassium, sodium, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium that will deliver water right into the cells without the additives that are found in Gatorade (food coloring, extra sugar, too much sodium, preservatives, etc).
Eating fresh fruit and veggies that are high in water content is a great way to remain hydrated as well — especially in the summer time when they’re at their best: all melons, apricots, blueberries, oranges, peaches, pineapples, plums and raspberries have at least 85% water content). Here’s a cool chart to illustrate my point.
This is a lot to throw at you on a nice warm Friday afternoon, so kick back, grab a glass of water, and enjoy the sunshine.