With the temps on the rise this summer, it’s imperative to make sure everyone stays hydrated. As a nurse this is not a subject I take lightly. I have witnessed the side effects of dehydration, and heat exhaustion as well. Let me tell you, it’s not pretty.
There are constant debates on how much water one should consume.
First let’s address the ways in which we lose it, so then it’ll make sense as to why you need to replace it. The body loses about 2.5 liters through elimination (i.e. urine, BM, breathing) alone. That amount doesn’t include sweat, or menstrual cycles. That’s quite a bit of water loss. Of course that amount will vary based on activity level, intake, and any medical condition that may be present. I hear you asking “why should I drink water Nurse Ivy?” Glad you asked. Our bodies are comprised of approx. 70-80% water and since we lose about 2.5 liters/day, it makes sense to replenish what we lose. Our organs need water to function, as do our joints, skin/hair and blood/cells. An adequate intake helps flush toxins from our bodies, and maintains lubrication for joints. It helps with hair growth and even aids in shedding weight. When intake is low we experience dehydration. One of the first signs of dehydration is: thirst and irritability,(walking around irritable is never attractive, lol). Followed by slight confusion, and fatigue.
There are no ‘set’ rules when it comes to how much one should drink. Following the “8 by 8″ ( 8 glasses of 8oz) gets us headed in the right direction. Keep in mind it may be necessary to increase your intake if you’re nursing (breastfeeding), exercising, and/or are exposed to hot/dry climates. As always discuss any concerns with your physician.
I know there’s someone rolling their eyes, saying “I just don’t like water!” Try jazzing it up, so you’ll want to drink it up. Ok here’s a few tips: add sliced lemon, lime or oranges. Squeeze the juice into your water, and plop the slices in for color. Maybe some cucumbers, or kiwi. To be more creative add blackberries or raspberries to your ice trays, and set in the freezer. Once frozen add the cubes to your water, yummy and cool to look at! For those that flat out refuse to drink water (I know a few, lol) making certain you consume enough produce daily can be beneficial also. Try incorporating a little watermelon, grapefruit, or tomato into your meals. They have a water content of at least 90%!
Lastly, with raised concerns regarding BPA and it’s many health risk, if possible always opt for BPA-free bottles.
Here’s to your health!
Photo courtesy of Google
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