The Importance of Proper Hydration

Author: Alyssa, Certified Health Coach - May, 13th, 2015 | Category: Blog Posts, Health Coaching, Wellness

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It is HOT out! Are you drinking enough water?

water and hydrating

Our body is roughly 70% water and our brain is roughly 85% water! Pretty fascinating, right?!?

WHY is it so important to stay hydrated? Being that our body is roughly 70% water, our body’s organs will not function to the best of their ability if we are not hydrated. Water allows the body to function properly and work to the best of its ability.

Water helps:

There are a lot of differing opinions on how much water to consume. Everyone is different and has different needs. Listen to your body. Most people don’t drink enough, few drink too much – it is possible to drink too much water and doing so can lead to our sodium levels dropping too low (endurance athletes tend to be at higher risk of this). Generally, I follow the rule of drinking half of my body weight in ounces per day. i.e. if you weigh 130 lbs, you would drink 65 oz. per day.

If you are on a raw food diet, you will likely need less water than someone who does not eat hydrating foods. If you work outside in the sun all day long, you will certainly need more water than someone who works in an office. Common sense should reign.

Your urine is a great indicator of whether you are needing more water, clear is good, cloudy or dark means you need more water.

Soda, coffee, tea, Kool-Aid and other powdered drink mixes are NOT water.  By adding something to the water we are taking away the hydrating quality, so don’t count that can of soda or tea as one part of your water intake, it may actually increase your need for water.

Tap water
Comes out of the faucets and has been treated, processed and disinfected. It is purified with chlorine and often has added fluoride.

Distilled water
Vaporized and collected, all of the minerals are taken out of distilled water.

Bottled water*
Not as clean as they advertise and most lack minerals. These companies are not regulated like our municipal water. They don’t have to disclose their water source nor are they required to provide water quality reports stating treatment methods and purity testing. In addition, plastic bottles can be toxic, especially when hot or frozen.

Reverse osmosis
Forced through filters that remove larger particles, pollutants and minerals. Most water is alkaline, reverse osmosis is not.

Deionized water
Ionized impurities and minerals removed, bacteria or pathogens remain.

Spring water
Clean, natural and pure, it has minerals, magnesium, potassium and sodium.

“Almost all-municipal water is of high quality and very drinkable. The best source of specific information about the water quality in your area is your local water supplier. Water suppliers are required to send their customer an annual water quality report. Contact your water supplier to get a copy or see if your report is posted on-line. “ Dr. Batmanghelidj of The Water Cure

water and hydration

It would be very difficult to obtain all of our minerals from water. We just can’t drink that much in a day so while we should definitely be drinking water with these nutrients in it, our primary source should be our food. It is also important to keep in mind that during warmer weather and/or long workout sessions, your body needs more than just plain water. Your body will be sweating out sodium and electrolytes and it is important to replenish those. Coconut water is a fabulous option as well as adding a little sprinkle of sugar and salt to your water. During marathon training, I really up my coconut water intake and in the week or two prior to race day, I drink at least one coconut water per day. Just make sure the coconut water you are drinking does not have added sugars. I look for raw, organic. Harmless Harvest and Harvest Bay (organic, unflavored variety) are my go-to brands. I try to avoid Zico, Vita-Coco, O.N.E., and Naked coconut water. I love drinking coconut water on its own or adding it to my smoothies.

Although bottled water is very handy, there is a lot of concern about BPA’s and other chemicals in the bottles, especially in bottles that have been in the heat or have been frozen. Never drink from your plastic water bottle after it’s heated up (in your car, etc) or been frozen. It is also important not to reuse plastic water bottles. I think it’s perfectly OK to drink out of a plastic bottle once in a long while (at times, this might be your only option) but plastic water bottles should not be our primary way of consuming water and certainly shouldn’t be an everyday habit. Your body and Mother Earth will thank you for limiting your plastic water bottle use.

*Check out this video: The Story of Bottled Water

While there is debate on what is and isn’t the best water to drink, it is undeniable that water is a necessity of life and we should be drinking plenty of it. Tip: Carry a water bottle with you at all times. I don’t go anywhere without either my hydroflask or lifefactory bottle. If you find yourself getting bored with water, try switching it up. One of my favorite ways to drink water is with lots of lemon and some cucumber slices. I also enjoy throwing sprigs of fresh mint in my water bottle. Some people like to put cut strawberries in, slices of orange, cinnamon sticks. Play around to find what you enjoy. Be sure to check out this awesome Popsugar post for some delicious concoctions: 10 Ways to DIY the Best Fruit Water Ever

To learn more about Health Coaching with me, visit our website or email me: Alyssa@www.amesalonandspa.com

Best in health,

Alyssa

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