Supporting the Foundations: Hydration
As nutritional therapy is integrated into our lives, many necessary changes can seem overwhelming. Old habits die hard and often our worst cravings complain the loudest. While not negating the need to surmount these challenges, this week I want to bring you a dose of simplicity as we focus on a refreshing macronutrient, water! Not only can hydration be a simple foundation to support, but the issues it can resolve are quite profound.
While we can only survive a few days without water, we can go years with varying degrees of dehydration, handicapping the crucial roles water plays in our body. Some of these roles include oxygen delivery to the cells, transportation of nutrients, lubrication of joints, flushing toxins, and enabling cell-to-cell communication. Thus, dehydration is more than a dry mouth…it occurs on a cellular level. It is important to recognize dehydration and to know how to properly hydrate ourselves.
Dehydration manifests itself through early and mature signs:
Early→ fatigue, anxiety, irritability, depression, cravings, cramps, headaches
Mature → heartburn, joint pain, back pain, migraines, fibromyalgia, constipation, colitis
Have you experienced these symptoms? It is possible that they are caused by something other than dehydration, however, why not find out!?
So, how do you get rehydrated? Every individual’s needs vary depending on their activity level and diet. Still, a general rule for daily water consumption is half our body weight in ounces. This is a great place to start as you re-awaken your awareness of thirst! If you have not been drinking this amount, slowly work up to it over a 2-3 week period. Also, if you are drinking diuretics this will alter this ratio. For every 8 ounces of diuretic you consume (coffee, black and green tea, juice, alcohol, soda, and other sugary drinks) you need to drink 12-14 ounces more of water. Instead of just adding in more water, I would encourage you to consider moderation and the nutritional quality if your diuretic! Is it benefitting you or creating another stressor on your body?
In conclusion, as you support your hydration, you can have lots of fun with your water. Add some fruit to your water for flavor or a pinch of mineral salt to enhance the electrolytes. Your cells will thank you!