Pure water is the world's first and foremost medicine.
--- Slovakian Proverb
Since our bodies are comprised of upwards of 70% water it seems like a no-brainer that we need to drink water on a regular basis. However, the irony is that statistically over 75% of us are chronically dehydrated. This means that although we know we need water we are clearly not drinking enough. We simply miss the signs.
Sadly, it took having to be hospitalized over 20 years ago for me to recognize the simplicity of this concept - the importance of water! A doctor once told me, “if you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated.“
Some of the signs of dehydration are:
not being able to concentrate or focus
rapid breathing and rapid heart rate
Unfortunately, because of the fact that we don’t recognize the symptoms as dehydration, we may not respond well to the problems or we may find unhealthy ways to deal with them.
So, if we are tired we may start drinking caffeine to wake ourselves up or start snacking on junk food.
If you were having a difficult time concentrating or focusing, people may find themselves jumping from task to task which can lead to a host of other issues.
Irritability can cause us to question our frustration tolerance, can cause arguments, can impact relationships, etc.
When we are dehydrated our bodies digestive system slows down considerably. There are many people who complain about gastrointestinal issues and constipation and think that they have no control over it.
When it comes to rapid breathing and rapid heart rate, these can really throw people for a loop. These can mimic anxiety and panic feelings within the body. Again, people rarely think at those moments that a glass of water could possibly begin to address some of the symptoms.
Headaches are caused by dehydration because the brain is 80% water. If your brain isn’t well hydrated, just like the rest of your body – it cannot function properly. The brain will be unable to send messages and fire neurons as it should. Literally, dehydration causes the brain to shrink. Dehydration also reduces the amount of blood in the brain and reduces the amount of oxygen sent to the brain as well.
OK, this is a topic I could talk about forever…
So, we know that we need to stay hydrated. So what are some of our choices to make sure that we do that?
Water is a good choice because well… it’s water.
Watermelon is a great option during the summertime since it is made up of mostly water but has the perks of also having vitamins like vitamin A and C while also having electrolytes.
Coconut water is fantastic as well. When I went to school for nutrition many years ago everyone referred to it as “Mother Earth’s milk.“ It is filled with al the goodies - potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and sodium. Many of these are the things that we find depleted when someone is dehydrated.
If you don’t like plain water, you can always make up a flavored water to your liking. Water, with fruit in it, will give you the flavor of the fruit as well as the vitamins and minerals from the fruit and all the hydration benefits of the water itself.
Cucumber Lemon Ginger Water
If you have a nice powerful blender this recipe is awesome.
1 small organic cucumber
1 lemon (peel and take out seeds)
1 medium thumb size piece of ginger in slices
Stay hydrated. I’m going to get a glass of water….