Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Wellness Wednesday: Hydration
Last week the temperatures stayed in the 95-100 degree range all week. It was a little brutal and just a taste of what July and August will be like. We hid inside with the air conditioners on and tried to keep from overheating. And we drank lots and lots of water. And brought it with us every time we ventured out. No matter if we were going around the block or to another place to use their ac. When it is hot like that we don't have much trouble remembering to drink our water because we can see and feel it leaving our bodies so rapidly. I find, the hard time to keep up with hydration is when the temperatures are a little less extreme. When we are just coasting along, this is when we "forget" to drink.
The standard recommendation for water is about 64 ounces a day. It sounds like a lot, but on a hot day it is easy to manage. On a cool day (like today, thank goodness!) it gets a lot harder. It also fails to take in consideration any variables. Are you working inside, in dry air conditioning? Outside in the sun? Are you eating lots of water rich fruits and veggies? Are you absorbing any (enough?) of that water? Or is it just passing through you? I got really interested in this a few months ago when I realized that I had been dehydrated since- oh, maybe forever. At least as long as I can remember. My lips had always been dry and cracked. My skin almost always needed lotion. And why? Was I really not ever getting enough water? Ever? That seemed crazy.
I decided to try something other than water and see if it helped. I asked around and found coconut water. Drinking just one glass of this a day (in addition to regular water) seems to help right away. I also heard a lecture from John Douillard about the Ayurvedic idea of hydrating and flushing the system. This involves drinking hot water regularly for a couple weeks straight. Since it was cold out it seemed like a great idea. After a couple days my lips had puffed up and felt like I'd gotten an injection to make them full and soft. (What a better return on investment!!) In the end though, chasing a toddler around, I found it pretty unsustainable as a practice. Adding in another glass of coconut water helped.
What is really amazing is that we trick ourselves into thinking we have "quenched" our thirst with things that are actually stealing water from our cells. Sodas and coffee and even many "sports" drinks are wet for sure but they rob us. Not that we can't have those things- just so we remember they aren't replacing the water we drink.
I'll give you one other trick that is easy as pie to get you jump started on hydration each day- put a full glass of water by your bed each night. Drink it when you wake up. Before you even swing those feet over towards the floor. You'll be one step ahead all day!
What do you do to keep hydrated in the summer?