Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wellness Wednesday: Hydration

Dive Right In

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?


AlisaRock said...

I have such a hard time staying hydrated, any time of the year. I've started forcing myself to drink a big 12oz glass of water with every meal and when I wake up in the morning. Still, it doesn't seem enough.

Cindy said...

I drink water, baby! I've been making it a practice for years now to drink 8 oz as soon as a roll out of bed, before my feet even hit the floor (the only good advice I ever got from a women's magazine). It works better than a cup of coffee and gives me a head start on my 8 of 8.

I also, like you, keep water with me at all times. In my car, in my motorcycle luggage, on my nightstand. I'm even prone to leaving glasses of water around the house so I can have a drink when I need one (works for Matt, too).

It's the main liquid I consume. I need it! I've never cared for soda (although sometimes I oddly crave natural sugar Coke so when I do, I give into an 8 oz bottle) and my thirst for juice has to come from the need for a little glucose boost. Otherwise it's water, and the occasional beer and half-caf coffee ... of course. :)

anilia said...

Alisa- It is hard sometimes. Especially when you are running around like crazy, and i know you are. Have you tried using a glass or water bottle that you really like? Sometimes a gimmick as simple as a pretty item will help.
Cindy- I knew you would love this one!

OldBikeRider said...

I never have liked carbonated drinks. In fact, I believe that one day many of the debilitating diseases people are suffering from will be attributed to soft drinks, especially with artificial sweeteners. But, just because I believe that doesn't make it a fact.

I make it a practice (in the non-spiritual meaning of the word) to always order water when eating out and drink a lot of it. I also make it a practice (in the spiritual meaning of it) to add the cost of an un-healthy soft drink to the tip as I feel that those who serve me are underpaid universally.

Coffee, I feel, should be balanced out with equal or better volume of water. Again, not a fact, just what I try to do. Beer, one the other hand, goes through faster than water, so it must be better for you. Right? Coconut water? Only if I see the kid climb the tree and open it with a machete.

JoannaP said...

I have a cute cup at work that I refill regularly during the day. I tried coconut water but it reminded me too much of suntan lotion and I couldn't handle it. I like the glass on the nightstand idea and will try it. Your dad's idea about beer, too funny and I think it's true, maybe.