There are only 3 things I drink…water, wine, and coffee! Yes, water is the most boring, but also the most vital to my health! Most people don’t understand how truly powerful and important water is to feeling good on a daily basis. It plays a part in EVERYTHING that your body does!
Let’s start with the signs that you’re NOT getting enough H2O:
Thirst – Duh, right? If you’re thirsty, you should drink water! So basic, but in our busy lives we tend to ignore the naggings of thirst, hunger, exhaustion in exchange for answering 10,000 “why’s”, making meals, cleaning, the list goes on and on. Don’t ignore your body!
Headache – I don’t know about you, but I’ve had numerous headaches in my life, and if drinking water can prevent just one, I’m in! When you’re dehydrated it reduces the fluid around your brain and instead of floating happily, it can “bump” into the skull and cause pain – can I say gross, I’ll drink water just so I don’t have to imagine this
Tired or Sluggish – As moms, there are enough things that we can’t prevent that leave us tired, drinking water is something we can all do to have better
ENERGY! Your body has to work so much harder to perform the same functions with even mild dehydration.
Craving sweets – Say WHAT??? That’s right, being dehydrated can also make us unhealthy by causing food cravings, especially for sweets! When you’re not getting enough water it makes it harder for your body to use the nutrients for energy, causing you to crave food to provide that energy. So if you’re craving something sweet, first drink a glass of water, then reach for a snack with a high water content, some fruits and vegetables can be up to 90% water!
There are other signs as well, as your level of dehydration increases, your symptoms also escalate. You can feel dizzy, have a drop in blood pressure, experience heart palpitations, become lethargic, and eventually have a seizure and even end up in a coma as your organs begin to shut down. Serious stuff for something as simple as drinking water, right???
So what causes dehydration? There are really only two things input (not drinking enough) or output (losing an excessive amount of fluid). High demand for fluid comes with extreme heat and exercise, but it’s possible to be dehydrated at any time if you’re not drinking enough to keep up with basic body function. Also, when you lose a large amount of fluids (extreme heat, workouts longer than an hour, high intensity workouts) you may need to replace more than water…electrolytes. Coconut water and rehydrate are both great sugar free options.
Drinking coffee, soda, energy drinks, and alcohol are also dehydrators, so even though coffee is brewed with water, the caffeine is still a dehydrator, especially since coffee has diuretic effects. Since our body is on average 60% water, and even a 1.5% loss can cause mild dehydration, we need to be drinking WATER!!!
The path to being Healthy and Happy using H2O:
Drink at least ½ your bodyweight in ounces every dayLimit coffee and tea to 1 or 2 cups per day
Eliminate soda and sugary energy drinks (switch to Spark, better energy with no sugar or crash, and it hydrates you!)
Swap salty, high carb snacks with foods that are higher in water content like fruits, veggies, and yogurt
Those are the technical ways to stay hydrated, but for me it was actually about making it FUN and bringing it to my attention! I’m a mom of a little girl, trying my best to be an awesome wife, and I’m growing two businesses … drinking water all day is the LAST thing on my mind! But, it’s just too important to not figure out. I’d love to hear your tips and tricks for how you remember to drink your water!
A couple more things I leave you with … don’t forget that kids need water too, juice doesn’t count, they need good ole’ H2O just like us. Don’t forget them! A lot of kids (and adults, ahem) don’t like water, if that’s you, try infused waters … there are tons of great ideas out there to flavor your water in a healthy way (using fruits and vegetables).
In a true confession I used to hate water, so I started with a 50/50 100% juice and water mix, then reduced the juice every few days until it was just a splash. Now I love plain water, can’t live without it (literally)!
So raise your glass (of H2O) and cheers to being a well hydrated, Happier and Healthier mama!
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