Health/Wellness

Are You Hydrating

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What is the single most vital activity you can do immediately upon waking up – before checking emails, washing your face or taking a shower? Basically, the most vital activity you can do after you awaken in the morning is to drink two eight-ounce glasses of water. It is an important aspect of healthy living practices.

 

Working as a Registered Nurse for over 35 years, I had the unfortunate experience of assessing far too many patients who for various reasons were dehydrated when they arrived in the emergency room. I have cared for numerous patients who have suffered due to improper water/fluid intake causing dehydration.  The majority of patients were aware of the amount of water they needed daily; however, various excuses were given for not drinking enough water.  Surprisingly, some stated that they were too busy or they did not like to drink water and preferred other types of beverages.

 

In Japan, drinking water immediately after waking up is a popular ritual. It is reported that the Japanese believe drinking water first thing in the morning can help heal and manage epilepsy, bronchitis, asthma, diarrhea, vomiting, urine and kidney diseases, diabetes, menstrual disorders, meningitis, arthritis, headache, tachycardia, eye diseases, and help you manage a healthy weight.

 

If you are not appropriately hydrated, you are dehydrated. The body needs a frequent intake of water during all seasons of the year. Our cells suffer when the body is dehydrated, and we are more vulnerable to disease. Our organs, muscles, brain, and blood are all made up largely of water. Being dehydrated is dangerous because it lowers the blood pressure to lethal levels. It has been stated that the more energy you expend, the more likely you are to lose water. Each time you exhale you lose a small amount of water.

 

You are not alone if you do not like to drink water the first thing in the morning.  Many enjoy a cup of coffee (Starbucks is my choice) or a cup of tea.  Although it is recommended to drink water, you should at least eat fruit that contains water. Remember, while you sleep, your body is filtering out all the toxins you’ve accumulated throughout the day. The little bit of water that’s left in your digestive tract by the time you get to bed isn’t enough to clear away all this waste. Drinking water as soon as you wake up will give your kidneys more to work with to help them eliminate all the toxins that are clogging your system.

 

Dehydration occurs when you use or lose more fluids than you take in, and your body doesn’t have enough water and other fluids to carry out its normal functions. The body can become dehydrated fairly quickly due to excess perspiration, hot weather, sun exposure, and lack of fluids throughout the day. If you don’t replace lost fluids, you will get dehydrated. When you are hydrated your joints are protected, proper organ function is maintained, oxygen is transported to the cells, and body temperature is sustained. The human body is made up of approximately 70-percent water. Therefore, it simply makes good sense that fluids are vital for the majority of our bodily functions.

 

How do you know if you are dehydrated? Here are some Signs of Mild to Moderate Dehydration:

  1. Increased thirst. This occurs when the body is deprived of adequate fluids. Listen to your body! One way to tell if you’re dehydrated is when you’re thirsty, your mouth and throat are dry, your tongue may feel sticky or dry. It may even parch and swell in cases of extreme dehydration.
  2. Dry mouth (Dry mouth and swollen tongue).
  3. Decreased Urine Output. The low volume of urine is more yellowish than normal. Concentrated, dark, yellow urine is a first sign of dehydration. Keep in mind that urine can change color due a variety of reasons, dehydration being one of the most common. However, urine can be discolored due to medications, certain foods (i.e., beets), or as a side effect of health conditions (i.e., liver disease). If your urine is still discolored after you hydrate or for no other apparent reason, consult your physician.
  4. Skin Loses Elasticity. When the skin is pinched, it will not bounce back when a person is dehydrated? This quick “pinch test” indicates normal turgor (hydrated skin snaps back to normal quickly) versus decreased or compromised turgor (dehydrated skin remains elevated and returns to normal slowly). To keep skin looking young and to prevent sagging, hydration is important.
  5. Dehydration is a very common offender of chronic constipation. Inadequate water levels in the body cause the large intestine to suck up water from your food waste, robbing stool of moisture. Keep your digestive system functioning normally and your bowel movements easy to pass by drinking plenty of fluids daily, and also by eating fiber, and getting regular exercise.
  6. Sluggishness, Weakness, feeling Tired or Sleepy. Fatigue sets in when the body suffers from chronic dehydration, blood flow, and blood pressure drop due to a lack of water and oxygen in the blood. This typically occurs when blood pressure levels fall, and the kidneys attempt to store water instead of expelling it from the body, and the urine becomes more concentrated. In more severe cases fainting may occur.
  7. Urinary tract infections. The sign that you are well hydrated is copious crystal-clear
  8. Sudden Lightheadedness or confusion.  Many people wouldn’t consider a lack of water as potentially dangerous. However, if the body is severely robbed of water, extreme confusion and dizziness can occur. When infants and children become dehydrated, they may become confused, fussy, and irritable as the blood pressure drops.
  9. Dizziness, Sluggishness, and Fainting. When your blood pressure drops due to dehydration, dizziness often follows if you stand up too quickly. This type of dehydration-related condition is referred to as orthostatic hypotension by medical professionals.
  10. Heart Rate Increases. Dehydration often causes a reduction in electrolyte levels, which will lead to increased heart rate, heart palpitations (or spasms) in the actual heart muscle. As the blood pressure falls, breathing and heart rate will speed up to indicate potential dehydration.
  11. Palpitations (feeling that the heart is jumping or pounding.) When dehydration sets in – the heartbeat and breathing will become rapid. You may feel like you can’t catch your breath and you may feel fatigued and faint. In severe cases of dehydration, the patient may appear delirious and even lose consciousness.

Drinking Water In An Adequate Quantity is Essential!

 


Drinking an adequate amount of water is the key to health. Please remember it is important to drink a lot of water – plain water – not chilled. Drink it slowly, sip by sip. If you are very fond of having chilled water, then you should persist with plain water and only switch to chilled water when a sufficient intake of plain water is on board.

It is suggested that you should make it a point to drink a lot of plain water 30 minutes before your main meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). Drinking water before light snacks is also a good habit.

How much water should you drink each day?  Realistically, there is no set rule!  However, remember to always consult your physician for advice regarding the specific amounts of water you need to consume.  This amount recommended will be contingent upon your current health status.

 

 

Some Benefits of Adequate Hydration

 

~ Remove Toxins

~ Promotes Healthy Skin

~ Help Fight Infections

~ Promotes a Healthy Heart

~ Raise Energy Level

~ Prevents Arthritis

~ Helps You Lose Weight

~ Reduces the Risk of Cancer

 

Personally, I can lose weight when I consistently drink more water, especially in the morning.

It is also beneficial to squeeze a few drops of lemon juice in the water if your stomach can tolerate it to assist in detoxification.

Barbra is an international certified holistic life coach. As a life coach, she shares prescriptions of the physical, emotional, and spiritual blockage that hinders the source of life which flows from the heartbeat of God. Barbra is an Award winning book author. Winner of Fresh Lifestyle Magazine 2017 BOOK AWARD and a PWN International Literacy Award, for her wonderful book, “Every Beat of My Heart”.

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