The Importance of Hydration for Health and Wellness

By Kristy Dusevic CHC

The heat is on….. that’s an understatement. Are you staying hydrated? This is something to make yourself aware of constantly during these “dog days of summer.” Keep in mind that not all beverages are created equal when it comes to staying hydrated.

Water is Life

The average adult body is 50 – 65% water.

You need water to eliminate toxic substances, produce digestive enzymes, maintain healthy skin, hair, nails and most importantly proper organ function. Water also regulates our body temperature.

Coffee, tea, sodas and alcoholic beverages do not count. They are diuretics, which means they actually remove water and nutrients from the body.

Some signs and symptoms that you may be dehydrated:
* fatigue
* headache
* constipation
* indigestion
* muscle & joint aches and pains
* dizziness

So how much water do we need to drink?

Well, that varies. Many different factors come into play when trying to figure that out.

6-8 glasses is an excellent place to start. However, the color of your urine and how often are you urinating is the best way to tell if you are hydrated. Your urine should be a light to clear color, and you should be urinating no less than once every 3 hours.

Is Plain Water Enough?

If you are partaking in strenuous physical activities or spending a lot of time out in this heat then probably not. You will need to replenish your electrolytes. Electrolytes are sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphate. These carry electrical charges that are responsible for stimulating muscles and nerves. They also regulate the amount of fluid throughout your body.

Staying Hydrated with Thrive Yoga and WellnessI know what you probably think when I bring up electrolytes: Sports Drinks

If that is the only thing available then by all means, drink up. I would not say that sports drinks are the best option. The average sports drink contains anywhere from 14 to 24 grams of sugar. YIKES!! Then there are the food dyes added to them Red No. 40, Blue No 1 and Yellow No. 5, which are derived from petroleum which studies have shown to be linked to certain cancers and hyperactivity in children.

The best thing to do if you have a day of outdoor activities or a great hot yoga class on the agenda is to plan ahead. Make your own electrolyte filled water. Add a dash of good quality sea salt, squeeze some lemon or other citrus and if you like, add a little bit of honey to sweeten it up. Another great option is coconut water. Just make sure that there are no added ingredients when choosing one. Coconut water is high in potassium which makes it a great alternative to sports drinks.

Enjoy your summer and by all means STAY HYDRATED!

If you have any questions about hydration or if you want to learn how Thrive Yoga and Wellness can help you, please don’t hesitate to call the studio at any time. We will be happy to help! You can also contact us via the website!