Dehydration occurs when the body loses water and essential salts (like sodium and potassium). Did you know that by the time you get that first nudge of thirst you are in early stages of dehydration? It’s true!
By the time we get the signal we’ve lost close to 2% of our total water content. How many of us always listen to the warning signals our bodies try to send? I’m guilty too, but we should heed the call when it comes to staying hydrated.
Why dehydration matters?
Our beautiful bodies consist of roughly 65% water and there’s a reason why. Water is needed to keep you humming in terms of biochemical reactions and physiological processes. Important things like; blood circulation, detoxification or waste removal, metabolism and regulating your body temperature all use water to work their magic.
Signs of dehydration
The first sign is the feeling of thirst. Nothing major. Just a little tap on the shoulder to remind you to hydrate. But what happens if you don’t heed the need?
- Sugar Cravings – Oh, yes! This is real. You may just think you are hungry or having a craving when in reality you just need a glass of water.
- Muscle Cramps
- Fatigue and sometimes dizziness
- Dry, dull skin with more pronounced wrinkles
- Joint or back ache
- Foggy headed
- Dark urine
How to avoid dehydration
Water. Pure, clean water is your best bet. Simply swapping out all the sweetened, bottled beverages for pure water can go a long way to improving your health.
The daily amount required is up to the individual. You can use the pee test to monitor your hydration. Concentrated, dark-colored urine is a sign that your kidneys are retaining fluids to maintain your bodily functions, and is a good sign you need more water. Ideally, you’ll want to drink enough water to turn your urine a light-colored yellow.
Here’s a popular formula to give you an idea…
Your Current Weight X 2/3 = # of ounces
(Example: 100 x 2/3 = 67 ounces)
If you are working out then you should adjust for your activity level. Rule of thumb is an additional 12 ounces for every 30 minutes of exercise.
What about electrolytes?
If you’ve been sweating or working out you want to make sure you replace the lost electrolytes, but the popular sport drinks aren’t the best choice. It’s been drilled into every little kid that Gatorade will help them be the athlete they dream of becoming, but here’s the deal – most sport drinks have two-thirds or more sugar than soda! Not to even mention all the artificial coloring and flavoring. It’s a veritable chemical sh*t storm. Yikes.
It is super easy and inexpensive to solve the lost electrolyte issue. Simply add a small amount of natural, unprocessed salt, such as Himalayan salt, to your water.
Unlike processed salt, this natural salt has 84 different minerals and trace minerals that your body needs for optimal function. Another great option is coconut water. Both are natural and provide additional healthy benefits. Win!
Also, fresh fruits are full of potassium and other important minerals that help electrolyte balancing. But always opt for whole fruit, not fruit juices.
Basically, to avoid dehydration we don’t ignore the signals from our beautiful bodies and we fill up on healthy choices instead of chemical and sugar laden sport drinks. It’s only as complicated as we make it, right? Try this recipe for a homemade sport drink:
Old School Gatorade
1 quart of coconut water, water or green tea
1/8-1/4 tsp Himalayan Sea Salt
Juice of one lemon
1/4 cup berries of choice
1 tablespoon raw honey or a few drops of stevia (not really needed)
Let this baby infuse for 6 hours in your fridge, then drink up.
I was feeling dry, tired and blah until I started to hydrate the right way. Our cells, our adrenals, our thyroid and our body – need salts for every metabolic process and those babies are alkalizing too! Hydrate and regenerate. Plus, it is yummy and the kids love it too!