This is a guest blog post from Michelle Cartmel, health and wellness coach for Highway to Health. If you’re not registered for the program, register for free and receive the daily updates free daily health updates!
Are you in a Dehydration Situation?
We’re in the throws of summer and no matter where you live in the U.S., it’s HOT. Hot and muggy, hot and rainy, just plain hot. If you followed me during the first installment of our Highway to Health program, we talked a lot about healthy eating and nutrition, but since the heat index is now soaring, it’s time to turn our attention to hydration and the “IT” watering hole of the season! Nope, I’m not talking about that great post-drive pub you love to hit after a long haul. I’m talking about YOU! It’s bottoms up time, and this libation is healthy, cheap and so good for you. Yes, it’s water folks, and while adequate hydration is important any time of the year, it’s critically important now when temperatures are so high.
You may not even realize it, but when you’re feeling extra thirsty, you might actually be dehydrated. So, I’ve got a few key indicators that this might be the case. If you answer “yes” to having one or more of the following symptoms, it’s probably time to amp up your aqua intake.
- Dry or sticky mouth
- Headaches, dizziness, feelings of being disoriented
- Muscle cramps
- Not sweating nearly as much as you should be
- Dark or unclear urine
So, here comes the part where I tell you to drink 8 glasses of water a day, right? Well, yes and no. According to the Mayo Clinic, that amount varies based on your lifestyle (how active you are, environment, health factors, etc), but men should aim for about 15.5 cups and women, for 11.5 cups. Here’s the good news: while water is the healthiest source of hydration, you can meet these amounts by supplementing with other sources, like herbal teas and lowfat/skim milk, and water-dense foods like celery, watermelon, and spinach. Sorry to say, soda doesn’t count, folks, and coffee and alcohol can have dehydrating effects on your body. There are so many beautiful health benefits to sipping simple water, it’s a shame to deny yourself. Here are just a few:
- Improves your complexion
- Enhances digestion
- May help with circulation, especially important when you are driving for long stretches at a time
- Maintains balance throughout your body
So keep your favorite watering hole running at peak performance. Visit throughout the day…it’s the best and least expensive investment you can make in YOU.
Cheers to your health! Michelle