If you guessed water you are CORRECT!!! 75% of people are dehydrated. Stop, now re-read that. WOW, that means that 3 out of 4 people are dehydrated RIGHT NOW. Are you a part of that percentage?
So where does all the water go that you drink? Well as a matter of fact you expire it through your skin when you sweat, it evaporates as you breath, and you excrete it when you use the bathroom. But the biggest question is.... Are you drinking enough water to replace the water you lose through your body's daily functions? If you have dry lips or feel thirsty then the answer is probably no.
The recommendation is to drink 8oz of fluid 8 times a day, however this doesn't take into account the fact that many people reach for coffee, tea, and even soda for this fluid intake. Guess what ladies and gentlemen, all of these caffeine and sugar filled fluids actually contribute to you becoming MORE dehydrated!!! When you consume sugary drinks, your body is forced to pull water from your tissues to balance out the excess sugar that is deposited into your blood. Which will trigger your thirst mechanism and cause you to possibly reach for another soda or cup of coffee. Vicious cycle huh? So not drinking enough water or just water in general can actually lead you to become thirsty and more dehydrated. In turn this can also effect your body's general function and cause it to react by slowing function and shutting down systems. This can lead to you to become fatigued as well as thirsty!
Did you ever notice how young children ask for water or juice quite often during the day? That's because their brain connections between food and water aren't interconnected yet. In fact as we get older and our brains develop further, we lose the distinction between when we are thirsty and when we are hungry. In fact, in most people they only recognize that they are hungry, and so reach for food rather than water first! So try reaching for a glass of water next time you get hungry and wait 20 minutes. If you're still hungry then go ahead and eat rather than just always reaching for food. You'll satisfy your body, decrease your calorie intake, and possibly even contribute to some decreased numbers on the scale.
So here's some tips on how to make sure you're drinking enough fluids.
- Designate a place for a water pitcher in the fridge, this will ensure that you have water cooled and ready to pour into a glass.
- Make sure you have a designated glass or water bottle set aside each day filled with water. If its within reach, you'll reach for that rather than getting up to grab a coffee, tea, or soda. If the glass or water bottle has an attractive color or design it will only add to the desirability of reaching for that container as well.
- Drink water while you're outside in the sun whether you're sun bathing, working in the yard, or playing football with your buddies. This will help to ensure that you're replacing the water lost from the hot weather.
- When you're hungry, try reaching for a glass of water first and then wait 20 minutes. If you're still hungry then go ahead and eat rather than just always reaching for food. You'll satisfy your body, decrease your calorie intake, and possibly even contribute to some decreased numbers on the scale.
- Try keeping a tally of the number of glasses of water you drink each day. Reward yourself and give yourself a pat on the back when you reach your daily goal. (Goals should be 3 liters or 13 cups for men and 1.3 liters or 9 cups for women. However if you're more active or out in the sun add a few more glasses to that number.)
- If you have difficulty drinking plain old water and need a little flavor, try adding a teaspoon of lemon juice into your glass for flavor or add some fresh fruit (I love adding watermelon!) into your water pitcher for some extra flavor when it's time to pour another glass.
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