We all know staying hydrated is important, the health and fitness industry won’t shut up about it! 😛 But there may be some issues you are experiencing that you did not know had to do with your hydration.
In this post I am going to go over the importance of staying hydrated and what some not-so-obvious symptoms are, the difference between drinking plenty of water and actually being hydrated and my top tips for getting enough water and actually being hydrated rather than over saturated.
So we know that its important to drink enough water, but do we even know why? If you are anything like me, you may not. I didn’t until a couple of years ago, I did not realize that it could be contributing to my eczema and dry skin or my husbands muscle cramps.
From fatigue, to weight loss and everything in-between, being dehydrating is doing you know favours. And even if you are drinking plenty of water, you may just be flushing tons of liquids through your system without it really doing any good.
What Can Hydration Levels Effect?
- Energy levels
- Weight loss
- Dry skin
- The body’s natural detoxing process
- Muscle cramps
- Food cravings
- Strains your heart
- Mood dis-regulation
- Sleep quality
If you are drinking a lot of water, but still having the symptoms of dehydration it could be due to one of the following…
- You are drinking too fast
- Water should be sipped throughout the day for proper absorption otherwise it will literally just pass right through you.
- You are drinking too much
- Too much of a good thing and all, water can become toxic if you over do it. Starting with around 9 cups a day for women or 9-13 cups for men is a good benchmark. And that is in 8oz cups folks, so don’t go nuts!
- Your electrolyte balance is off
- If you have been sweating a lot, or drank too much water you could actually be in need of some electrolytes.
What are Electrolytes?
When we are talking about electrolytes in the body we are referring to calcium, potassium, magnesium and sodium. These minerals need to be in the proper balance for many reasons, but maintaining hydration is a big one of them. Making sure we get enough of these in our diets and supplement as needed is crucial for proper hydration.
Sports drinks can be used of course, but that are pack full of sugar and lord knows what else! If you want an easy homemade version check out my recipe here Iced Matcha Electrolyte Latte or on the Coconut’s and Kettlebells blog DIY Natural Electrolyte Drink
Does Coffee Count?
Actually, yes! Although they should never make up the majority of your liquid consumption beverages such as coffee and tea can count towards your daily total. They will cause some water loss, but not enough to make them completely negligible!
Can I Eat My Water?
The simple answer is NO! There is a fade in the Paleo community that encourages people to ONLY eat their water! Which is ridiculous and frankly could be dangerous! Yes eating hydrating foods is good for you, but do not rely on them for your total hydration. If you feel like you don’t need your 6th glass of water because you at that bowl of cucumber salad for lunch, then go for it. But start with the water, not the food!
But Drinking All This Water Make Me PEE!
Again I will point you back to when I mentioned drinking too much and in too short of a time frame can cause problems! That is one of them. Don’t chug your water, it’s going to be right back to say hello again in no time. Yes you may need to go to the bathroom more often when drinking the correct amounts of water for you, but it wont be insane if you go about it properly. Introduce new amounts of liquids slowly and SIP them!