Thirsty? If so you are already dehydrated! “But I drink all day long! How can I be lacking in liquids?” you ask? Drinks are not created equal. While most drinks provide the body with much needed liquids some take it away leaving the body more dehydrated then before that first sip.
Every system and organ of the body needs water to operate properly. Depending on age and gender the body is 60 to 78% water, with different tissues having more or less. The heart and brain require the most water while the bones need the least amount. Temperature regulation, nutrient transport, shock absorption, toxin removal, lubrication; all things water does for you!
So, what to drink? Water of course! Seriously though water itself can become a bit boring if it is the only thing you drink. Also socially sometimes it can be a bit awkward “Hey Sally, want to go for a water?” Some businesses thrive on “drink” dates. So here’s the skinny on what to drink, what not to drink and what to drink on occasion.
What is your intent? Solely hydration or healthy hydration?
Fresh juices can offer a quick pick me up and vitamin boost. For health purposes watch quality as even fresh squeezed juice has a high content of natural sugar.
Caffeine and Dehydration: Fact or Fiction?
Studies show that while caffeine does not create an electrolyte imbalance it is a mild diuretic. Limit intake for optimal health but no need to avoid completely! Watch for hidden calories; drink that cup black, or maybe a splash of almond milk. Added sugar equals added calories.
Homemade sodas are the big craze right now. While carbonation itself is not dehydrating it forms gas in the digestive tract making the consumer feel full, in effect causing us to consume less liquids. Another downside to carbonated beverages; sugar! Added calories from sugar can pack on the pounds when consumed exclusively or even in the majority. Chemicals? What exactly is in that soda? If you can’t pronounce it or it doesn’t grown wild then you probably shouldn’t consume it. Studies, done in the 90’s, link cola’s (dark coloured sodas) to decreased bone density, and increased obesity.
While a glass of wine a day offers some health benefits. Alcohol, in general is classified as BAD. Over consumption leads to dehydration, as little as 2 glasses for women and 3 for men. It creates electrolyte imbalances throughout the body while preventing the absorption of water.
Heading out on that coffee break? Go ahead have one, maybe switch it up sometimes for a tea or fruit juice; just remember moderation. Make sure 75% of the liquids you consume each day are water and you’re golden!
If we consider 8 glasses of liquid, a day a good rule to follow could be:
1 cup coffee or tea, 1 cup juice, 6 cups water
1 cup coffee, 1 cup juice, 2 cups herbal tea (unsweetened), 4 cups water
To really make things crazy! Have 8 cups of unsweetened herbal tea 🙂
Have fun! Flavour that water. Adding a squeeze of lemon or steeping some herbal teas can add some flair without detracting from the hydration value of water.
After work drink have the glass of wine or a cocktail but don’t count it as a hydrating drink, it would be become drink #9!