Disguised Dehydration – Your Body’s Hidden Symptoms

Dehydration is a concept that we don’t really consider all too often.  It actually seems absurd if you think about it!  How can one be dehydrated in America today?  Seriously, we have BIG GULPS and SUPER SIZED drinks on every corner ready and waiting for us.  Yet, SADLY, most of us Americans are walking around EXTREMELY dehydrated as a direct RESULT of these very BIG GULPS and SUPER SIZED drinks.  Many people fill these ENORMOUS cups full of DEHYDRATING beverages such as soft drinks, sugary juice drinks and caffeinated teas.  These types of beverages actually DEHYDRATE the body and are DETRIMENTAL to your hydration status.

Have you ever noticed how your mouth still feels dry after drinking a soft drink?  Even though the drink is a wet liquid, after swallowing, your tongue can still stick to the roof of your mouth!  It has been YEARS since I have touched a soft drink, but I used to LIVE on them.  I remember feeling fatigued most of the time even though I was addicted to caffeinated Mountain Dew.  Little did I know that my body really was desperate for water.  My fatigue would have greatly diminished through the simple act of drinking pure filtered water!

WATER IS THE MOST COMMON NUTRITIONAL DEFICIENCY IN THE AMERICAN POPULATION.

That is right, folks!  bigstock-Footprints-on-sand-dune-Sahar-16402469We all might as well be lost and stranded in a desert because our body’s FEEL like we are! Think about that the next time you are taking a big sip out of your BIG GULP.

Water is THE most important nutrient out of all of the nutrients available to our bodies.   In fact, the body can go 8 weeks without food, but only days without water.  Something that I found to be most interesting in my nutritional training was that our bodies are actually made up of 60% water.   This equates to 10-13 gallons of water!  Take a moment and open your fridge, look at your gallon of milk and consider the fact that you are made up of 10-13 of those in water!

What is particularly intriguing about water is that our body cannot make it – we have to get it from the foods that we eat and the beverages that we consume!  Let me stress this very important point one more time!  OUR BODIES CANNOT MAKE WATER.  WE HAVE TO REPLENISH THE 60% OF OUR BODY COMPOSITION IN WATER BY THE FOODS THAT WE EAT AND THE BEVERAGES THAT WE DRINK EACH DAY….

One of the problems of modern foods that most people consume on the SAD is that these foods are usually very dry.  These fake processed and packaged foods are made to be dry to help preserve them and give them a longer shelf life.  However, these foods don’t do much for PRESERVING your health in any way.

In contrast, our Paleolithic ancestors actually ate a lot of the foods that were water dense.  REAL foods, such as fruits and vegetables, are WATER DENSE. Water dense foods can contribute to our body’s water supply and overall well-being.   Juicy produce like cucumbers, apples and oranges are extremely helpful!

In terms of dehydration, if the body’s 60% water content drops by as little as 2% it will cause fatigue.  A drop of 10% can cause significant health problems such digestive issues, cardiovascular complications, immune and musculoskeletal issues.  Losses greater than 10% of water can result in death.*

So, if water is the number one nutritional deficiency in America, how is it that so many people don’t know that they are dehydrated?  The simple truth is that many have lost touch with their innate intelligence telling them that they need water and they are not “reading” their body’s signs!  The most common misconception about dehydration is that people think that they will feel thirsty if they need to drink water.  This is not true!  We have lost touch with our sensation of thirst due to all of the caffeinated and sugary drinks that we drink while living on the SAD!  Check out some of the most common signs of dehydration below:

Some EARLY signs of dehydration:

  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Cravings
  • Cramps
  • Headaches

Some MATURE/LATE STAGE signs of dehydration:

  • Heartburn
  • Joint Pain
  • Back Pain
  • Migraines – Fluid volume in the blood may be low and dilation and constriction of the vascularity in the brain is impacted due to this low volume.
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Constipation
  • Colitis – There is a relationship between inflammation and dehydration – when the colon is dehydrated it becomes inflamed

So, now you know the signs.  The EARLY signs look a lot like PMS symptoms!  Women out there, you know that I am right!  This brings me to an interesting point on PMS and how hydration can even help these nasty time-of-the-month symptoms.  During PMS, due to hormonal changes, the body may dip down into a more dehydrated state.  By keeping water consumption up, you may be able to diminish these annoying symptoms.

Fatigue is the truly the most common symptom of dehydration.  However, fatigue is a tough symptom to filter out from all of the other potential causes of fatigue such as stress and the daily grind.  One thing I can promise you is that you will greatly REDUCE your fatigue level just by ensuring that you have enough water in your body.  This is a controllable in your life – where as other causes of fatigue may not be within your control.  Give your body and your life a boost just by choosing to drink more water.

Migraines are another sign that I see frequently in my practice.  This is a MATURE sign of dehydration.  Mature signs such as joint pain, heart burn and migraines may take longer to heal with rehydration.  However, I will say I have seen fast responses to hydration in terms of migraine relief in my practice.  Colitis is another area that seems to respond fairly quickly to rehydration.  It is amazing to me how complicated we make things when really the solution may be as simple as drinking pure water!  Truly!  I have SEEN many of these symptoms go away in my very own practice just by rehydrating my dehydrated clients.

Another interesting fact to share with you is that people with Parkinson’s disease tend to not want to drink water.  However, water can be extremely helpful in preventing Parkinson’s disease as well as maintaining health after diagnosis.  Often times clients will tell me that they don’t like the taste of just water because it is BORING.  I ask them if they think Parkinson’s disease is fun?  Obviously they say no, but when I tell them that an aversion to drinking water is a sign of Parkinson’s disease they tend to start to think that water looks a lot more appealing!

bigstock-Summer-Drinks-With-Ice-47343724Water is very refreshing and can be made to taste interesting based on fruits that you allow to infuse in it!   Simply fill a container with fresh filtered water and poor in some cut up organic fruit or use frozen organic fruit and let it sit for a few hours in your fridge!  It is amazing how fun, delicious and beautiful something as simple as fruit infused in water can be!  Top spas and resorts have these types of waters on hand for their guests and you can make these very simply and inexpensively in your own home.  Kids love them too!  I have a client with a little girl who loves what she calls “princess water”  which is water infused with strawberries and raspberries!

So, just what is the RIGHT amount of water each day for optimal health?  There is a simple calculation that you can follow to help your body function optimally for your health and well-being.  The calculation:

 

  • Take your body weight and divide it by 2.  That resulting number is the number of OUNCES of water that you need each day minimally.
    • For example:
      • A 140lb person would need to drink 70 ounces of water minimally in a day.

 

  • Keep in mind, that for every ounce of coffee, soft drink, bottle fruit juice and/or caffeinated tea (even black tea) you will need to ADD an ADDITIONAL  1 & ½ more ounces of water to your minimum balance
    • For example:
      • A 140lb person needs 70 ounces of water minimally in a day
      • This person also drinks 8 ounces (1 cup) of coffee each morning
        • Take 8 X 1.5 = 12 ounces
        • They would add 12 ounces to their 70 ounce minimum in a day
        • Total ounces needed for that day = 82 ounces of water
          • This compensates for the dehydrating effects of their caffeinated beverage

It should be noted, that unless you are an elite athlete, the MAX amount of water that anyone should drink in a day is 100 ounces.  This is because you can overdue water and that in turn can DEHYDRATE you.   You know that saying about how you can never get too much of a good thing?  Well, whoever wrote that was lying!  You can get too much of a good thing!  Water included!

During the first two weeks of incorporating more water into your diet, don’t be surprised if you find yourself running to the bathroom to urinate frequently.  This often happens because your body is extremely dry and it doesn’t know how to receive the water you are giving it!  This concept is much like dry ground during a drought.  When the rains eventually come, it bounces off of this extremely dry ground instead of absorbing into it.  This is how your cells and your body respond during your initial rehydrating stage.  Your body may push out the water you are giving it through frequent urination but this frequency will subside within a week or two when your body regulates.  In fact, I have had many clients find that they lose 5lbs of weight just simply by drinking the right amount of water!  This happens because the body has been holding on to this little amount of water for survival and it will no longer need to hold on when it detects that it is receiving the water that it needs.

Stay posted for more on hydration.  Next we will talk about electrolytes and their role with hydration.  I will also share with you the best sources of water as well as some flavorful ways to incorporate water into your daily diet.  You will LOVE these refreshing recipes and your kids will too!  Until then, take your body weight, divide it in half, and drink that water up!  Stop wandering around in a desert and let your body enjoy an oasis full of fresh water!

bigstock-beautiful-woman-with-glass-of--14586092

Blessings and health,

Jen

 

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