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Proper Hydration

Did you know that eating celery burns more calories that it contains? I know it’s one of those useless facts that doesn’t really matter in the big scheme of things. Another fact that often gets lumped in with the celery trivia concerns water. I tell my patients daily about the importance of water and yet many people still don’t fully understand what proper hydration does for the body.

First let me explain what proper hydration actually is. To be properly hydrated you need half of your body weight in ounces per day. For example, someone weighing 200lbs needs 100 ounces per day of water. If you have a caffeinated beverage then you need an additional 2 glasses of water to balance this out in addition to your previous 100 ounces. I know, it sounds like a lot but consider this. Almost every reaction in the body takes place in an aqueous (watery) environment. Lack of water means poor performance on the field and in the classroom. Brain fog, tight muscles, weakness, lethargy, and fatigue, are just a few of the symptoms you might experience if you are not properly hydrated. And consider this, a body that is dehydrated is more likely to succumb to infection and disease. Even your skin feels the effects of poor hydration. Wrinkles and poor detoxification, which the skin is a major player in, are both compounded by decreased water levels in the body.

Now I know what you are thinking, you think that you will be in the bathroom all day. That is partly true. Physics demands that what goes in must come out. However remember that you may not be getting adequate levels in the first place, so all the extra H2O might not be coming back out. After a few days your body will become used to your new levels and bathroom trips will decrease to a new normal.

The bathroom trips are not the worst things that could happen to you either. What this means is that the kidneys are filtering more and you should see your urine color get lighter indicating that you are not experiencing such high concentrations as before. Your kidneys will be thanking you because concentrated toxins can be cause kidney damage.

Last, consider this, only water counts as water. Not coffee, or juice and especially not Gatorade. Recent studies have shown over and over that the fastest and best way to rehydrate and stay hydrated is with good clean plain water. If you need flavor because plain water is too boring for you consider adding some cucumber, strawberries, or even mint leaves. All of these are acceptable and none cause the huge sugar spikes that Gatorade does. Obviously people with certain health issues will need to speak to their health care team about what is best for them but please remember a healthy body is approximately 75% water so bottoms up.

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