Hydration for Health
by Julie Peterson
Proper hydration is paramount to keeping your skin and body healthy and being dehydrated can disrupt sleep, cause sluggishness, make the skin look lackluster, make wrinkles more prominent and impact the functionality of the organs, including the brain.
“One simple test to see if you are dehydrated is to pinch together the skin on the back of your hand between the pinky and ring fingers. If it immediately goes back to normal after you release it, you are doing well with your hydration. The longer the delay, the more dehydrated you are,” says Summer Leigh, owner of Nature’s Repair.
It is often recommended to drink 64 ounces of water each day, but there is no scientific formula for how much water each person needs. “It depends on the rate of intake and whether electrolytes are included,” Leigh says. In addition, vigorous exercise, being in a hot and/or dry climate, high altitude and other factors can have an impact on the necessary quantity for an individual.
Here are Leigh’s recommendations to staying hydrated:
Slow and Steady:
The body can only absorb so much water at a time, so spreading out the intake consistently through waking hours is crucial.
“Drinking your daily fluids all at once is not the correct way to hydrate,” says Leigh. “The average amount of water a body can absorb under normal conditions is about 17 ounces or one-half liter per hour.”
More than Water:
“Your fluid intake needs to include electrolytes such as calcium, sodium, potassium and magnesium,” says Leigh. She does not recommend sports drinks or vitamin and electrolyte wafers added to water, rather, she prefers natural methods. “Adding a little Himalayan sea salt or Redmond Real Salt to your water is an excellent way of properly hydrating, but too much salt will dehydrate you. There is a balance. If you listen to your body, it will tell you where that is for you.” Another option is to regularly eat foods that are high in electrolytes, such as avocado, banana, coconut and watermelon.
Food has Water:
Food provides a significant portion of daily fluids. Many fruits and vegetables are almost all water, with watermelon being the obvious example. Spinach is also primarily water. Herbal tea is water. Food is part of the hydration equation. “Juicing vegetables and fruits is an excellent way of hydrating while providing a massive amount of healthy nutrition at the same time,” says Leigh.
“How often you void your bladder is another key to knowing how hydrated, or dehydrated, you are,” says Leigh. “You should have to get up once, maybe twice, during the night. If you don’t, you should really have to go the second you wake up in the morning.” For those who wake up too often, eating a salty snack before bed can increase salt levels so the brain doesn’t send the production hormone to the kidneys. When salt is high, the body wants to hold the water it has. When salt level gets too low, the body wants to evacuate water so the brain sends a signal to the kidneys to start production. This is not a reason to increase salt intake as there is a healthy balance and most people consume too much salt.
Nature’s Repair is a toxin-free company providing nutritional skin care for everyone. To learn more, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, call 833-7NATURE, or visit naturesrepair.org. See ad page 2.
Julie Peterson writes about health and environmental issues. Contact her at JuliePeterson2222@gmail.com.