5 Simple Steps to Staying Hydrated - (part 2 of 2) - Ann Gentry

5 Simple Steps to Staying Hydrated – (part 2 of 2)

Master these 5 simple steps to go from dehydrated to hydrated, dry skin to clear complexion, headaches to quicker thinking,  an endless appetite to fitting into your last decade dress.  

What would you say is your drink of choice? Do you immediately hit the coffee maker upon waking? Do you have to sip on Coca Cola for an afternoon pick-me-up? Are you a friend for tea, whether herbal, green or black, iced or hot?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you probably drink water sometimes. You might drink a little after a workout, or when you’re feeling a little parched. Or you might think you are getting your water through the liquid intakes above.

But can you say with confidence exactly how much water you drink every single day?

Most of us aren’t quite sure how much water we drink. Typically when I ask this question, people say, “Yeah, I think I drank a couple of glasses yesterday…or I drink lemon in water upon rising and then I’m not so sure how much more I drink.”

In a recent poll of 1,000 working Americans, 77% said that they don’t drink the recommended amount of water per day. The most common reason cited was that they didn’t feel thirsty.

Ladies, this is a significant health issue. When you feel thirsty, it means you’re already dehydrated.

The second reason cited was that people prefer to drink something else like coffee and tea, soda, sugary fruit drinks, or sports beverages.  Even the “naturally good-for-you drinks” are often loaded with sugar and stimulants. Think Vitamin Water. Any beverage loaded with sugar pushes water out of the cells and into your bloodstream which leads to dehydration. (And not to mention weight gain!)

Water is vital to human life. Our bodies and brains are thirsty for this clear nectar of the universe. In fact, staying hydrated is so important that if there’s one single thing you do for your health – it should be to drink more water.  

Neuroscientist Lisa Mosconi, the Associate Director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic of the Department of Neurology at Weill Cornell Medical College, stays hydrated religiously. Her years of research show that water is essential to all systems of the body and the brain. In her book “Brain Food: The Surprising Science of Eating for Cognitive Power,” she declares that as little as a 3 to 4 percent decrease in water intake can cause fatigue, brain fog, headaches, reduced energy, and mood swings.

She also goes on to say that you need to stay hydrated as you age. In her research, she found “Dehydration was shown to accelerate the brain shrinkage that occurs with aging and dementia. MRI studies show that when we’re dehydrated, several parts of the brain appear to get thinner and lose volume.”

Not drinking enough water is literally shrinking your brain. The good news is that drinking more water can boost your brain’s performance by 30 percent.

The importance of water doesn’t stop with our brains. Water is involved in every chemical reaction occurring in our bodies. It carries oxygen to our cells. The body uses water for our lungs to breathe, for a healthy digestive system, and to let our skin glow among many other body and cellular functions.

Without This Daily Health Habit, You’re Not Functioning At Full Capacity.

So how do you know if you’re dehydrated? As mentioned earlier, you may experience headaches, muscle aches, irritability, brain fog, hunger, and mood swings. But one tell-tale sign is dark, concentrated urine. So if you’re not peeing clear, for sure, you need to drink way more water than you think.

So how much water is the right amount?

Most of us grew up being taught that we needed at least eight 8 oz. glasses of water a day.  That’s about right if you weight a little less than 100 pounds.

STEP 1:   Multiply your current weight by .067%. What that equals is how many fluid ounces you need to drink daily.   This is an easy calculation. Take out your phone, do it right now! Do it!

Keep in mind – if you live an active lifestyle or live in a hot, dry area, you’ll need a little more than that. Rule of thumb is to add 12 oz of water to your daily consumption for every 30 minutes that you sweat.

You may be  thinking, “Aren’t I going to be sprinting to the bathroom all day long if I drink this much water?”

I thought the same thing, but because I was tired of feeling tired, I was ready to follow the science. So, I got serious about my own water consumption, did the math, and I am now obsessed with drinking the right amount of water – and because I care about you, I want you to get down with your water intake.

But first, here’s part of the deal:  Put down the sweet tea. Vow to quit drinking soda. Opt for fewer caffeinated drinks. Trust me – it’s hard to over-exaggerate how amazing I felt after trading sugary fruit drinks and caffeinated beverages for water. My brain felt clearer. My muscles no longer ached. I no longer had these flu-like symptoms where I wanted to take cover in bed. I noticed how much more supple my skin looked. And I curbed my quick dashes to the ladies room.

I know it might be difficult to believe that once you hydrate your system, the need to urinate will DECREASE. That my friends is precisely what happens. (Re-read my previous newsletter for more on eliminating trips to the loo.)

Here’s the next 4 steps on how to make hydrating a part of your day.

STEP 2 : Find a water container you LOVE to drink out of. Be creative: a thermos, a mason jar, a large glass, a canteen, a fancy water bottle …. Choose what you love and is easy to carry around and make sure it’s measurable. (I drink out of a 32-oz mason jar with a stainless steel straw.)

STEP 3: To find your timeline: divide the number of fluid ounces that you need daily by the number of ounces your water container holds. That gives the number of times you’ll be filling your water vessel.

STEP 4: When you wake up, fill your vessel with plain pure water. If you need a hint of a flavor, allow yourself to enhance with fresh citrus or cucumber.

STEP 5: Be mindful of how much you’re drinking every day. At the end of the day, ask: “How much water did I drink today? How do I feel?” Be kind to yourself and know it will take some time to get used to the ritual of replenishing your water and keeping your water bottle close.

I remember the first day I did this. I stared at the 32 oz. mason jar brimming with clean, pure, and mind you – free water and thought to myself: “I doubt I can drink all of that within the day!” But sure enough, in a matter of days, I was drinking my first 32 ounces by noon and by late afternoon I’ve gone through the second 32 ounces. That left me slowly sipping throughout the evening, right up to going to bed my last round of hydration of the day.

Note: after a year of doing this, I rarely ever get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. It is the first thing I do in the morning as it should be.

If you adopt this daily ritual of hydrating your body and BRAIN with ample amount of water based on your body weight you will feel a heck of a lot better. Your brain will function better, your memory clearer, you’ll be more creative, you’ll have more mental endurance, you’ll quit snacking mindlessly, and you’ll even sleep better.

If you need someone to hold your hand or a community of other women just like you ready to bring on the water, then join my group and participate in an upcoming  3-day hydration challenge with water and water-rich foods.

Otherwise, try this for yourself and be sure to let me know how it goes. Really, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I am available to help you along and excited to share your success a lifetime water lover.

Here’s to your new juicy life. Bottoms up.

And we’d love to have you join Take Charge of Your Food Journey where you can learn how to eat water-rich foods and stay hydrated! 

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