Monday, January 26, 2015

day drinking

Let's discuss drinking. What beverages do you consume? How much? How often?

For me, I drink a lot during the day. I think I get enough liquid. Many people (maybe you?) have trouble drinking enough during the day and are consistently dehydrated (even if it feels "normal"). If that's your problem, this will work for you, too (just keep reading). When I started to think of food as medicine, I took a hard look at what I actually consume in beverage form.
  1. Diet Dr. Pepper (with caffeine) for my morning wake-up. (No coffee for me, please.)
  2. Iced Tea (made with family bags of decaffeinated black tea); a gallon sweetened with 1 cup of Splenda.
  3. Iced Tea (at restaurants, caffeinated) with lots of Splenda (actually, it became something of a joke with my lunch companions: "Make sure to bring LOTS of Splenda!")
  4. Caffeine-free Diet Dr. Pepper at night.
  5. Sometimes hot tea, or Coke, but generally, I just stick with variations of Diet Dr. Pepper and Tea. All day. Every day.
As you can see, I have already been through the process of considering caffeine. I used it judiciously in the morning (instead of coffee), and then tried to be caffeine-free for the rest of the day. Have you considered your caffeine intake? If not, now is a good time to think about it. (Remember that 'thinking' is always my first step.) I'll discuss caffeine in detail in a later blog.

What's missing? You probably already guessed it... WATER. I figured that tea and soda are primarily water, so I'm getting enough water through them, right? Well... that's partially true, but water mixed with other stuff becomes diluted other stuff. If you're adding healthy things (lemon, lime, cucumber, mint, ginger, fruit), that's good. HOWEVER, if you add unhealthy things (carbonation, artificial sweeteners, artificial colors, etc. - have you ever read the ingredients list on your diet soda?), then you're putting all that junk into your system. Consider drinking from a clear, running, mountain stream. Now consider drinking from stagnant, dark, mud puddle. Which would you prefer? Which would your body prefer?

Our bodies are mostly water (Star Trek quote: "Humans are Ugly Bags of Mostly Water"), something like 65% depending on your gender, age, and size.

How much water should you drink? EASY! DRINK MORE THAN YOU DO NOW! Start by adding one glass of water per day to your normal routine.  Don't worry about "overdoing" it; it's actually very difficult to drink too much water. So start with just one more.

By the time you feel thirsty, your body is already suffering from the lack of water. From, "The percent of water [in your body] depends on your hydration level. People feel thirsty when they have already lost around 2-3% of their body's water. Mental performance and physical coordination start to become impaired before thirst kicks in, typically around 1% dehydration."

So, don't wait until you're thirsty. Drink water. Try drinking water first thing in the morning (more on that later). Try drinking water before a meal. Try drinking water before your afternoon snack (or nap). Find out when it's easy for you to drink water, and DO THAT. After a while, think about how you feel - better? same? worse? Write it down so you'll know more about how drinking water affects you.

You've started your journey towards feeling better!

No comments:

Post a Comment