The fact that water is the main constituent of our bodies and therefore our function, health, and our very existence is no breaking news to most people. This however doesn’t seem to impart much follow through in our relationship to it. More than half of all Americans are estimated to be chronically dehydrated.
It is estimated that the average adult human is composed of about 70% water, the percentage is even higher for children. It is without question the bedrock of Life. The research and multilateral consensus between medical specialists on the importance of proper hydration cannot be overstated. It is known that even 1-2% dehydration has been shown to exert a plethora of negative effects on physical performance, metabolism, digestion, mood & hormones, cognitive performance, and even immune function.
One of the biggest offenses that I keep hearing about from students over the years is the lack of proper hydration etiquette. Like anything else in life, timing is everything.
It is critical that the VERY FIRST thing that a person consumes upon waking up in the morning is water. Before coffee or tea the first substance to land in your stomach should be room temperature (or slightly warmer) purified water.
-As a regular practice, drink 30oz of water with a squeeze of lime or lemon FIRST THING in the morning (before coffee/tea/food)
-Repeat throughout the day 2-3 more times, no less than 30mins prior to meals.
-If you perspire heavily, live in a hot/arid climate, or in high altitude, increase hydration as necessary.
-Track level of hydration by the color of urine, and continue to hydrate if the color is any darker than pale yellow
Keeping Healthy Water Balance:
There are two main compartments in the body that contain water. These compartments run through all the various types of tissue. They are the intracellular and extracellular compartments. As suggested by the name, the intracellular compartment is what is inside of a cell membrane, and extracellular is what is on the outside. About ⅔ of our water content is intracellular. There is a delicate balance of this fluid distribution that is maintained by the presence of electrolytes. Mainly salt (Na+) is the key component that regulates this balance between both of these compartments. The important implication is that, if the fluid that is consumed contains an inadequate amount of electrolytes, then dehydration could still persist intracellularly.
If you are a heavy sweater, and especially notice salt cravings, add 1 teaspoon of salt to one of your hydration cycles at least once a day. It will help you absorb and use the fluids you drink even better.
It is important to remember this is a therapeutic measure, and expecting to find pleasure in gulping down a bunch of water even if you don’t feel thirsty, is not relevant to providing the body what it needs to function properly. Whether or not we feel thirsty should not be the main measure of hydration. This is why science, empiricism, and objective information are so necessary. One of the slights against the sovereignty of the modern individual, is that we have become so reliant on technology, to the point where we have become removed from the natural environment and a way of life that we have evolved to live. We no longer wake up with the sunrise, nor retire with the sunset, because we can turn the lights on 24/7. Many people do not or cannot grow their own food, which has aberrated into adopting a diet of more processed products. The list that illustrates the extent to which we have been distanced from our original blueprint goes on and on. The aggregate of all of these impositions has dulled the human perceptual apparatus. This is obvious from the fact that we can delight in eating foods that are downright toxic, have distaste for natural foods, or not even be aware that we are chronically dehydrated in the first place. This means that we cannot fully trust that our senses and experience is imparting the most relevant information about our own wellbeing. Perhaps it is just that we have lost the ability to read the body’s signals, even though it is still sending them out.
Lastly, even though body weight is a determinant of how much hydration is necessary for an individual, the variance is small. Even if you weigh 100lbs, drink a lot when you wake up and your body will remove whatever isn’t necessary through urination. Over-hydrating can only be dangerous if a person drinks wayyyy more than a measly 30oz.
Check out my Full YouTube video on Hydration
Video Link: https://youtu.be/lSXmFrFTbIo