I asked Joel from reasons2ride to write a guest post about our new daily habit. Before I started my fitness journey I drank virtually no water daily. I just thought I was never thirsty. I didn't drink soda, tea, juice, I just didn't drink anything aside from two cups of coffee a day. I would occasionally sip water here and there. Since this started, I am up to over 80 ozs of water a day now and feeling better.
Social Media has been a wonderful addition to my daily life. I like the interaction with people from all walks and all parts of the globe. I’ve made some wonderful friends and feel it has really enriched my life. I started blogging almost a year ago to hold myself accountable for my actions, and invited others to join the ride.
The feedback has been nothing short of life changing and I’ve been able to find personal strength and motivation never before realized. To be asked to guest blog however, that is special and when Jules asked me to guest blog I was deeply moved. So I would like to give Jules a heart felt thank you for providing me with this wonderful experience.
This all came about nearly 3 weeks ago when I tweeted about being sick, to the point I felt I should see a doctor. I do not like going to the doctor’s office for many reasons, none being I dislike doctors. Something was wrong, vomiting; diarrhea and I could not keep fluids down. I went to an urgent care facility and was placed on IV fluids within 25 minutes of my arrival. The problem, I was severely dehydrated.
How? I’d been drinking close to 90oz every day. That wasn’t enough to maintain hydration based on my activity.
How could that be? I increased the amount I’ve been drinking as my activity increased…the problem, I wasn’t compensating for all the toxins being dumped into my system as my metabolism finally began firing on all cylinders.
It was put to me quite simply, “our bodies are literally nuclear reactors and the hotter the fuel rods become (burning calories), the more water we need to cool and maintain normal operation”. I wanted to know more about dehydration so I naturally I took to the web. The information was overwhelming, like asking for a glass of water and being offered a fire hose. Filtering through these blogs, case studies and clinical research I was amazed at what I discovered. Here is an illustration from the Global Healing Center’s website showing how vital water is to our personal wellbeing:
Symptoms of dehydration are fairly universal, but I found the information presented on the Mayo Clinic’s website most useful:
Mild to moderate dehydration is likely to cause:
• Dry, sticky mouth
• Sleepiness or tiredness — children are likely to be less active than usual
• Decreased urine output — no wet diapers for three hours for infants and eight hours or more without urination for older children and teens
• Few or no tears when crying
• Dry skin
• Dizziness or lightheadedness
Severe dehydration, a medical emergency, can cause:
Extreme fussiness or sleepiness in infants and children; irritability and confusion in adults
Very dry mouth, skin and mucous membranes
Lack of sweating
Little or no urination — any urine that is produced will be dark yellow or amber
Shriveled and dry skin that lacks elasticity and doesn't "bounce back" when pinched into a fold
In infants, sunken fontanels — the soft spots on the top of a baby's head
Low blood pressure
No tears when crying
In the most serious cases, delirium or unconsciousness
During my quest for thirst quenching information I came across a neat site, Dumb Little Man Tips for Life, which does an excellent job summarizing the key benefits of water (other than it is absolutely necessary for life).
1. Weight loss: Water is one of the best tools for weight loss, first of all because it often replaces high calorie drinks like soda and juice and alcohol with a drink that doesn't have any calories. But it's also a great appetite suppressant, and often when we think we're hungry, we're actually just thirsty. Water has no fat, no calories, no carbs, and no sugar. Drink plenty to help your weight-loss regimen.
2. Heart healthy: Drinking a good amount of water could lower your risks of a heart-attack; A six-year study published in the May 1, 2002 American Journal of Epidemiology found that those who drink more than 5 glasses of water a day were 41% less likely to die from a heart attack during the study period than those who drank less than two glasses.
3. Energy: Being dehydrated can sap your energy and make you feel tired -- even mild dehydration of as little as 1 or 2 percent of your body weight. If you're thirsty, you're already dehydrated -- and this can lead to fatigue, muscle weakness, dizziness and other symptoms.
4. Headache cure: Another symptom of dehydration is headaches. In fact, often when we have headaches it's simply a matter of not drinking enough water. There are lots of other causes of headaches of course, but dehydration is a common one.
5. Healthy skin: Drinking water can clear up your skin and people often report a healthy glow after drinking water. It won't happen overnight, of course, but just a week of drinking a healthy amount of water can have good effects on your skin.
6. Digestive problems: Our digestive systems need a good amount of water to digest food properly. Often water can help cure stomach acid problems, and water along with fiber can cure constipation (often a result of dehydration).
7. Cleansing: To help flush toxins and waste products out of the system the body uses Water.
8. Cancer risk: Related to the digestive system item above, drinking a healthy amount of water has also been found to reduce the risk of colon cancer by 45%. Drinking lots of water can also reduce the risk of bladder cancer by 50% and potentially reduce the risk of breast cancer.
9. Better exercise: Being dehydrated can severely hamper your athletic activities, slowing you down and making it harder to lift weights. Exercise requires additional water, so be sure to hydrate before, during and after exercise.
Now that I am armed with the whys, I need to know how much. Oh my goodness! Congress will agree on a universal healthcare plan before the experts will come to a consensus agreement as to how much water we drink. Again, I really like what Dumb Little Man Tips for Life has to say about how much water we need:
“This is a debatable question. What's clear is that the old recommendation of "eight 8-ounce glasses a day" isn't right, for several reasons: that amount includes all dietary water intake, including food and non-water beverages; it also ignores a person's body weight, which is an important factor in figuring the amount; it also varies if you are sick or exercise. It's also not good to just with each meal, a glass in between meals, and be sure to drink before, during and after exercise. Try to generally keep yourself from getting thirsty”.
All of this information is wonderful and probably review for the majority, but as I watch twitter conversations and read blogs, it seems taking in enough water every day is a problem not unique to me. Enter Jules…her caring nature had her concerned as she learned I had to see a doctor. Once I told her what was what, she told me she also struggles getting enough water daily. I suggested we use twitter to remind each other throughout the day to drink some water. I like to use hash tags (#) on twitter and since water is already bland enough, I thought I’d liven up the name, thus the birth of #NectaroftheClouds. It’s funny because
We’ve both been asked, “What’s Nectar of the Clouds"? “Is it a new energy drink”? Once we mention it is just water, you can almost hear the duh’s…but then something cool happens, people say thanks, I like that, it reminds me to drink water.
How about you?
Do you get enough water in a day?
What are your tips or tricks to keep you hydrated?