It’s 3pm, you’ve just finished your (late) lunch break, and you realize you haven’t gone pee since this morning. Or was it last night? Well that’s odd…Oh well! You start to rub your neck because it’s feeling pretty stiff, your temples now, too – that afternoon headache is back…the computer screen is getting harder to read…this work is killing you! Or is it the work?…
Actually…let’s back up – this is not okay! This is starting to sound like a typical case of “being too busy to care for the most basic needs of my health”! Why? Because your body should be urinating…You should be drinking enough fluid throughout the day that you’re getting up to stretch those legs a few times and heading to the bathroom to pee about 1-3 litres a day (depending on how much you drink, but we’ll get there later). A basic fundamental piece to your health is maintaining proper hydration! And I get it – it’s SO easy to get lost in your day that you forget to eat well, drink well, and listen to your body…but since you stopped by at SHL, let’s talk it out.
Hypohydration(or dehydration): is defined as the removal of water from an object. Medically, it's a condition in which the body contains an inadequate volume of water for normal functioning.
But that’s not you, right? You have a cup of water, a cup of coffee, and that delicious booster juice, too! But are you really getting enough? Do you ever find yourself actually thirsty during the day? You’ve already shown one of the symptoms of hypohydration! Some of the common symptoms of even mild dehydration include dry (sometimes sticky) mouth, peeing less often, feeling sleepy, headaches and muscle cramps, dry skin, feeling lightheaded or dizzy when you stand up — among other things. Sound like your typical cruddy day at the office? It might…and if it does – I recommend you increase your water intake!
When You Need More
Things like coffee and caffeinated teas can actually increase your need for water. So does exercising, being stressed out, drinking alcohol, feeling hot, having the poops or vomiting, and sweating excessively. If you’re feeling thirsty – you need more! If your tongue feels a bit dry – you need more! Don’t wait for the signs…When you get enough water, you stress your body just a little bit less. It may not make that huge bill go away, and you may still be stressing about that deadline for a project you haven’t started yet – but don’t put more physical stress on your body system by not drinking enough water. Want to try and figure out if you’re getting enough? Do the math! (I promise it’s simple).
The Formula: Weight (in lbs) ÷ 2 = Ounces of water per day
Take your weight in pounds (let’s say you’re a 200lb person) and divide it in half (that equals 100!). This is the number of ounces you should be drinking a day. A typical 8oz glass of water is about 250ml…100oz is about 3L of water. Still think you’re getting enough? That’s not including your morning java – so add up how much you should have a day based on your weight and make it your goal to drink this every day for the next week, I dare you! See how you feel and update me in the comments!
What it Does
Drinking enough water for your body means your body isn’t as physically stressed out. Your cortisol (stress hormone) levels won’t be as high, your headaches won’t be as bad, your muscles will thank you, your brain will even function better…but there’s more! When you replace high calorie drinks with water you’re bound to either A) Gain less weight or B) Lose weight! Want even better news? (I know, how could it get better than that??). Being hydrated is actually good for some of those neurotransmitters in your brain, like serotonin! The feel good neurotransmitter that, when depleted, is linked to depression and feelings of sadness. When you’re dehydrated, levels of serotonin go down, and when you’re hydrated these levels begin to rise back up! How cool is that??
So give it a shot – today, don’t wait to drink when you’re thirsty – that’s already the first sign of dehydration! Opt to drink consistently throughout the day! Pre-fill some water bottles and use tape to mark down the time when you should finish half of it by so you have goals…set phone alarms if you have to! Challenge yourself to stay hydrated. And if you drank pop, booze, caffeine, worked out, feel sick, over-exerted your brain, or did something to need extra water – overflow your cup and lap it all up, you need more than your personal baseline! Then let us know in the comments how you’ve felt!