Most Americans are chronically dehydrated. Dehydration can cause many issues including headaches, foggy thinking, mood changes, increased body temperature, constipation, kidney stones and fatigue. Hydration is essential for life. Proper hydration helps muscles work efficiently, helps our heart pump blood, helps carry oxygen to our body, helps keep our bodies at a normal temperature, protects your spinal cord and other tissues and helps rid our bodies of waste.
There are many myths about hydration. What are your guesses?
- You need to drink 8 glasses of water every day. FALSE
Your hydration needs are based on a number of issues including body size, physical activity, climate, pregnancy or if you are breastfeeding. A good general rule is to take your body weight, divide it by 2 and this is how many ounces of water you should drink every day. You may need to increase this based on your physical activity and climate, especially here in Arizona.
- Water flushes toxins from your body. TRUE
Your kidneys are responsible for removing metabolic waste. Your kidneys NEED fluid in order to remove this waste efficiently. This is why if you do not get enough water, you can develop kidney stones. In addition, staying hydrated helps your body naturally eliminate toxins and bacteria that may cause illness.
- Drinking water helps you lose weight. TRUE and FALSE
While drinking water does not give you the ability to eat whatever you want and lose weight, it may, indirectly, help you lose weight. Not only does it help your digestive system work properly to remove solid waste and avoid bloating, it also helps you feel fuller, which may help you eat less. Plus, by drinking water, you are replacing sodas and juices which are high in sugars and calories. As a result of these issues, you may be able to lose some of those extra pounds.
- Only liquid that we drink hydrates us. FALSE
People get approximately 80% of their total water from drinking and the other 20% comes from food. Fruits, such as strawberries and melons are super hydrating. Vegetables such as cucumber, cauliflower and spinach are also very hydrating. Soups are another great option to get in that liquid.
- Caffeinated beverages such as coffee cause you to be dehydrated. FALSE
This is a HUGE myth! Although beverages such as coffee do have some diuretic effects, these are mild and will not cause dehydration.
Taking care of your body and health has never been more important! Concentrating on hydration is just ONE thing you can do to have a positive impact on your health.