Did you know that over 75% of Americans are considered to be dehydrated? Are you one of them?
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When most people think of dehydration, they paint a picture in their head of something like a man crawling through the blazing hot desert sands with the sun beating down on his back and drenched in sweat. While yes, that is a pretty good depiction of dehydration, it’s just one type of an extreme example. Did you know that over 75% of Americans are considered to be dehydrated? Now, that doesn’t mean we are crawling through deserts each week looking for watering holes. What it means is that the majority of us know we need to drink more water, but we fall short. Not from the lack of supply, but by things like choosing other liquids to drink, taking in too much sodium, or drinking things that can cause dehydration because they are naturally considered to be dehydrators.
I think I have mentioned this example in a previous article, but for those of you who are first time readers it will be new to you guys. As the person in my social circles whose job revolves around healthy lifestyles, it puts me in some funny situations. People go on the defensive when we go out to eat and they order something they know wouldn’t be considered healthy, just because I am there. For example, I went out with some friends and one of the girls who was with us is a workaholic. She is incredibly successful, but is always on the go. Because of that, she sometimes forgets to eat and especially drink a sufficient amount water. While we were sitting at the table she said to me, “ I am going on almost 2 months without any water!” I looked at her like she was a crazy person and said, “Are you kidding? That’s awful! Aren’t you tired? Doesn’t your head hurt?” She said, “Oh yeah. All of the time, actually.” Now, this friend in particular is a coffee lover. During this conversation, she said she figured that since she drinks so much coffee and it was made of water, so her water intake requirements were covered. Unfortunately, that’s very untrue. In fact, coffee itself is a natural dehydrator. This means that any water in your coffee, is cancelled out by the coffee itself.
Many people also like to tell themselves that they receive hydration by drinking fruit drinks, soft drinks or sweet tea. Again, this is not the case. Sure, you are getting some hydration but it is the bare minimum. The sugars and chemicals that are in most of these drinks work as dehydrators in our bodies, much like coffee does.
We have to remember that we rid our bodies of water in a couple of different ways throughout the day. Whenever we go to the bathroom or sweat, we are eliminating water from our bodies. So by having those involuntary things occur each day, we need to replenish what we eliminate. Not to mention, when you become dehydrated you can suffer from many, many unfortunate symptoms. Headaches, fatigue, mood swings – those are just a few of the most common. When we don’t stay hydrated, it will mess with our brains and cause us to not think clearly and perform at the peak of our mental capabilities.
Do these symptoms I have mentioned sound similar to what you experience in your day to day life? You may want to consider tracking your water intake each day! It is recommended for the average person to take in 10 cups of water a day. Keep a water bottle with you at all times and set a reminder on your phone to encourage you to take a sip every once in a while. Before you know it, you will meet your daily water requirements without any struggle at all!