Hydration is the last foundation, and in my opinion, water is life!
The Big Idea for Hydration
Water is the most essential nutrient in the body. You can go roughly eight weeks without food, but only days without water.
Water makes up 55-60% of our total body mass. In an average adult, that equals 10-13 gallons of water. Most of the volume of cells and body fluids is water.
Water plays many vital roles of water in the body
• Improves oxygen delivery to cells
• Transports nutrients
• Enables cellular hydration
• Moistens oxygen for easier breathing
• Cushions bones and joints
• Absorbs shocks to joints and organs
• Lubricates joints
• Improves cell to cell communication
• Flushes toxins
• Removes waste
• Maintains healthy electrical properties of cells
• Empowers the body’s natural healing process
Water is the most common nutritional deficiency in the American population.
Can you believe that? It’s astonishing to me; however, I saw it firsthand.
A couple of years ago, I was working on a project for Northwest Permanente, (my company of 32 years). We partnered with Concordia University and Portland Public Schools to implement a wellness center into a grade school. Many of these kids had never seen a doctor or dentist. To get to the point quickly, one of the doctors asked a child how often they brush their teeth. The child responded with an answer that blew my mind.
He said he lived in a Tuff Shed and borrowed water from the neighbors. By the end of the day, they didn’t have any water left to brush their teeth.
What? No water? Less than twenty minutes from my home, these kids and their families didn’t have water to drink. It’s not just less fortunate kids either; many older adults suffer from dehydration. Some simply forget to drink.
Dehydration is serious. If the body’s water content drops by as little as 2%, it will cause fatigue. A drop of 10% will cause significant health problems. And losses higher than 10% can cause death.
Some early and mature signs of dehydration
• joint pain
• back pain
How much water should I drink?
People often ask me how much water they should drink a day. My answer is always; it depends on your weight. In my opinion, telling everyone to drink eight 8 ounce glasses of water every day is not honoring their bio-individuality, everyone is different.
The best way to identify how much water you want to be drinking is to take your body weight and divide it by two. If you weigh 130 and divide that by 2, you get 65 ounces, (130lbs/2=65 oz) Now that is just the starting point, I often drink more water than is recommended, especially when I am active.
Beverages considered to be diuretics
• Soda, (Coke, Pepsi, Ginger Ale)
• Juice, (fruit and vegetable)
• Carbonated Water (La Croix, Club Soda)
Don’t worry if you drink any of these, I mean, I will not be giving up coffee anytime soon. There is simple math you can do to rehydrate yourself, add 1.5 ounces of water for each one ounce of a diuretic beverage. If you drink 8 ounces of coffee, drink an additional 12 ounces of water.
Another important part of hydration is electrolytes; they are required for proper absorption. Electrolytes are minerals that become capable of conducting electricity when dissolved in water. I don’t buy or use anything special for electrolytes; however, if you are interested in knowing good brands, I can certainly lead you to them.
My trick is to add a little Redmond’s Sea Salt (1/4 tsp) to 12 ounces of water in the morning and throughout the day if necessary. It helps with hydration, digestion, and leg cramps, (which I tend to get more often when I am not drinking this concoction). It’s cheap, easy, and I recommend that you try this first.
• Water is an essential nutrient in your body
• Dehydration can creep up on you, so pay attention to the signs
• Drink half your body weight in ounces of water
• Redmond’s Sea salt with lemon is a refreshing, and an easy way to get minerals into your system
As previously mentioned, I wanted to get the foundations out first so that you know how I operate as a Functional Nutritionist. All roads lead back to the foundations, so in the future, if I reference fatty acids, you have a basic understanding of what they are.