Dr Bret Wilson

Hydration Solutions

Hydration Solutions
By Dr. Bret Wilson

Dr Bret WilsonIt is the middle of summer and we spend more time outdoors, tend to be more active and can enjoy the warm temperatures.  Keeping the body hydrated is especially important this time of year.  The minimum recommended water requirement for your body is 8 glasses of water a day.  Some estimates are higher based on body size, activity and dietary factors.  There is strong evidence that water is an important component of overall health.  Do you have a strategy to get this much water into your daily activity?  How does one account for increased water demands based on activity and other factors?  Here are some hydration solutions to incorporate.

Have A Water Schedule.  Here in Arizona, plants and lawns that need water to survive, and most homes have an irrigation system with a timer that allows sprinklers and drip lines deliver the water on a regular schedule.  Your body can benefit from a similar model.  Have a regular schedule each day that increases the likelihood of adequate hydration.  Provide your body a glass of water first thing in the morning to hydrate after 6-10 hours without water.  Before each meal, drink a glass to aid digestion and help avoid over eating.  Sip on water mid-morning and mid-afternoon to reduce fatigue and maintain healthy circulation.   A glass of water taken before bed is good medicine for better sleep, reduced muscle tension and less snoring.  That is a lucky seven hydration breaks every day.  By timing the water habit to other regular activities through the day you increase your chance of success.

Recognize Increased Need and Supply Water.  Your body’s need for water increases with activity, environment and other factors.  Be sure to hydrate before, during and after exercise, Drink about eight ounces of water for every 15 minutes of exercise.  This goes for other physical activities such as yard and house work.  Increase your water intake when in a hot environment even if activity is limited. Consume a cup of water for every hour you are in the warm environment.   Drink if you feel thirsty.  However following these guides should help you to stay ahead of the dehydration curve.

One to One Rule.   Consider supplying your body with water in a one to one ratio with other beverages.  This is especially helpful when consuming drinks with caffeine, sugar, artificial sweeteners and alcohol.  These beverages all contain mostly water, but it is the other components that may increase your health’s need for water.  Caffeine acts as a diuretic, causing you to lose water through urination.  Sugar, especially the high amounts in most commercially prepared sodas, fruit drinks, sport drinks and sweet teas, require additional water to metabolize and process the sugar.  Even 100% fruit juices are high in sugars and can either be diluted with water ½ and ½ or use the 1:1 rule.  Artificial sweeteners are generally toxic to the body and require more water to dilute and dispose of the chemicals.  Soda, both regular and diet varieties are also high in sodium, necessitating more water to flush the system.  Be cautious with flavored waters, vitamin waters and sport and nutrition drinks.  They are not a healthier substitute for water.  Use the one to one rule for better health.

Water From Food.  There also many foods that are high in water content and can provide your body with needed hydration.  Fruits and vegetables generally are the high in water content. Whole raw foods also provide nutrients and fiber above the juice alone and processed varieties.  The satisfaction of hunger and feeling of fullness can help with weight control.   Increase fruits and vegetables in the diet are a healthy habit for many reasons.  Foods that are 90% or more water include cucumbers, watermelon, pineapple, lettuce, tomatoes, blueberries, celery, cantaloupe, and oranges.

Water for Health.  Your body is comprised mostly of water (60-80%).  Every cell and tissue, every process and response requires water to occur.  Drinking water is a health habit worth developing and maintaining.  Have a strategy, understand your body’s needs and consume this valuable resource consciously. Raise a glass of water, hydrate and be healthy.

Yours in Health,

Dr. Bret Wilson


Read more:

American Chiropractic Association – Are You Drinking Enough Water? [PDF]

How much water do you need? – Hydration Calculator Quiz

Mayo Clinic – Water and Health                 Functions of Water in the Body (chart)

WebMD –  6 Reasons To Drink Water

Dr. Bret Wilson –  Your Body of Water    Drink to Your Health