By Jaime Boyachek RN FNLP, Healthy Habit Health Foods
Summer is approaching and with that comes the heat! I know you probably hear this a lot but don’t forget to drink plenty of water. Our body uses water in all of its cells, organs and tissues. It helps to regulate our temperature, brain function and maintain balance among other bodily functions. It also helps flush toxins and waste from our body. When we aren’t properly hydrated it starts to show in different ways in our body. Headaches, muscle spasms, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, brain fog, irritability and constipation are all signs of a dehydrated body. Many of our symptoms can be easily solved if we just drink enough water!
Did you know that having digestive issues or hormonal imbalances affect your body’s natural ability to balance electrolytes? Balancing electrolytes require them to be digested, absorbed and converted into cellular components. Studies have shown that under normal, healthy conditions, our ability to get rid of excess water and salt is limited and further reduced in certain complications. Various medications and autoimmune diseases can also put you at further risk of dehydration.
Water is essential for digestion. We need water to produce hydrochloric acid in our stomach. When the pH is over 3, the acid comes in direct contact with the tissue in the stomach resulting in ulcers. When the acid is insufficient, food doesn’t get broken down which leads our dehydrated body to pull water from the partially digested food, which leads to constipation. Wow! You can see how a lack of water can result in many health issues, such as indigestion, heartburn, ulcers, fatigue, brain fog, constipation and more.
Here are a few things you can do. First and foremost, drink more water of course! If you are drinking distilled or reverse osmosis water, make sure you are putting back in the good electrolytes and minerals that are taken out in the process. If you struggle drinking water, try other hydrating drinks such as coconut water (nature’s Gatorade!) and swap out your soda for a sparkling water with fruit slices. Bone broth is also a great way to increase your water intake as it is packed with potassium. You can also eat hydrating foods such as celery and watermelon.
A good rule of thumb is to drink enough water so that you are urinating 3-4 times a day with a pale yellow color. For most people, this is between eight and ten glasses. Make sure to drink more if you are spending time outside in the heat, exercising, or if you are sick, adding a glass of water for every cup of coffee or soda that you drink.
If you don’t take care of yourself and stay hydrated, further complications can lead to kidney issues, trouble seeing, heart problems and more. Our care is personal here at Healthy Habit Health Foods. Come visit us and speak to one of our knowledgeable staff members with any additional questions you may have.