You can go minutes without breathing, only a few days without water, yet you can go weeks without food. Water is crucial for optimal health.
But drinking water is not always enough to hydrate the body. Electrolytes are needed as well for optimal hydration and water utilization.
Did you know that water is the most common nutrient deficiency? Many people are often in search of the new superfood or cutting edge supplement, yet are overlooking the most basic needs, such as drinking water and properly hydrating the body.
There are some simple hydration tips that you can implement to hydrate your body, but first off, check to see if you show signs of dehydration.
Some symptoms and signs of dehydration include:
- dry mouth
- yellow or orange pee (should be light yellow or clear)
- Fatigue and decreased energy levels
- Food cravings
- Muscle cramps
- Joint pain
- Back pain
- Lack of moisture in the skin
If you experience any of these signs of dehydration, ask yourself if you have been drinking enough water.
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Drinking enough water is crucial for a healthy body, optimal hydration, and detoxification.
One of the primary benefits of drinking water is to transport nutrients around the body and inside the cell. Water is also needed to escort toxins out and waste out of the body.
Toxins and waste by-products of metabolism contribute to poor health not effectively eliminated from the body.
Urination, defecation, and sweating are essential detoxification routes. Detoxification of toxins relies upon water to eliminate and carry out waste.
To properly hydrate the body and efficiently utilize water in the body, a person must also ensure the intake of electrolytes. The electrolytes are:
Sodium and potassium are the primary electrolytes crucial for hydration. The electrolyte sodium primarily works together with the mineral potassium to regulate the water content of the body.
It is potassium that holds onto the water within the cell to enable cellular hydration and sodium that balances the amount of water held outside the cell.
Sodium found in unrefined sea salt is necessary for optimal hydration. Adding a tiny pinch of Himalayan sea salt to a glass of water with lemon juice from ½ a lemon and a tsp of honey is a Simple DIY electrolyte drink that you can make to hydrate your body.
Optimal hydration depends upon the delicate balance of water within the cells and water outside the cells. This balance is maintained through the regular intake of water, potassium-rich foods, and sodium. Magnesium and calcium are needed for electrolyte balance as well.
Optimal cellular hydration is a balancing act as both too much salt and too little salt can harm the body. Salt is necessary to retain water in the body, but too much salt in the diet will retain too much water. Too much salt can cause swelling and needs to be flushed out of the body with pure water.
Have you noticed that when you eat a lot of salty processed foods, you crave water? That is your body trying to neutralize the excess salt.
On the flip side, have you ever noticed that you are drinking lots of water, yet it goes right through you? Frequent urination is an indication that you need salt and electrolytes to utilize the water within your body.
If your always thirsty and cant quench your thirst with just water, then your body most likely needs electrolytes. In hot weather, I notice that I can sometimes get a dry feeling at the back of my nose that does not go away with just water.
Yet when I have an electrolyte drink such as Seeking Health’s Optimal Electrolyte or coconut water, my thirst is quenched and, the dry feeling goes away.
Pure coconut water is an excellent source of electrolytes, such as potassium, sodium, calcium, and magnesium.
Optimal electrolyte by seeking health is a delicious electrolyte powder. Mix one scoop of electrolyte powder into 1 cup water with some ice cubes, and you have a refreshing and slightly fizzy tasting electrolyte drink that comes in two flavors: Berry or citrus.
Optimal electrolyte helps to support optimal hydration, fluid balance, energy levels, and muscle function is naturally sweetened with stevia and does not contain any artificial sweeteners or food dyes.
Many commercial electrolyte drinks are chalked full of sugar, artificial sweeteners, and food dyes, which I do not recommend.
How much water should you drink daily to hydrate your body?
The amount of water needed varies for each person depending on temperature, activity level, weight, and intake of diuretic beverages.
Use the following calculation to find out how much water you should be drinking daily. But also pay attention to any initial signs of dehydration such as thirst.
To calculate how much water to drink daily based on weight, take your body weight in pounds and divide your weight by two. This number is the amount of water in ounces that you should be drinking per day according to your weight.
Most people need to be drinking a minimum of 8 cups of water or 2 liters of water.
8 ounces = 1 cup
33.81 ounces are in a liter
For example, a woman weighing 130 pounds should be drinking 65 ounces of water, which is 8.12 cups of water or 1.92 liters of water.
A male weighing 180 pounds should be drinking 90 ounces of water, which is 11.25 cups of water or 2.8 liters of water.
BUT if you drink diuretic beverages such as:
- packaged fruit juice
you will need to add 1.5 cups of water to every 1 cup of diuretic beverage drank. Yup, you read that right. These beverages do not count as your daily intake of water but instead actually dehydrate the body!
I find drinking from a 1-liter water bottle extremely helpful for keeping track of how much water I have drunk and still need to drink. It is so easy to lose track of how many glasses of water you have had, but if you fill up a one-liter water bottle, it is easy to keep track.
I use a 32 ounce insulated klean Kanteen stainless steel water bottle to help keep track of my water intake. My goal is to drink 2 liters of water per day. A pre-filled water bottle keeps me on track.
The Klean Kanteen water bottle also keeps water cool all day, which is a lifesaver, especially in hot weather. I not sure about you, but I do not like drinking warm water.
I take my Klean Kanteen water bottle everywhere with me and even leave it in the hot car, yet it keeps the water nice and cold.
I highly recommend investing in a reusable stainless steel water bottle and not drinking from a plastic water bottle. Reusing a stainless steel water bottle or glass bottle is better for your health and the environment!
Here are some simple hydration tips to stay hydrated
- Drink water first thing upon rising. When you first wake up in the morning, your body is dehydrated. Before you reach for a cup of coffee of food, drink water!
- Spice of your water with lemon, cucumber, lime, or mint. If you don’t like plain water, try adding in a fresh squeeze of lemon or try some cutting up some cucumber and mint.
- Measure out your daily water needs into stainless steel water bottles. Take a water bottle with you everywhere you go, so you always have water on hand.
- Drink water when you are hungry. Your body often confuses hunger for thirst signals. Before you eat any food, have a glass of water.
- Set an hourly timer on your phone to remind you to drink water. The best way to hydrate the body is to sip on water throughout the day. If you always forget to drink water, set a reminder on your phone.
- Eat hydrating foods such as fruits and vegetables. Fruits are the best hydrating foods as they are 90 percent water. Both fruits and vegetables are brimming with nutrients. Watermelon is a high water content fruit for hydrating the body. Cooling cucumbers are a fantastic vegetable, high in water content.
- Drink water before, during, and after exercise, especially when outdoors in the sun. Your demand for water increases with exertion and time spent in the sun.
- Have one electrolyte drink per day after exercise or being outdoors in the sun.
The importance of hydration should always be a top health priority. One of the best ways to hydrate the body is to drink water upon rising, sip on water throughout the day, avoid dehydrating beverages, and have one electrolyte drink per day or when exercising.
Utilizing an electrolyte drink such as an optimal electrolyte is especially important when exercising, sweating, or in hot heat to properly hydrate the body and replenish the crucial electrolytes that are lost in sweat and during exercise.
For more information on how beneficial water is to your health and how dehydration is at the root of so many chronic conditions I recommend reading the book Your Bodies Many Cries for Water by Dr. Batmanghelidi
This Beet Kvass Recipe is also a great liver cleansing electrolyte drink.