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Dehydration

The Importance of Hydration

It’s getting hot out, we are finally hitting the high 20’s here in Winnipeg and surrounding areas! We get to enjoy the outdoors a lot more, from hitting up Grand Beach to exploring the wonderful wilderness of our National and Provincial parks and even short jaunts to the Forks!

Since we really only get 4-5ish months of hot weather, us Manitoban’s definitely take advantage of the nice weather! But with these warm temps, we have to be mindful to stay hydrated!

The average adult human body is 50-65% water, everyday 2-3 litres are lost through sweat, urination, bowel movements, and even breathing. Therefore, it is very important to replenish our stores as water is used for so many functions in the body such as regulating body temperature, aiding the kidneys to flush out waste, keeping your joints nice and lubricated, transporting nutrients and oxygen throughout your body and helping to keep your skin moist and supple.

You may have heard that the common amount of water to drink is 8-10 8oz glasses per day which roughly equals 2 litres, however your water needs will depend on the amount of exercise you do, how much you sweat and for the nursing mom’s out there be sure to drink plenty of water since breastfeeding also depletes your stores.

So how do we know when we’re dehydrated? The body is great at giving us signals; one of the more obvious are dry mouth and thirst, but other signals such as sleepiness, decreased urination, muscle weakness, fatigue, headaches and dizziness can be an indication.

If one becomes dehydrated over a long period of time severe dehydration symptoms may present as, extreme thirst, confusion, sunken eyes, lack of sweating, lack of tears, skin that doesn’t bounce back when touched, delirium.

Some people may find water to be boring because it doesn’t taste like anything, therefore they may turn to pop, juice, Slurpee’s (we are the Slurpee capitol after all) and sports drinks. However, these types of beverages have added sugar, which can be counterproductive when we’re trying to keep hydrated. Let me explain, when blood sugar is elevated, our body’s way of removing the excess sugar is to cause us to urinate more. Urinating a lot will cause you to become dehydrated, therefore we want to stay away from high sugar beverages. But! There are so many other healthy options than water to keep us hydrated!!

Flavored water: cut up some of your favorite fruits and add to water, you’ll have some refreshing tasty fruity infused deliciousness!! I like strawberry and cucumber; raspberry and rosemary are another favorite.

Coconut water: coconut water is all the rage in thirst quenching beverages and rightly so! Not only does it quench your thirst, it is packed with potassium, amino acids, magnesium and calcium and has no added sugar! It is definitely on par with conventional sports drinks as it performs just as well when electrolytes need to replenished. So instead of a sports drink whilst exercising reach for some coconut water!

Flavored sparkling water: If you’re looking for something fizzy try LaCroix flavored water or Bubly, they contain zero sugar and come in many different flavors.

Water kefir and Kombucha: Fizzy, refreshing, low in sugar, and jam packed with probiotics as an added bonus!! It’s my go to when I’m craving a pop like drink.

Lastly eat your fruits and veggies aplenty!!! Both are not only full of fibre, enzymes and nutrient dense vitamin and minerals, they contain water as well. All living things require water to survive therefore fruits and veggies are chock full of that H2O! Fruits and veggies high in water content include: celery, watermelon and many melons for that matter, kiwi’s, bell peppers, cucumbers, cabbage, all citrus fruits and the list goes on and on!

So, remember my fellow Manitobans. Hydrate before it’s too late!!

*Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only, it is not intended to diagnose, treat or prevent any illness or disease. Please consult a professional for your healthcare needs.

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