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5 “Villains” That Rob Your Hydration

Strawberry

Strawberry (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It has been so hot lately, it is important to compete with the heat by staying hydrated. There are five main villains that get in the way of maintaining just the right amount of body fluid:

1. Alcohol contributes to dehydration through its action on anti-diuretic hormone (ADH). ADH decreases with alcohol consumption so it has a diuretic effect. You will generate about 4 oz. of urine for every serving of alcohol you consume. A serving of alcohol equals 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1 ½ ounces of spirits (such as rum, vodka or whisky).

2. Caffeine in excess ( one 8 oz. cup of coffee won’t cause dehydration)  of 500 mg or about 24 oz. or more can cause dehydration, so careful with the Starbucks Venti (20 oz. is 415 mg).   If you start the day with 415 mg of caffeine, remember you still have the rest of the day where  caffeine can work its way in like soda (47 mg caffeine in 12 oz.) and energy drinks (caffeine varies depending on brand and serving size so check the label; but I have seen ranges from 240-500 mg).

3. Salt & 4. Sugar can mess with body fluid because of osmosis (in attempts to equalize fluid concentration, water moves from cell membranes with higher amounts of fluid to areas of less fluid). Think of what happens to a strawberry dipped in sugar. The sugar draws fluid outside the fruit.

Miscellaneous foods that have salt or sugar include: juice (has just as much sugar as soda), chips/pretzels, sauces (especially soy) and salad dressings, frozen dinners, soups, packaged meats like hot dogs or deli meat, so here is another good reason to read labels.

5. Dairy and commercially made starches (bread, cereal) have higher amounts of sodium than other food groups, so if you eat them minimize the total quantity, or just like with caffeine, it will add up quickly.

Try avoiding these “villains” and select foods that will not steal your water. There are foods and beverages that will support hydration.

Maintain Fluid Balance

Which foods and beverages should you consume to support good hydration?

Drink the liquids I mention in “5 Top Sizzling Thirst Quenchers”. I explain why these beverages, http://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2013/06/24/5-top-sizzling-summer-thirst-quenchers/, are good picks.

Vegetables and fruits have more electrolytes and water with less sodium and sugar. Here’s a list, http://www2.ca.uky.edu/enri/pubs/enri129.pdf. Interestingly enough, the percent water in many vegetables are higher than fruit. Starchy vegetables have less water content. Some of the produce that have higher water content are:

Vegetables: cucumber, celery, tomato, spinach, radish, broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant

Fruits: watermelon, grapefruit, cantaloupe, strawberries, orange, kiwi

The electrolytes from produce sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium and magnesium are important to maintaining fluid levels.

Select foods that fuel hydration from the inside out. Avoid the “villains” that rob your body of the fluid and electrolytes that keep it working right.  So when you get hungry, pick foods that contain water and other nutrients that fuel instead of foods and beverages that increase your thirst.

What will you consume this summer to fuel water balance?

 
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Posted by on July 9, 2013 in dehydration, water

 

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Get Your Sexy Back: Drink Water

With all the new beverages on the market, it may seem pointless to waste time on an ancient no frills drink like water. But, water will help you get your “SEXY” back. I have seen people open up a diet soda for breakfast without a second thought and drink the 2 liter bottle for the rest of the day. I’m always amazed and sometimes I’m bold enough to ask, “Why”. Why aren’t a majority of your drink selections water?

Here are a few of the responses I often get:

• I like the taste of flavored beverages
• I like the bubbles
• I like to jumpstart my day and water does not do it for me
• I just do not drink water unless I have to, I do not like it
• I get water from drinking my favorite beverage and from the foods I eat

All of these reasons may seem like good ones, I guess, but really, they are not good reasons at all because…

1. As you consume artificial flavors or non-nutritive sweeteners your taste buds begin to expect the sweetness which can lead to eating more calories.
2. The bubbles may look appealing and feel good going down but they do not dissolve, they must and will come out, gas/bloating anyone?
3. Your early morning caffeine “jumpstart” can mean you are not sleeping well and it masks the underlying problem. Caffeine pulls vitamins, minerals and water from your body.
4. You are fooling yourself if you think you do not need to drink water just because water is a part of the foods you are eating/drinking.

Quite frankly there is nothing sexy about pumping gunk into your body, nothing sexy about not sleeping, passing gas and getting all dry and wrinkly from the dehydrating effects of caffeine, excess sugar and salt. Drinking water will rehydrate your body without the excess effects sugar, salt or caffeine.

If you want your “sexy” back, drinking enough water is one way to get it. Your body needs about ½ your weight in ounces. For example if you weigh 200 pounds you should drink about 100 oz. of water. If you weigh 100 pounds you may only need about 50 oz. You should drink more water if you exercise (the rule of thumb is 8 oz. for every 20 minutes of activity), travel on planes and if it’s hot and humid outside.

Open a bottle, a bottle of water, and drink to your health.

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2010 in caffeine, calories, soda, water

 

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With or Without Water We Can Die

I’m always talking about how to improve lifestyle, make better food choices and crazy actions, by companies to enhance the bottom line, that affect the health of the general public unnecessarily. Well, today is no different.

When you choose to purchase your food you can look at a label to see what is in it. But you certainly do not get a list of items that are part of your water supply when you get the water bill. I read an article in the New York Times, Clean Water Laws Are Neglected, at a Cost in Suffering. Make sure you look at the pictures and read the captions when you access the link, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/13/us/13water.html, your heart will bleed and your stomach will feel queasy.

It’s outrageous. I cannot imagine what might be lurking in the water I cook with, brush my teeth and bathe with…I guess I should be happy that no one I know or love has come up with any horrendous health consequences like birth defects, cancer, stomach upset, skin or nerve problems or any other unexplained illness associated with tainted water. But I am concerned for those that are being affected or who may be being exposed to these pollutants now.

The article does claim that in the general New York area there are high amounts of dry cleaning solvent, tetrachloroethylene. Yep, we may be drinking the stuff used to clean our cloths when we drop ‘em off at the cleaners. Tetrachloroethylene has been linked to cancer and kidney damage. The investigator does an amazingly thorough job and offers a site where you can locate by state potential water contaminants, http://projects.nytimes.com/toxic-waters.

I must admit I myself may have almost been a victim of a similar water problem. I lived in East Brunswick, NJ. I was looking to buy a home. It was in a great location, near new homes that were being constructed that were priced over $1.5 million. The broker ignored my question about a locked fence that was diagonally across the road and just off to the side of these homes. Accidentally, I found out that the locked fence was an old dumpsite. As I began to investigate, I found out that it was not just an over grown grassy area that was locked off. It was a “superfund site”.

FOR THE HEALTH OF IT, check out this link, http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/index.htm. Scorecard is another helpful site that provides pollution information for the air, water, land and other chemical hazards, http://www.scorecard.org/env-releases/us-main-map. Talk about sticker shock, this country is so toxic I’m amazed any of us can walk around without some type of health consequence!

If you are experiencing health issues that cannot be explained, I hope you are not going to leave well enough alone. You should investigate your environment before you push it off as some odd phenomena. Pollutants can accumulate in your system for years before any type of health problem occurs and the first signs may go unrecognized before you put the pieces together.

Here’s something to think about: You may want to re-consider the source of your drinking water as you try to reach that goal of drinking eight, 8oz. glasses/day or how you will wash your food…

 

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Take A Deep Breath

With advances in technology we all too often forget about the basics. We are so determined to discover the “do it quick, simple and better” method for everything, we lose sight of the basic fundamentals. Forests, our biggest producers of oxygen (O2), are becoming extinct and increases in carbon emissions are quickly growing.

Why is this SO important? Without the basics, we cannot survive. The oxygen we breathe provides 90% of the energy we use and it helps convert the food we eat into energy too. Food and water provide approximately 10% of the energy we use to sustain daily activities.

Our bodies suffer as carbon emissions become greater and the atmosphere has less oxygen. According to Nitish Priyadarshi, “Regarding percentage of oxygen present in the atmosphere in the geological past, it was revealed that air bubbles trapped in fossilized amber had been analyzed and found to contain oxygen levels of 38%. Yet today it is well known that the average content of the oxygen in air is only 19% to 21%. If we believe on the report of oxygen level in the fossilized amber, it appears that since the early history of our earth there has been a stunning decrease of 50% in the average oxygen content of the air we breathe. According to other report, analysis of the air in various parts of the world today reveals the frightening fact that the oxygen content continues to decline. In fact in some of the larger and therefore more polluted cities the oxygen levels have been measured at a disturbing level of 12 to 15%. Scientists claim that anything under 7% oxygen content in the air is too low to support human life, even for short periods.”

In simpler terms, we are not getting enough O2 from the air we breathe from the atmosphere. Poorly ventilated buildings airplanes and other enclosed areas also provide inadequate amounts of fresh air. Lack of oxygen is linked with poor energy levels, memory problems, and physical diseases. We may all feel better and live healthier lives if we can increase O2 intake. Oxygen helps our metabolism function properly, Wiki.answers.com explains that, “Oxygen consumption increases energy output of sugar burning by about 20 fold”.

I found a list of quotes from those who are well-versed on this topic, http://laughjoyfully.com/importance-of-oxygen/, entitled, What The Experts Say On The Importance Of Oxygen

“Deep breathing techniques which increase oxygen to the cell are the most important factors in living a disease free and energetic life… Remember. Where cells get enough oxygen, cancer will not, cannot occur.” –Dr. Otto Warburg, President, Institute of Cell Physiology, Nobel Prize Winner (Dr. Warburg is the only person to ever win the Nobel Prize twice in medicine and he was nominated for a third.)

“Breathing correctly is the key to better fitness, muscle strength, stamina, and athletic endurance.” –Dr. Michael Yessis, Phd., President Sports Training Institute, Fitness Writer – Muscle and Fitness Magazine

“Oxygenation through deep breathing boosts the immune system and can rid the body of chronic illnesses.” –Dr. Sheldon Hendler, MD, Medical Researcher Cell Oxygenation, Author “The Oxygen Breakthrough”

“All body functions are breathing related. Proper oxygen delivery to all parts of your body is crucial to health and well-being. Aerobic exercise increases the body?s available oxygen and therefore promotes wellness. Delivering oxygen to the body is the responsibility of the respiratory system. Breathing is the process by which air enters the bloodstream, via the lungs. Thus, proper breathing, and correcting common breathing disorders, is the ultimate form of aerobics.” –Dr. Robert Fried, Breath Connection, Insight Books, 1990, p. 52

“Oxygen tension in tissues enhances the action of some antibiotics, notably amino-glycosides, and the immune system, and stimulates cellular metabolism.” –Linda Collison, Hyperbarics: when pressuring patients helps, Health Index

“Deep diaphragmatic breathing stimulates the cleansing of the lymph system by creating a vacuum effect which pulls the lymph through the bloodstream. This increases the rate of toxic elimination by as much as 15 times the normal rate.” –Dr. J.W. Shields, MD, Lymph, lymph glands, and homeostasis. Lymphology, v25, n4, Dec. 1992, p. 147

“Oxygen plays a pivotal role in the proper functioning of the immune system. We can look at oxygen deficiency as the single greatest cause of all diseases.” –Stephen Levine, a respected molecular biologist and geneticist, and Dr. Paris M. Kidd, Ph.D., Antioxidant Adaptation

Planting trees and saving forests will help the planet but it also is mandatory for our survival. Oxygen is a fundamental necessity of life and as we advance our lives with various technologies we should not lose sight of our basic needs. You can provide your body with more oxygen everyday. Here’s how:

1. Exercise
Tai chi and chi gong can be done at any age (check out this video, I am not endorsing buying any videos but I like the video as an introduction so you can decide if and how you prefer to pursue this, http://www.wujiproductions.com/ or http://www.ehow.com/video_4399453_spine-exercises-chi-gong.html )
Deep breathing exercises, read these sections: Use your nose (breath correctly), Factors that assist proper breathing and Deep breathing (http://www.projectrestore.com/library/health/pureair.htm)
Aerobic exercises like biking and walking

2. Replace coffee, soda and other high sugar/caffeine beverages with water (H2O)

3. Find local parks or places where you can relax that have lots of trees and flowers

4. Decorate your home with plants

Seriously consider this especially if you are a frequent traveler or live, according to Dr. Mercola, in the top 5 cities that have the least oxygen in the U.S.: California (LA, Long Beach, Riverside, Fresno, Madera, Bakersfield), Pennsylvannia (Pittsburgh, New Castle) and Oregon (Eugene, Springfield), http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2004/05/12/air-quality.aspx.

You may want to browse these websites too. Some of the pictures are beautiful:

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/OzoneWeBreathe/
http://www.worldalmanacforkids.com/WAKI-ViewArticle.aspx?pin=wak-009007
http://www.spokanecleanair.org/documents/kids_pages/Kids%20Page%20Air.pdf
http://www.projectrestore.com/library/health/pureair.htm

 

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