You always hear me say it, “did you drink enough water today”? Seems like most of us drink more coffee than water every day, which can lead big problems later on. I'm just as guilty, but I know the days and weeks that I'm consistently hydrated, I feel better and better. Not only does it help with recovering from a tough training session, but hydration is so important on so many levels, including fighting of disease.
A few years back, I was sitting on the beach reading the book, Your bodys many cries for water: You are not sick, you are thirsty!: Don’t treat thirst with medications. by Dr. F. Batmanghelidj, (and yes, I'm getting made fun of by the group of friends I was with since during my "down time" I'm choosing to read an entire book on water). I've always known water was important, but I did not have a good grasp on the importance of proper hydration. In his book, Dr. Batmanghelidi explains how you can prevent and reverse conditions such as asthma, allergies and joint pain with the right amount of H2O. He continues to explain how proper hydration can eliminate pains such as heartburn, back pain, arthritis, colitis pain, and migraine headaches.
Seriously?! Can you imagine just staying hydrated could help cure some diseases? Can you imagine feeling better without popping all the medications that are so easily prescribed these days? There are times that medicines are absolutely necessary and I’m not here to step on any toes or act like I know it all, as I am a big supporter of science, modern medicine, and the many doctors out there who keep us healthy and alive.
Dr. Batmangeilidi explains, “At the moment, “dry mouth” is the only accepted sign of dehydration of the body. As I have explained, this signal is the last outward sign of extreme dehydration” (Batmangeilidi, 2008, p. 8). How many times throughout your week do you get “dry mouth?” That is your bodies final warning, like hey, I need water. How many times do you wake up with knee pain, muscle soreness, stiff necks, back pain? If you could easily prevent all of these pains and discomforts by drinking just enough water, would you? Stay hydrated before you get the “dry mouth.” There are so many days I lead myself down the horrible road of too much coffee, barely any water and I wonder why I feel like crap? I start cramping doing the simplest of tasks! My joints hurt, my muscles cramp, my mouth is dry and all my whole body is screaming at me to freaking give it the amount of water that it needs! Yes, water, plain and simple water, not coffee, not tea, not flavored water. Just the plain, crystal clear water that most of our body is made of. Did you know an adult's body is made up of about 60% of water? An adult's brain and heart are composed of 73% of water. Water has many functions in the body including:
· Regulating internal body temperature
· It assists in flushing waste mainly through urination
· Acts as a shock absorber for brain, spinal cord, and fetus
· Forms saliva
· Lubricates joints
So, how much water do we need each day? Your target should be 1⁄2 your bodyweight in ounces. Minimally, you should drink 6-8 ounces every day. Check to make sure your urine is colorless. If not, drink more. Your body will thank you. ANCHOR members: I challenge you to focus on drinking more water today than you did yesterday and slowly begin to increase to the point where you drink half your body weight in ounces each day. Also, when I ask everyone to hydrate, the comments are always, "I don't want to have to pee every 20 minutes." Stay hydrated for 2 weeks straight. Drink enough and the urge to use the bathroom every 20 minutes will disappear. Your body will adapt to the good state of hydration you are in.
I know I certainly will continue to make daily hydration a focus moving forward. Although I’ve quoted one specific source, I don’t think one resource is the end all be all, but proper hydration can’t hurt you. I would recommend checking this book out and I’d be happy to loan it to any ANCHOR member who is interested in getting some more of the in-depth, science stuff out of it. There is so much research out there being done, so many opinions on different ways of fitness and nutrition, I like to keep things as simple as possible. Water is a basic essential mineral. Get enough of it, and good things will come about.
Batmanghelidj, F. (2008). Your bodys many cries for water: You are not sick, you are thirsty!: Dont treat thirst with medications. Falls Church, VA: Global Health Solutions.