7 Common Myths on Healthy Hydration Debunked
When it comes to hydration, it’s a simple rule: Drink eight glasses of water each day, right?
That is wrong. There is a lot of misinformation surrounding hydration, including this common myth, which can make it difficult to distinguish fact from fiction. Since our body is made up of mostly water, getting enough water enables our bodies to: regulate body temperature, keep joints lubricated, prevent infection, deliver nutrients to cells and keep organ systems functioning properly.
But, there is no one-size-fits-all rule when it comes to hydration.
We all come in different shapes, sizes, ages and activity levels —
not to mention the various climates we live in —
so it makes sense our hydration requirements
Two general rules of thumb;
1. Drink half your body weight in oz per day and
2. Check the color and volume of your urine. If it’s pale yellow or even
clear, and you’re heading to the bathroom once every few hours, you’re likely hydrated. However, if your urine is dark yellow or
even brownish, you could be dehydrated.
Is Liquid is the only way to rehydrate?
While drinking plenty of water each day is a healthy habit, it’s not the only way to rehydrate. In fact, about 20 percent of your fluids come from foods you eat. Soups, juicy fruits, such as strawberries, cantaloupe and watermelon, and veggies, including spinach, kale, cucumbers and celery, all have high water content that will boost your daily fluid intake.
Beware, however, foods high in sodium, such as packaged foods and salty snacks, can have the opposite effect. When salt circulates in the blood, the body responds by drawing water out of cells to balance things out, causing dehydration.
If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated?
The fact is thirst does not always correlate with dehydration. Some medical conditions, such as diabetes, or side effects from medications can make you thirsty without your body actually being dehydrated. Even something as simple as eating spicy foods can make you thirstier than normal.
But if you’re thirsty, listen to your body. It’s telling you to drink water, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re already dehydrated. Your water deficit can be trivial or it can be a problem.
Can you over-hydrate?
Surprisingly, it is possible to overhydrate and drink more than your body can flush out. It’s a condition called hyponatremia, where sodium levels in the body become dangerously low. This condition occurs when the levels of sodium in the water are too low. Symptoms of hyponatremia include confusion, nausea, headaches and convulsions. People with underlying conditions, such as congestive heart or kidney failure, as well as endurance or extreme athletes, are at a higher risk for this condition.
Is Coffee is dehydrating?
For a long time, medical experts believed coffee acted as a diuretic and caused dehydration. But in recent years, several studies have shown caffeinated beverages consumed in moderation provide the same hydration as non-caffeinated drinks. Due to the food manipulation from the food industry that manipulates brain chemistry, it is changing our cellular function.
Sports drinks are a great way to rehydrate after exercise?
It depends. Sports drinks contain large amounts of sugar, artificial additives, calories and maltodextrin. For this reason, water is the best way to rehydrate after exercise. Please see additional information in our Blog Health section.
The best way to rehydrate is to drink water?
In most cases, yes, drinking water can remedy dehydration if you have mild symptoms, such as dry mouth, fatigue, headaches or muscle cramps.
However, if you’re experiencing moderate to severe dehydration symptoms, such as confusion, severe muscle cramps, low blood pressure or mobility problems, immediate medical attention is necessary. You may require IV fluids or short-term dialysis, in extreme cases.
If you’re wondering what healthy hydration means for you, talk to a doctor about appropriate daily fluid intake for your body and lifestyle. Schedule a review with Dr. Clark and she will review medical history, health conditions and medications you’re taking to help determine what’s right for you. This visit is subject to a review charge that is not covered by your insurance.
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