Not Enough Water
When I see a patient for the first time, I take about an hour to talk to them and find out everything that is going on in their lives. From what they eat and how they sleep to how they feel about their life. I find that many people don’t have an opportunity in their lives to share at that level with a health practitioner who can look at all the pieces and see where and how to bring them back into balance. That’s one of the things I love most about my job. I’m a great problem solver and each patient is a new mystery to solve.
So I was with this new patient and her primary complaint was constipation. I went through all my usual questions about food, sleep, even suggesting more fiber. As it turned out, she was drinking barely any water all day long. You see, she worked at a front desk of an office and she had to be there all the time in case someone walked in. She didn’t feel comfortable asking someone to watch the desk while she ran to pee. Consequently, she drank hardly any water. So, after a bit of coaching, we came up with a solution for her to drink more water during the day. And guess what? Of course, within a week she was no longer constipated. And, another thing, her anxiety was reduced. I looked at her and said “You didn’t tell me you had anxiety.” The funny thing was, she didn’t realize that I could help her with that. She assumed she was just programmed like that and it would never change.
Water as a Nutrient
So, what’s the scoop with water?
Did you know water is the most important nutrient in your body? And yet, so many of my patients and clients are dehydrated. So how much water is sufficient to hydrate your body?
Warm Lemon Water is the Key
Here is what I tell EVERYONE!
Start your day with warm lemon water, and add one glass of water after eating. If you link eating and drinking water, then you are more likely to start and retain the new habit. But DON’T drink water with your meal. That will dilute your stomach acid and create poor digestion. You know, gas and bloating. And no one really enjoys that side effect. The key to creating any new behavior is to link a newly desired habit with an existing one and voilà! You’ll have a new behavior that will become a habit.
Some Hydration Facts
Here are some important hydration facts:
- 60% of your body’s total mass is made up of water. Did you know that you carry about 10-13 gallons of water inside you?
- You can a long time without food, but only a matter of days without water.
- Water transports nutrients and waste in your body. Water brings hydrogen and oxygen to your cells and takes away toxins, eg. Poo.
- Did you know that your cells communicate with each other? Well, without hydration they can’t do this.
- You need water to cushion your bones and joints. It’s like the shock absorption for your body.
- Water helps regulate your body temperature.
- Water moistens the air for easier breathing.
Other Hydration Tips
Here are my staying hydrated tips:
- ADD SALT & LEMON TO WATER
Try adding ½ lemon and a small amount of unrefined sea salt to your water. Don’t use refined table salt. You want sea salt because it contains dozens of minerals, including electrolytes that help you better absorb the water you drink. Lemon improves your digestion and aids in moving your bowels.
- Sip water during meals, 4oz or less
- Drink most of your water between meals and before 7pm so you don’t wake up too many times in the night to pee.
- Be aware about drinking too many diuretics. Things such as soda, coffee, tea, and fruit juice can actually worsen dehydration. For every 1 glass of these, you need to drink 2 glasses of water. And definitely have your lemon water before your coffee.