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Hydration: Drink Up!

There’s a reason people get all steamed up when others don’t take hydration seriously; it’s because water is important!

What if I told you they’re putting a chemical compound called Di-Hydrogen Monoxide, or DHMO in your water supply? It’s colorless, odorless, even tasteless, and is responsible for the deaths of thousands of people each year, usually just by inhaling it. It is used as everything from a fire retardant, in coolants and solvents, and even as a food additive; and depending on the temperature it can be a solid, liquid or gas. Scary sounding stuff, right? As bad as it may sound, this compound has a lot of benefits too. DHMO has no fats, carbs, sugar, no calories, and, get this, we now know that it is absolutely essential for life. You probably know this compound by its more common designation as H2O, you know, water.

Let me review a few facts about water with you. Two-thirds of the Earth’s surface is covered with it, however only about 3–4% of that is fresh water, and much of that is locked up in glaciers and snow pack. 75% of the weight of the human body is water, with blood being more than 90%. Wars and feuds have been waged over access to water for drinking and for crops. Half of the hospitalizations and deaths worldwide are attributed to lack of water or waterborne disease.

Every cell in the body depends on water to maintain life, for temperature regulation, to flush toxins, and to balance electrolytes. Frankly, the human body is much like a bucket with leaks, constantly losing water with every breath and drop of sweat, which needs to be regularly replenished. It’s not unusual for a person who exercises vigorously in heat to lose 5–6 lbs. This is significant because as little as a 2% loss of body fluids can cause dehydration and affect our performance, while a 3–4% loss has real health consequences. Elderly people are at a greater risk, in that we lose some hydration naturally as we age. This is important because proper hydration lowers blood pressure and heart rate. Counter-intuitively, exercise actually blunts the thirst mechanism, effectively fooling the body.

The most common signs of dehydration are thirst, dry pasty mouth, dizziness, confusion, headache, muscle cramping, and lack of sweating during exercise. Basically, if you are thirsty, you are already dehydrating.

This is such an important topic, let me share some simple tips that will help you in the desire to stay properly hydrated. First of all, thirst is frequently confused for hunger, so hydrating can often suppress the appetite. One of the most effective tips is to actually have a plan or schedule for hydrating. Consider these suggestions to make sure you are getting at least your 6–8 glasses a day; start and end each day with a glass of water, drink a glass before each meal, and after each restroom visit, as well as before, during, and after each workout. To know how much fluid to consume, weigh yourself immediately before and after exercise. For every pound of weight lost due to sweat, drink one pint, which is 16 ounces of water. Eat 2–3 servings of fruit and vegetables at each meal: cucumbers, pineapple, watermelon, lettuce, blueberries, celery, and citrus fruits all approach 95% water content. The three S’s, soups, salads, and smoothies, are the most nutrient-dense ways to hydrate, especially when using Sunwarrior plant-based superfoods like illumin8 meal replacement, protein powders, and Liquid Light.

In conclusion, have you heard the joke about hydration? Probably not, because hydration is no joke! Now go have a glass of water!

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