Water, Water Everywhere, So Stop And Take A Drink
It sure is hot this summer. How hot is it? It’s so hot that... well, let’s just say that it’s so hot people need to remember to stay hydrated. And that’s not just for people who exercise! With such a plethora of water choices, it should be easy for anyone to satisfy their thirst. There’s regular tap water, purified water, mineral water, flavored water, pH-balanced water, and the latest craze -- coconut water. The Washington Post’s wellness article titled, Is coconut really more hydrating? Clarifying myths and fact on waters, states that there isn’t much of a difference, really, in terms of which one is better at hydrating the body. The most important issue is not to get dehydrated in the first place, not which water you should be drinking. Also, it’s good to remember that some foods, beverages, and herbal supplements can actually accelerate dehydration. Drinks with caffeine (coffee, tea, soda) and alcohol are the primary culprits and so are food diets that are high in protein.
If someone says they’re thirsty, but doesn’t do anything about it, then he or she is asking for trouble. In an article on CNN.com titled, From bad breath to car accidents, dehydration is a real health threat, when the body gets dehydrated all sorts of bad things can happen, and it doesn’t take much to become dehydrated. The human body is approximately 60% water and a drop of just 1.5% can cause mild dehydration. So what can happen to the body when this occurs?
Let’s start with the mild health effects of dehydration such as bad breath, a craving for sugar, and fatigue or a decrease in physical performance. These don’t seem so bad until you consider that those are just the tip of the iceberg. Mild fatigue can quickly turn into being tired, and trying to push yourself physically can cause muscle cramps. Dehydration also causes your skin to dry out, changes mood for the worse, can cause headaches or dizziness, and even constipation. Again, you may not consider these problems to be a major concern and you’ll grab some water as soon as you can. If you’re one of these people, then I have one more item to consider.
The same CNN article mentions research published in Physiology and Behavior, which showed that “the number of driving errors doubled during a two-hour drive when drivers were dehydrated versus hydrated--an effect similar to driving while drunk.” Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that your day-to-day commute isn’t very long and you hate being stuck in traffic if you’ve absolutely got to use the restroom. I also know several people who intentionally don’t drink anything before a long road trip so that they don’t have to stop for a restroom break. Is either of these scenarios worth the danger of increasing the risk of having a traffic accident? Not just no, but heck no!
So raise your glass often and have a cool, refreshing drink. Your body will thank you in more ways than one!