The Importance of Hydration
A while back a friend of mine shared a YouTube video where Dr. Fernando Lemos, a Brazilian Coloproctologist, talks about the benefits of drinking water in the morning while fasting. I found it very interesting because I’ve always known hydration is key for health. As I tend to believe in natural and simple tips, I decided to give his suggestion a try. That was when I started drinking 20 ounces of pure water right after waking up and waiting 45 minutes to eat breakfast. The doctor’s explanation makes a lot of sense: you lose water throughout the night and wake up dehydrated. Then you need water to wake up your brain and prepare your whole body for millions of different activities. The video does not say you should take any crazy complex supplement or tries to sell you anything, so I thought it was pertinent and reliable.
Hydration in my Morning Routine
Since then, I have been keeping this routine of drinking water first thing in the morning. Currently, I drink about 32 ounces before 7 am. You may be wondering how you can drink that much, but believe me, take baby steps – start with a cup, and as you do it over and over, more you can drink. The first benefit I noticed was bowel regularity. Then my energy level started going up and I felt more and more productive throughout the day.
Hydration by Darin Olien
Three years after having this morning routine I read a book by Darin Olien called Superlife. The book not only validated everything Dr. Fernando Lemos says in the video but also, made me understand the role of water from a whole new perspective. We all know that 70% of Earth’s surface is covered by water and that the percentage of water in the human body is also 70%. Water is the main component of all your organs, bones, blood, and tissues. It’s in various forms within the body – inside the walls of more than 70 trillion cells, in around one and a third gallons of blood, plus bile, saliva, gastric juices, lymph, spinal cord, and semen, all essentially water.
But what was mind-blowing to me was the fact that countless chemical reactions that happen all the time inside your body take place in an aqueous medium. This means without this universal solvent, there is no point in eating or breathing because nothing will reach the cells! Water is transportation, lubrication for all your joints, and the vehicle for waste elimination. It is the mean by which electrical current is sent by the nervous system to all muscles and organs! It operates our immune system and all other internal systems alike! Water is not fuel, but the human engine does not work without it. It’s not a nutrient, but you won’t be healthy without it!
Water in your Diet
If we are 70% water, a big chunk of our diet should be water. More so since we lose it all day long through breathing, sweat, tears, urine, and feces. It may seem like you don’t lose much, but adults produce about a quart and a half of urine daily, and about the same amount you lose from sweat. That alone is three-quarters of a gallon. The fact is that most of us don’t drink anywhere near the necessary.
A CDC – Center for Disease Control and Prevention, survey done from 2015 to 2018, shows that 80% of Americans drink much less than the minimum amount recommended (64 ounces a day). Which means 80% of Americans are dehydrated at the cellular level. If water is a fundamental part of all our metabolic processes, can you imagine the damage of lacking it? All the toxins we eat, breathe in and absorb by the skin, plus all the metabolic wastes that would accumulate inside us, causing symptoms of all kinds of diseases.
Thirst and Dehydration
We often think we should get a drink if we are thirsty, but it is not how it works. The brain controls the water levels in different organs – being the one that requires most of it. So, when it realizes its low water level, it demands from all other internal sources. If even though the ideal level is not achieved, it signals the need for external sources, making you feel thirsty. Therefore, when we are up for a drink, the effects of dehydration are already occurring within our cells.
How to know how much to drink, you might be wondering. There is no firm answer to this question because everyone is different and have different lifestyles as well as different metabolism. Although several studies indicate that tiredness, drowsiness, and difficulty concentrating are related to a lack of water. The biggest problem is that our body adapts to everything. If you drink 2 ounces of water daily, your body will live with it. However, in the long run, the damage can be irreparable.
How Much should you Drink
The answer is to drink plenty of water all the time! I carry my water bottle with me everywhere! Acknowledging that it is the single easiest way to improve your health. So, start your day by drinking a big glass of water to replenish everything you lost overnight. If you have children give them water, first thing in the morning – not juice, not milk, water first! Drink pure, filtered water. Avoid plastic bottles – your liver and the environment will thank you. If you are tired, mentally exhausted, or irritated at any given time, drink a nice glass of water, then you can go for coffee! Remember that fruits and vegetables are also mostly water. They help keep you hydrated, as well as, with good levels of essential vitamins and minerals.
Here comes the pee!
The only inconvenience of drinking plenty of water is the number of times you have to go to the bathroom! It does not bother me! I would rather have all my cells, organs, and systems working as efficiently as possible! I use my pee break to also stretch my legs, fill my water bottle, and pet my dog. The choice is yours!
PS.: You can check other simple things you can do to your health on this other post of mine: 10 ways to take care of health without spending money.