Most of us learned about waters’ distinct properties in elementary school. The agile molecule exists in all three physical states, (solid, liquid and gas) it’s a universal solvent, and it possesses an uncanny ability to absorb tremendous amounts of heat while at the same time, resisting rapid fluctuations in temperature. As an essential nutrient for all life on earth including the complexity that is the human organism, water makes up roughly 50% to 60% of our bodies. It performs a multitude of functions within the body including the transport of nutrients in, and waste out, of our cells. Water also helps regulate body temperature and it lubricates joints, the brain, and all of our vital organs (Kravitz, 2014). It really is amazing that a single type of molecule is responsible for a plethora of essential tasks!
Despite the importance of the “life-giving” combination of hydrogen and oxygen, it is estimated that 75% of Americans fall short of the recommended 8-10, 8oz. (64-80 oz.) cups of water per day, required by the body to replenish water loss (Ericson, 2013). The amount of water your body requires may be even more than 80 oz. if you maintain a high level of physical activity or if you live in a hot or dry climate. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, almost 7% of all hospital admissions are diagnosed as dehydration (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2014). With the summer months upon us, the temperatures are already climbing. It’s not only important to emphasize good hydration habits but also to identify signs of dehydration. Symptoms of mild dehydration may include headache, muscle cramps, dry mouth, or dark yellow urine, while more severe symptoms consist of dizziness, confusion, fatigue, rapid heartbeat, unconsciousness, and even death if untreated (National Institutes of Health, 2014). In the event that you suspect you or someone you know is dehydrated, contact your healthcare provider or emergency service provider immediately.
For those who don’t find plain ole’ water particularly palatable, listed below are some creative ways to increase your H2O consumption. Try working them into your overall dietary strategy:
- Coconut water: a tasty way to increase your water consumption. It’s also chalk full of naturally occurring electrolytes to replenish salts you lose during perspiration.
- Fruit Infusion: cheap carafes are available online or in home good stores. Add lemons, oranges, strawberries or any of your favorite fruits to the infuser and fill the carafes with filtered water. This a great way to add flavor and nutrients!
- Eat fruits and vegetables: Nobody said that your daily intake must come exclusively from liquids. Fruits and vegetables are water dense and contain other essential nutrients. Fruits particularly high in water content include citrus, grapes, cantaloupes, berries, and you guessed it…watermelon! Vegetables that can provide a good source of H2O include cucumber, tomatoes, bell peppers, and broccoli, just to name a few.
- Kombucha: This fermented favorite is a great way to hydrate. Available in a variety of different flavors, it’s also loaded with probiotics, vitamins, and other nutrients that are essential for health. You can find Kombucha in the organic section of your local grocer or in health food stores.
- Frozen Juice pops: another fun way to hydrate is to mix fruit juice with soda water, pour into ice cube trays, and insert Popsicle sticks then pop them in the freezer.
If you have some creative ways of you own you would like to share that will help people “beat the heat” and stay hydrated please share your comments on our Facebook page or on the comments section of our blog, we would love to hear them. Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter for discounts, events, and announcements from Surgical Alternative. Thank you for all your support!
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (2014, March 5). Dehydration: Hospital Admission Rate. Retrieved from National Quality Measures Clearinghouse: http://www.qualitymeasures.ahrq.gov/content.aspx?id=38564&search=Dehydration#Section566
Ericson, J. (2013, July 3). 75% of Americans May Suffer From Chronic Dehydration, According to Doctors. Retrieved from Medical Daily: http://www.medicaldaily.com/75-americans-may-suffer-chronic-dehydration-according-doctors-247393
Kravitz, L. (2014, January 5). Water: The Science of Nature’s Most Important Nutrient. Retrieved from University of New Mexico: http://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article%20folder/WaterUNM.html
National Institutes of Health. (2014, May 16). Dehydration. Retrieved from MedlinePlus National Library of Medicine at NIH: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000982.htm
United States Geological Survey. (2014, March 17). Water Properties Facts and Figures About Water. Retrieved from USGS Science for a Changing World: http://water.usgs.gov/edu/water-facts.html
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