Fitness: You're not sick, You're thirsty
Taking the title of this post from a popular book , I decided to focus this week's fit for life on my favorite beverage on earth WATER! I know this probably comes as no surprise because I shout “healthy” from my virtual soapbox daily however, you may not be aware of how deep my love of water goes. For starters, I must consume a gallon of water per day to feel normal. I am a self proclaimed water sommelier with one sip I can give a short profile on the quality of the water. The motivation behind this fit for life post was not to tell you about why I love water so much but, it is to help you understand the symptoms of a life with little water.
I have experienced all of these symptoms as a result of dehydration. Many of you have probably experienced similar symptoms and may not have known the cause. Well hopefully after reading this you will have some answers.
Headaches. I am very prone to headaches. Growing up, I remember taking Tylenol for headaches at a very young age. I remember my mom joking and telling me “Khaleeqa your brain is just dry.” Well thankfully I listened to her because I believe in some way she was right. When I consumed more water I avoided the headaches. I believe it has something to do with the build up of toxins in your system that cause the headaches. The water dilutes and flushes out toxins, so lack of water causes pain.
Constipation. This was a constant issue when I was overweight. I am not shy about discussing this with people who are trying to lose weight because most of our health issues are related to the digestive track. In general most people can understand that drinking more water helps moves your food fasterthrough your digestive system. In addition it also helps decrease air in your intestines...gas!
Acne. There are many brands and products that will refute water's direct connection with acne and your skin. However, your skin (the largest organ on your body) requires its fair share of water. Without being properly hydrated your skin becomes dry and oils are brought to the surface. This makes your skin more likely for dirt and bacteria to embedded in pours thus producing pimples and blemishes.
Fatigue. Tiredness is an epidemic. You are probably tired right now. Via twitter and facebook I always see updates about someone being sleepy, exhausted, drained. Water intake is directly connected to your energy level. From personal experience if I don't get enough water I immediately feel the need to take a nap. Dehydration of the tissues causes enzymatic activity to slow down thus causing fatigue.
Weight gain. One of the biggest reasons that lack of water causes weight gain is because we tend to confuse thirst with hunger when we are dehydrated. So instead of filling up with water we fill up with food. Think about it, if you have ever been out drinking all night you are usually craving some large meal at 2am when really your body is crying out for water.
Most experts say the way to determine your water intake is to take your body weight in pounds and divide it by 2, this is the number of ounces you should consume daily. American diets are rich in things that dehydrate us such as caffine and sugar so it is very important to not just drink water but drink enough water!
Are there any other symptoms of dehydration you have experienced? Have you ever experienced extreme dehydration? What was your experience like? Please share!