Drink water! Even mild dehydration affects health
Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink. — Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” ROSEMARY BOGGS
There are foods that benefit from dehydration. This process has been practiced worldwide since ancient times with things such as meats, fruits and vegetables, but for all the good dehydration does for food, it is horrible for our bodies.
I know people who rarely drink water, and some of them turn me in to the water police. But in the end, we are the masters of our destinies, and our lives really are in our hands most of the time.
I found an article on the University of Connecticut Today website (today.uconn.edu) titled “Even Mild Dehydration Can Alter Mood.” It is rather eye opening.
Lawrence Armstrong, a scientist and professor of physiology at UConn is quoted as saying that “our thirst sensation doesn’t appear until dehydration has already set in. It then starts to affect how our mind and body perform.”
Two studies were conducted at the university’s Human Performance Laboratory. The studies showed that it didn’t matter if a person walked for 40 minutes on a treadmill or sat at rest — the adverse effects from mild dehydration were the same. And one of the studies found that women appear to be more susceptible to the adverse effects of low levels of dehydration than men. But finding out why, they say, will take more research.
The signs of dehydration can include bad breath, dry skin, muscle cramps, food cravings, and fever and chills.
To check hydration you can try the skin test. Use two fingers to grab a roll of skin on the back of your hand. Pull up the skin and let it go. If it doesn’t spring back to its original position in just a couple of seconds you could be dehydrated. Or check your urine. Yellow, chardonnay and orange are warning colors.
We’ve been told we should drink eight 8-ounce servings a day, but that has not been proved. The Mayo Clinic (mayoclinic.org) says it’s because phrases like “drink 8 by 8” are easy to remember.
The Institute of Medicine, a nonprofit arm of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly 13 cups and for women nine cups of total beverages a day.
Our other fluid intake also counts toward the daily total. Milk, juice, beer, wine, coffee, tea and soda can contribute, but should not be a major portion of our daily fluids. And what we eat can help fill our fluid needs too. Foods like watermelon and spinach are about 90 percent water.
Modify intake depending on your level of exercise, environment, health, or if you’re pregnant or breast-feeding.
High blood sugar in diabetics can also lead to dehydration, according to the American Diabetes Association website, diabetes.org. When blood sugar is abnormally high, the body attempts to reduce the glucose level by dumping it into the urine. But water also leaves our body with the glucose when we urinate. It can lead to dehydration unless we drink enough fluid to keep up with the increased urination.
Although it is uncommon, the Mayo Clinic website says it is possible to drink too much water. When our kidneys are unable to excrete excess water, the mineral content of the blood is diluted, resulting in low sodium levels in the blood, which is called hyponatremia.
The Sherwood Chamber of Commerce is holding its second annual Wellness Expo from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 12 at Sherwood Forest, 1111 W. Maryland Ave. in Sherwood. Admission is free.
The event includes more than 40 fitness, health and wellness-related vendors. There will be lectures, demonstrations and door prizes.
For information contact Marcia Cook at (501) 835-7600 or at email@example.com.
The American Red Cross is in extreme need of people who will donate platelets.
Platelets are the clotting portion of blood used for cancer and trauma patients, those undergoing organ transplants and premature babies. They have a shelf life of five days.
For information or to donate, go to redcrossblood.org or call (800) 733-2767.