Drink up, Buttercup!

Drink up, Buttercup!

Believe it or not, “Hydrate or Die” is the callout used by one of the beverage vendors at the Arizona Diamondbacks ballpark.  When Buff and I heard him calling this out over the stands, hawking cold beer, sodas, and water, we just cracked up.  But he made his point!

So how important is hydration and does any liquid qualify or must it be water?

Water transports nutrients and carries waste away from body cells, and it helps regulate body temperature by distributing heat and cooling the body through perspiration.  We are made up mostly of water — blood is about 83% water, muscles are about 76% water and even bones are over 20% water.  In general (and if you don’t live in the desert) you need to replace approximately 2 to 3 quarts of water daily.  Foods can supply some of that, especially high water content foods like fruits and vegetables, but you simply have to drink straight up water for most of your hydration needs.  Yes, other liquids contain water, but may also contain caffeine, sodium, or other dehydrating elements.

Besides being a basic element of life, staying hydrated can alleviate fatigue, reduce hunger, boost your metabolism and even reduce high blood pressure.  (Go to Natural News for more information about dehydration and blood pressure.)  In fact, those that drink water before a meal consistently eat less according to recent studies, reported this summer in the BBC News.

So how much is enough?  Conventional wisdom says 8 glasses a day or, more precisely, one-half your body weight in ounces in water.  If you weigh 150 pounds, that’s 75 ounces of water per day, or about 2.5 liters.  However, if you are engaged in a serious workout routine, you’re going to need additional water (about a liter) for each hour of workout.  Remember, you don’t lose water just through sweating.  You also lose hydration through breathing, and if you’re like me … panting like a dog through your workout … you’re losing a lot of water.

Can you drink too much?  Of course, and we’ve heard the nightmare stories of people that have totally messed up their electrolytes by chugging a gallon of water on a hot day.  Water intoxication is dangerous and simple to avoid.

Here are some simple hydration tips:

  • Drink water upon rising, before each mini-meal, and before bedtime.
  • Get a pretty and functional water bottle to tote water around with you at the gym or have handy at your desk.
  • Add non-starchy vegetables to every meal.
  • Don’t eat anything packaged or prepared — make your meals and snacks from scratch so you can control the salt.
  • Get rid of the “sodium chloride” in your cupboard and switch to natural sea salt, which is a mineral, not a chemical.
  • Kick the soda addiction.
  • Limit caffeine and alcohol.
  • Drink extra water during and after an intense workout.

Hydrating our way to health ~ Puff

2 Responses to “Hydrate or Die!”

  • vicki:

    I FOLLOWED THE ADVICE DRINKING MORNING, BEFORE EACH MEAL, AND EVENING BEFORE BED AND GOT WATER INTOXICATION!
    LOOK UP HOME MADE ELECTROLYTE WATER ONLINE
    YOU MUST HAVE THE SODIUM AND OTHER INGRED IN THE WATER….
    FOOD IS WHERE THE HYDRATION MINERALS ARE….
    FOOD MUST BE CONSUMED OR YOU WILL DIE ON A LONG HIKE SAY, INTO
    THE GRAND CANYON JUST DRINKING WATER IS NOT ENOUGH.
    2 YOUNG HEALTHY MEN DIED IN THE CANYON SEV YRS AGO THEY WERE FULL
    OF WATER AND CARRYING MORE…HAD NO FOOD ALL DAY….
    BOTH DEAD………..
    UNNECESSARILY………..WATERMELON, CELERY, ETC….WILL HYDRATE YOU….

  • I pack a small cooler for the drive, fielld with yogurt, fruit, low-fat cottage cheese, and other such things. When I arrive at my destination, I almost immediately go to the grocery store to stock up on my standard items. My host(ess) is generally happy to accommodate a few added groceries in the fridge, and I try to choose hotels with refrigerators in the room. Because I travel the same routes frequently, I also keep a list of good restaurants (those with healthy options) on my phone, along with the exit number and the town. Most large-scale chains have good salad options topped with grilled meat or fish. As much as I hate to patronize them, it’s not always possible to find a locally owned option.

Leave a Reply