Mild dehydration is subtly sabotaging your health.
Mild dehydration was sabotaging my health. I found myself back in the doctors’ office again this week because of a UTI that I could not get ahead of on my own. Before I continue, you should know that this post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on or purchase one of the product links I’ll receive some compensation that will support my addiction to all things coffee. Taking 2,000 mg of vitamin C before bed usually does the trick. However, I was out of 1000 mg caplets. Hubs went to the store and picked up some BUT it was the 500 mg chewable because the pharmacy was out of the 1000 mg. caplets that work best for me. These didn’t help me. Because of a lapse of time, they were not getting the job done. The infection spread first to my bladder then into my kidneys. Misery set in.
Meanwhile being stubborn and hardheaded, I continued trying to beat it on my own. A week of very little progress went by. When I returned to the gym on the following Monday morning I just didn’t have the energy, or the motivation to do my full workout. Going to the Dr. was moved to the top of my list of things to do, he got me right in that afternoon. I filled a prescription for antibiotics. I detest taking antibiotics for the simple fact antibiotics kill all bacteria both good and bad.
What I learned during the week
Water is your ally, BFF, the most underused tool for optimal health. I was drinking 16oz. water 16oz green tea every day during my morning workout. I was drinking roughly 6-8 oz of water with my lunch and dinner. Finally, at bedtime, I took my evening vitamins and medications with a little bit of water probably 4-6 oz. This doesn’t include the coffee and hot tea I like to drink throughout the day. So I was getting about 46-48 oz of water a day. Seems like that ought to be enough, doesn’t it? I very rarely drink anything other than water, coffee, and tea.
Being stuck on a weight loss plateau is no fun whatsoever. I was being faithful to my workout routine, continuing to keep my food portions small to moderate and closely watching my protein intake. Out of left field, I’m hit with a UTI. Realizing, I needed to immediately step up my water intake, a 16 oz water bottle stayed full and by my side at all times. Then BOOM the following occurred:
- The plateau was conquered, I reached a major milestone – 180.4 1bs. lost. My daughter said, “Welcome to “onederland” because I was out of the 200s and into the 100s weighing in at 199.6
- Cravings came to an all-time low. I wasn’t wanting chocolate, sugar or carbs.
- My bowel movements were better. I was getting plenty of fiber, but plenty of water is what makes fiber work efficiently. In case you didn’t catch that little tidbit of super important info, water is what makes fiber work efficiently!!
Feeding thirst came to a halt
Mild dehydration can cause you to eat when you are thirsty and that causes overeating and snacking and grazing. Next, calories sneak up on you. When you think you’re doing alright but in reality, all you need to do to take control is to increase your water game. When I started drinking the minimum required amount of water 64 oz, I literally quenched my hunger and gone was my desire to sometimes feed thirst with food. I essentially uncrossed my wires. Instead of reaching for water, sometimes I reached for food, usually something sweet.
Let’s talk about detox
Mild dehydration is subtle enough to slow down your efforts to detox your digestive system.
- Sweating through vigorous exercise
- Using a sauna
- Dry brushing your skin
- Getting better nutrition
- Relaxation to aid detox
Just remember, none of these activities will work well for you without optimal water consumption. I don’t think I can stress this enough. For a more detailed discussion about detoxing click here.
How much water do you really need?
That all depends on your level of activity, your weight and the type of diet you consume. When health professionals say to consume at least 8 x 8oz. glasses of water each day that amount can vary from person to person. Water lubricates your esophagus, stomach, and colon to allow food to be properly processed and passed through the colon.
As we age, our ability to detect thirst declines. Therefore, subtle dehydration can and does sneak up on us from time to time. Set a reminder on your phone or computer to chime at certain times of the day to help remind you to get more water. To help myself stay hydrated, I chew ice in the summer, the nice soft crushed pieces that are easy to chew. Chewing ice also helps keep my appetite under control.
Peristalsis is the way food is moved down the digestive system. As we age, peristalsis slows down. Drinking enough water helps digestion and absorption of nutrients. Drinking water also helps to prevent Diverticulitis a condition that occurs when the intestines are forced too hard when going to the bathroom. Waste gets stuck in the pouches of the intestinal lining and causes GI discomfort. Diverticulitis can be serious enough to be hospitalized. Water + fiber = healthy digestive system.
Finally, I hoped this post help you. I would be so appreciative if you would take a moment to share this post with your favorite social media outlet. Please feel free to leave your comments and share your tips about good hydration.
I’m Karen with Embracing Aging,
Reminding you to embrace your age.
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