I’m dropping in today to share a guest post from one of my co-workers, Shelby! She is a fitness coach and instructor. She’s here to tell you about the importance of drinking water. Something that I’ve been focusing on more as the summer heat hits. I find myself wanting iced teas, lemonades or diet sodas. The real fix is good ole fashion H2O with a bit of lemon. Not drinking enough water can do some crazy things to your body… keep reading below to find out!
Hello, everyone! My name is Shelby. As an online fitness coach, I love Thursdays. Why? Because I’ve nicknamed them Thirsty Thursdays and these are the days when I get to really tell my online clients the importance of water. So when Sabrina asked me to be a guest blogger for her and I realized the article would come out on a Thursday….SCORE!!!
After 19 years in the fitness industry, I could LITERALLY give an all day seminar on water alone. That’s how important it is. And…true confession. I often use water to gauge how successful my clients will be in their fat loss. If a client resists the idea of drinking more of an odorless, tasteless, inexpensive, and refreshing liquid, then I know they are not mentally ready to change their life around.
But unfortunately, in my journey as a coach, I have discovered that telling people super simple ways they can increase their water intake rarely get more than a “great idea!” from many people. Nope. It seems that BAD, SCARY, NEGATIVE news gets people’s attention much faster than the whole, “here’s your simple fix” articles that I prefer writing. But never fear. I like to give the people what they want! So this following article is designed to put the FEAR AND HORROR of dehydration in you. Then maybe perhaps, you’ll hurry out and buy yourself a nice water bottle and start guzzling away. And if you DO drink plenty of water each day, then give yourself a pat on the back and read this article anyway.😉
First, let’s start with the obvious. Water is everywhere that there is life. Water is essential to life. Don’t drink it for 3 days and you could die. Water is essential to the earth. 70% of the earth is ocean. Water is essential to food. Rain makes plants grow (one of those plants is the cacao bean, which makes chocolate…just sayin’). Water is even essential to fun. After all, jacuzzis, beer, and lake houses do not just happen in the dessert.
So why is it that many people are chronically dehydrated? Quite simply, whether it be a migraine or fatigue, people don’t realize that their symptoms are caused by lack of hydration. So now, let’s go over some of the things that people experience that could be due to lack of water. Granted, I’ve super oversimplified some things. But you’ll get the idea.
Migraines: when you’re dehydrated, water is restricted to the brain. Literally your brain shrinks. Seriously. So lack of water causes headaches and even migraines. Think about it. Your brain is this round ball suspended in water in your cranium. When you’re dehydrated, water is removed from your blood, lowering your blood pressure. So now the brain has less cushioning. It also has less electrolytes, causing the brain to release pain signals. Overeating: In nature fruit and vegetables have lots of water. Juicy apples, WATERmelon, lettuce, carrots, corn. All have water. But in this modern age, we don’t go for that. We go for things like donuts because they come with our coffee. Or candy that we can suck on..and has tons of sugar. So being dehydrated signals to us to eat in order to get water. But either we get it with tons of calories, fat, and/or sugar.Infections: When you don’t drink water, you don’t pee less often. You just pee less. And this means that your urine is more concentrated with waste and more acidic. Can you say…UTI? Can you say…bladder cancer? Yes, peeps. I do NOT exaggerate. Research found that higher fluid intake is associated with lower bladder cancer rates. (Total Fluid and Water Consumption and the Joint Effect of Exposure to Disinfection By-Products on Risk of Bladder Cancer, Michaud D.S., Kogevinas M., Cantor K.P., et al. Environmental Health Perspectives, 2007 Nov;115(11):1569-72)
Fatigue: When you don’t drink water, you get fatigued. You know how you feel groggy and just not “with it” when you wake up? Well, you’re dehydrated! You haven’t had water in 6-8 hours! People will often say they can’t “wake up” without a cup of coffee. Really, it’s the water that helps get people going.Mood Swings: Blood in the body is mostly water. And therefore, it carries electrolytes vital for cellular function. One of those functions is hormone production. So water helps regulate hormones and hormones help regulate mood. You know how women are pretty much a different animal when they have their period? Well, blood loss is a type of fluid loss! And yes, dehydrated men get “hormonal” too. Next time you feel like you’re not “yourself”, don’t go out for a beer. Just drink water.
Fat Storage: Lastly, being dehydrated causes your body to hold onto fat. Why? Because fat can be used to store water. So in order to burn fat, you must provide your body with plenty of water so that it will store fat effectively. Your body needs extra water in order to use fat as a fuel.
If you’ve been lethargic, hit a weight loss plateau, or are noticing that your headaches are on the rise, make a special effort this week to turn things around. Put an alarm on your phone that will remind you it’s time to drink water. Buy an app. Flavor your water with fruits. Make more soups. But just please make sure to raise 8-13 glasses of water to your lips on this beautiful Thirsty Thursday!
Have YOU drank enough water today?