Pour Me A Drink!
Here we are in September and while it is “ Pumpkin Spice Season” many other places here in Phoenix it is still HOT! As we head into what we all hope is the last bit of our summer I want to talk about the importance of staying hydrated! This months biohack is hydration and how proper hydration improves the way your body functions. I tell patients all the time at Desert Valley Chiropractic “a car ride in Phoenix is enough to dehydrate you!” and I am only partially kidding! If you are already walking around “ under hydrated” it does not take much in our desert heat to tip the scale into dehydration. It is estimated that about 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated . By definition dehydration occurs when more fluids are leaving the body through sweating, breathing, urinating, defecating, and crying than are coming in. The recommended amount of water you should be taking in is a minimum of half your body weight in ounces of water. So if you weigh 160lbs you should drink 80 oz of water or 8 10oz glasses. This does not account for exercise or our desert climate! When exercising you should add 10 ounces for every 20 minutes of exercise. So if you do a 60 minute workout add an additional 30 oz. In our 160lbs scenario you would want to drink about 130- 150 oz of water in a day where you have done a vigorous 60 minute workout. Another important piece of the hydration game is electrolytes. If you have become dehydrated your body will need the help of electrolytes to allow water to enter the cells and truly rehydrate you.
How do I know if I am dehydrated?
A simple way to check your hydration is to pinch the skin on the back of your hand and watch how quickly it goes back into place. If it snaps right back into place good job! You are fairly well hydrated if it slowly returns to normal over a few seconds you could use a glass of water.
Here is a list of symptoms that indicate your body is not getting enough water and you may be chronically dehydrated or under hydrated.
Lightheadedness and dizziness
Rapid heart beat
Less frequent urination
Low blood pressure
High blood pressure
As you can see these symptoms involve multiple systems in the body, they are also often shrugged off as “normal”, part of other pathologies or unknown causes.
What about electrolytes?
I see a lot of patients who tell me ( emphatically) they are drinking lots of water! Yet they still have muscle aches, cramps, headaches, constipation and we are having trouble getting their adjustments to “hold” or feel good for as long as we would like between visits. along with many other of the above symptoms. This is where electrolytes come into play. Electrolytes are minerals involved in the many processes of the body including muscle contraction, pH regulation and hydration. The following electrolytes are found in the body bicarbonate, phosphate, magnesium, calcium, chloride, potassium, and sodium. These minerals are found in your fluids like sweat, blood and urine. Sweating, excessive urination, and certain mediations can deplete these minerals. Once in the body these minerals become positive and negative charges that help spark the firing of nerve cells and the regulation of the flow of water in and out of the cells. This is why you can be drinking a lot of water but if the electrolytes are off you are not actually hydrating the cells and rehydrating your body.
Natural sources of electrolytes
Pink Himalayan salt
Remember to look for healthy organic options when you can!
Situations that can call for some extra electrolytes are intense workouts or sweat sessions ,( remember what I said about phoenix car rides?!), a night out with some drinks, spending time at higher elevations like flying or hiking our beautiful mountain trails! When you can try to supplement with electrolytes before some of these activities. I prefer electrolyte supplements like Liquid IV and Nuun tabs over some of the other sugar filled and dye filled options.
While it is important to increase your water intake if you are dehydrated your foods can also be a source of hydration and electrolytes especially fruits and vegetables.
Foods that hydrate
Strawberry’s 92 % water
Water melon 92 % water
Tomatoes 94% water
Carrots 90% water
Zucchini 95% water
Cucumbers 90% water
Bell peppers 92% water
So as we come to the end of our hot sweaty summer remember to hydrate your body and get those electrolytes in!
Dr. Katherine Iacuone practices chiropractic and co owns Desert Valley Chiropractic in the beautiful North Phoenix neighborhood of Moon Valley with her husband Dr. David Iacuone. Desert Valley is an award-winning practice with multiyear “Best of The Valley” for best chiropractic clinic awards. Dr. Katherine Iacuone has won the “Three Best” best chiropractor award multiple times and Dr. David Iacuone is listed as a Who’s Who “Top Doctor” of chiropractic. The practice is accepting new patients. To make an appointment call us at 602-439-1515 or reach out through the contact submission on our website at Desert Valley Chiropractic
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