Drinking fluids is a crucial part of making sure our bodies are working the way they’re supposed to. Think of a car that runs out of gas. Without the gas, the car has no fuel to continue moving. Our bodies work the same way! Without proper hydration, our body systems can be at risk to not only feeling like we’re “out-of-gas,” but even more serious problems, too.
The human body is made up of 60% water.
It helps with vital bodily functions such as:
- Brain function
- Regulating body temperature
- Maintaining healthy skin
- Sustaining healthy joints
- Helping to lubricate our eyes
- Carrying key nutrients to cells
- Aiding our kidneys to get rid of waste
- Providing structure to cells and tissues
- Facilitating weight management
- Thin mucus lining in airways and lungs
This is why losing even just 1%-2% of our body fluids can negatively impact our physical and cognitive performance.
When it comes to exercising or being in hot conditions, our bodies naturally perspire (sweat). This is because we’re uniquely designed to regulate our own body temperature! So when the temperature is up, our body helps to cool ourselves down. However, the more water we lose through our sweat, the more we need to replace it.
What happens when you don’t get enough fluids?
Dehydration. This condition is one of the most preventable medical diagnoses in the world, and yet still affects millions of people globally. When you’re not properly hydrating your body, a myriad of symptoms can take place:
- Dry mouth
- Lack of concentration
- Digestive issues
- UTI (urinary tract infection)
- Kidney stones
- Respiratory problem
- Muscle cramping/joint pain
- Trouble breathing
- Circulatory issues/blood pressure changes
- Heart palpitations/irregular heartbeats
So how much should you be drinking a day?
Adults need between two to four liters of water per day, and children need between one to two liters per day. This equates to 10 to 15 cups for adults, and 1 to 10 cups for kids (varying upon weight and age).
Populations most at risk for developing dehydration are:
- Children– especially those with trouble communicating
- Pregnant and breastfeeding persons– critical for baby and healthy breast milk
- Elderly– especially those with limited mobility
- Athletes– lose more fluid during exercise
But hydration isn’t just about drinking water – it’s also about nourishing your body with electrolytes and carbohydrates. Many of your daily activities such as exercise, sweating, defecation, and urination, deplete your body’s electrolytes. We need to keep putting more back in our systems by eating whole foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables, and drinking hydrating fluids, like bone broth and coconut water. Small carbs – or glucose – in your fluids can help move sodium and potassium molecules in your cells to quickly help your body hydrate. Eating fruits and vegetables high in water like lettuce, also help contribute to your daily fluid intake.
Homemade Electrolyte Drink Basic Ingredients
Recipes created by our own Eli Trave, FNTP, RWP
To create a tasty, homemade electrolyte drink, simply start with mineral-rich pink Himalayan salt or Celtic Sea salt. Not all salts are created equal!
You can jazz up your electrolyte drink by adding any of the following combinations of ingredients:
- Liquid – filtered or mineral water, sparkling water, coconut water, green tea, or herbal teas like camomile, mint, raspberry
- Salt – high-quality salts add sodium and other minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium
- Natural Flavors – freshly squeezed fruit juices like lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, mint or other preferred herbs and spices such as turmeric or ginger
- Juices – organic unsweetened pomegranate juice, tart cherry juice, or watermelon water
- Sweetener – honey or pure maple syrup are preferred
What does in2GREAT do to incorporate hydration into wellness?
At in2GREAT, we take a whole-self approach to addressing the underlying causes of disease as your integrative health and wellness partner. When we don’t drink enough fluids, our entire body’s processes are compromised. If one of your twelve body systems is off, it’ll eventually affect the other systems. From initial discovery to treatment implementation and monitoring, making sure your body’s systems are properly hydrated is always an important factor.
Our body is made up of 60% water