The thirst sensation is a sign of dehydration, but this is a myth.
The degree to which you feel thirsty can be used as an indicator of your fluid status is actually quite high. “Dehydration occurs when the body loses too much water, typically through perspiration, evaporation, and respiration. When the kidneys determine that the body needs more water, they send a signal to the brain that makes us feel thirsty so that we will drink more water “Dara Huang, MD, the creator of New York Culinary Medicine and a specialist in kidney health, explains. (For the above reasons, try to avoid being constantly parched.)
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Drinking eight glasses of water a day is good for you.
Getting enough water in your system is crucial. However, Dr. Huang says that the eight-glasses recommendation is false and even harmful. “Congestive heart failure, pulmonary edema, or water intoxication can occur if an individual consumes an excessive amount of water while already suffering from heart or kidney disease. Reduce fluid intake when experiencing these symptoms “she elaborates
According to nutritionist and PhD holder Roger E. Adams, the precise number of ounces of water one needs to drink per day depends on a variety of personal and environmental factors. “If you are a heavy sweater or just a larger person, this may be too much, while for others it may be just right. Water is essential for every bodily process and essential for replacing fluids lost through perspiration, so the larger you are, the more water you need. In contrast, fewer than eight glasses may be sufficient to maintain water balance if you are smaller or don’t sweat a lot “Observes, as he puts it.
Your primary care physician is the person you should consult when you have questions about your health.
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Myth: A glass of water first thing in the morning is a good habit.
It’s advice you’ve probably heard before: “Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning.” Dr. Huang says it’s not necessary to reach for something like that when you’re thirsty. She says, “If your kidneys are working normally, it may be refreshing to reach for water, but it is not vital.” “For some, if they go to bed at midnight and wake up at eight in the morning, they feel they need to drink water because they’ve gone eight hours without doing so. The opposite is true. Your urine can also reveal a lot: In other words, the dilute nature of your urine is what gives it its transparent appearance. If your urine is dark in color, it’s because your kidneys are actively working to conserve water. Typically, the day’s first void is its darkest “That, she says, is something to be noted.
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Coconut water is the best beverage for rejuvenation?
It’s the latest fad, and it’s meant to restore you after a long day at the office or a vigorous workout. It’s true that it has fewer calories than some other potassium-rich fluids, but according to Dr. Huang, that doesn’t necessarily make it the better choice. “Normal water is fine to drink to prevent dehydration. Also, not everyone enjoys drinking coconut water. Those with kidney disease should avoid it because it can raise potassium levels to dangerously high levels.” If you’re not sure whether or not you’re dehydrated, drink water first and then consult a medical professional.
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A common misconception is that it is impossible to overhydrate.
It’s been said that too much of a good thing can be bad. It turns out to be harmful, just like water. Adams says that many people, especially inexperienced runners, have the misconception that you can drink an excessive amount of water while exercising. Actually, you can, and doing so may prove fatal. “When the body absorbs an excessive amount of water, the sodium concentration drops, leading to hyponatremia. While running, this can cause disorientation, convulsions, and even death “He’s generous with his information.
Water is the only thing you need, right?
Although Adams acknowledges that the human body can survive for longer without food than water, he is quick to point out that plain old water doesn’t always suffice. Take into account how strenuous your activity is, how hot it is, and how much perspiration you’re producing, he advises. Water is a good fluid replacement for most people, but it’s not the best option for restoring water balance in all cases, he says. “Sweating more causes a greater loss of electrolytes, especially during prolonged exercise or activity in warm temperatures. It’s important to replenish electrolytes after a 10K race, especially if it’s hot out, more so than after a walk in cooler weather.”
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Drinks with added electrolytes are the best
Have you ever pondered the origins of Gatorade, considering the near-monopoly that Gatorade and similar electrolyte sports drinks hold on the rehydration market? Though Dr. Tania Dempsey of Armonk Integrative Medicine says the story is intriguing, she advises her patients to think twice before reaching for these popular drinks. After mild exercise, you may not need one, and some of the ingredients may raise questions.
“The hydrogenated oils they use can be harmful to the thyroid,” she says, pointing to the particular hydrogenated oil, brominated vegetable oil, that was removed from Gatorade but remains in Powerade. (It’s important to remember that most producers have already eliminated or intend to eliminate the ingredient.) “There’s also the issue that the sugars in these sports drinks are bad for you. High fructose corn syrup, which has been linked to type 2 diabetes, is still present in Powerade. Gatorade has recently switched to using sugar and dextrose instead of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which sounds better but has the same negative effect on blood sugar.”
To stay hydrated in a healthy way, try one of these seven recommended electrolyte drinks, or a plant-based hydrating mix like Healthy Editor’s Choice Cure.
Caffeine does not cause dehydration; that’s a myth.
Maybe your morning coffee is the only thing keeping you awake so you don’t miss the planning meeting, but is it dehydrating you before you’ve even had breakfast? Adams asserts that the widespread belief that drinking coffee or tea causes dehydration is false, at least for occasional drinkers. He says that while it’s true that caffeine in large quantities can cause dehydration, the water content of beverages like coffee and tea more than counteract this effect.
You can get a natural boost from organic caffeine, guarana, and ginseng in Hiball’s refreshing energy seltzer, or from mushrooms in Odyssey Elixir’s, both of which are healthy ways to hydrate while getting a jumpstart on the day.
The myth that you only need to drink more water when working out
Even if you don’t exercise regularly, you should still drink plenty of water throughout the day. Be aware of the warning signs of dehydration so you don’t let yourself become dangerously low on essential nutrients. Adams warns that some people may become mildly dehydrated throughout the day because they believe they only need water when they are exercising. Water, he says, should be consumed frequently throughout the day. “This is a simple way to ensure you are getting water all day long; not just when exercising. You need water for daily functions, so provide for that and you will ensure hydration the rest of the day,” he says.
A common misconception is that you can tell how well hydrated you are by looking at the color of your urine.
Yes, says Adams, the color of your urine can be an indicator you need to chug, but there are other important indicators. There are other factors besides dehydration that could account for the dark color, such as the use of multivitamins or a high-protein diet. “Consider the volume in addition to the color. The more you put in your body, the more that should come out. If you find yourself rarely needing to use the restroom, it’s a good indicator that you’re not getting enough fluids in your diet “He elaborates. However, if you have to go to the restroom more frequently than every 15 minutes, you may be drinking too much water.
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