Summertime is when the heat bully’s you around and the cool breeze offers a gentle relief. Down here, Houstonians are all to use to being hugged by the humidity, but not embraced. It wears on your energy, it disregards your outfit and the occasion drawing sweat thru your pores parching you, tempting you to complain. The agitation of makeup being ruined and hair going flat is enough to hide inside all day and all night. You can’t disregard its presence, you can’t un-chap your lips and drinking water could be a quick-fix to wet your whistle but not for long.
You may think that by drinking more water that you can be saved from this burden of heat. You may think that drinking cold water and maybe ice cream or a popsicle will counter the effects of the temperature. Some of the common known remedies could be making you perspire profusely, hindering you from the right solution to counter dehydration.
For years the FDA and other bureaucrats have conveniently lied to the general public, making that food pyramid that has aided in the current health condition the western world is now suffering. Of all the pretentious professionals who perpetuate this farce, doctors, scientists and analysts, they’ve missed the simplicity of health and where it truly starts. Our bodies are made up of 60-70% of water; I would say that fluids are the most important factor and should be the base of that pyramid.
Of all art forms, music speaks to me most of all and when I hear songs like New World Water by Mos Def and The Water by Feist, I'm enamored by water being harmonically romanticized as it relates to life in all ways.
Too little water and you're at risk for being hauled to an emergency room for treatment which is great if you want to meet a nurse, but dangerous if you want to maintain good health. Too much water and you deplete your body of essential nutrients such as sodium and potassium. This is known scientifically as hyponatremia which is not as common as the dehydration.
Symptoms of dehydration are headache, dry eyes, dry scalp or dandruff, dry skin, cotton mouth, low energy, difficulty to focus and even hallucination. To counter these effects, just drink water when you're thirsty. But what kind of hydration is best?
Several of the foods on this list are easily found at local grocery markets, but my favorite place to get them is from farmer's markets. Once consumed, the phytonutrients infuse your body with electrolytes which give you more than just H2O, it gives you everything you need for energy and strengthens your immune system.
At first effort, buy organic and clean your produce thoroughly before eating and serving. I love buying from local farmers markets and speaking to the people about where the food is from and how long the farm has been serving their community.
As I've mentioned before, the most important thing to me is how this is accomplished...
- Consistency - Drink a big gulp (8-12 oz) prior to the day's activities and drink as much water at every meal time. When you're thirsty, drink. When you're over-heated or becoming exhausted, drink. When you make this a habit your body responds and applies the fluids to where its most needed.
- Refilling stations - If you're in an office, notice where the filtered fountains are and keep a bottle that you can refill at will. I would take my bottled juices and chill them in the fridge throughout the day along with keeping a blender bottle with me at my desk. Having a condition where hydration is pertinent, keeping fluids handy is critical. Take a cooler with you if you're gonna be outdoor and away from a fridge. Note where the nearest convenience store is or where you can get ice if it's hot outside.
- Quality > quantity - When you're eating exactly what you need and getting all of your nutrients, water will suffice. But consider pH water (mineral water) which offers more alkalinity than tap water and filtered water. All this means is you're getting calcium, potassium, magnesium and vitamins which is better than not getting them in your drink. This can be done at home with adding cucumber slices and mint leaves to your drink, or slices of lemon or lime.
- Things to avoid - Most sports drinks offer synthetic sugars which is simply unnatural to your body and takes longer to process. These fake sugars can spike your insulin levels too high too fast and cause you to become more thirsty after a short while. Most do more harm than good. If these drinks are provided to you, just dilute them and drink as much water as you do the drink. Also, bottled water may be convenient and time efficient, but the type of plastic in the bottle can be harmful over time.
- Be wise and read the labels. Several drinks say they are made with this and that, but when you read the label, it's nothing more than empty calories because at some point in the processing of the drink, the minerals and nutrients they're supposed to have are depleted.
- Also, littering is one of the worst things we can do to this beautiful planet. There's a great concept behind recycling and if you don't go as far to recycle, at least put all of your waste in a trash can.
- Best store-bought drinks - I live by coconut water, not for what it tastes like but for what it does for your body. The natural electrolytes and natural sugar is what your body recognizes as healthy. Buy it in bulk, as gas stations and smaller retailers sell it at a higher cost. Also, I like Vitamin Water, Propel and Body Armor sports drinks because of the electrolytes they contain. But still, for every 10 oz. of these drinks, consume about a 2 oz. of water.
Statistics presume that 75% of Americans are under-hydrated or near dehydration. Solidify the foundation for your health with these tips and enjoy this hot summer the safe way.