Depending on your age, your body is roughly 55-75% water. We require water to live. If fluid balance is inadequate your brain detects the shriveling of your cells, (think grapes to raisins), and sends out hormone signals to cause you to seek water.
Kidney stones, constipation, headaches, poor concentration, decreased short-term memory, and asthma are all improved by increased hydration.
The current recommendations for rehydration by the Institute of Medicine are considerably more than in the past – an average of 2.7 litres for women and 3.7 litres for men! While this does not account for variations in fluid loss, lifestyle, and climate, most of us are not consuming enough fluid on a daily basis.
In addition to drinking fluids, thankfully food contains a high percentage of water, contributing to hydration status. Foods containing more than 50% water include:
- fruits (cantaloupe, strawberries, bananas, watermelon, pears, apples)
- vegetables (celery, broccoli, squash, spinach, lettuce, avocados, carrots)
- meat and poultry (ground beef, chicken, salmon, shrimp, tenderloin steak)
- dairy (yoghurt, feta cheese, milk, ricotta cheese)
If you have difficulties motivating yourself to hydrate due to lack of flavour in water, consider tweaking your water by adding the following:
- Vegetables in water: not broccoli! Cucumber!
- Fruit in water: lemons, raspberries, and pineapple are all great additions
- Herbs in water: mint, rosemary, and parsley can all add flavour
- Herbal teas: non-caffeinated teas hot or cold like rooibos, nettle, and chamomile
- Nutritive powders that mix with water: vitamin C powders, electrolyte powders (if warranted)
- Coconut water if you’ve been exercising heavily
Just as dehydration can be detrimental to your health, overconsumption of water can cause harm too. Your body seeks balance – enjoy your health and the process.
Hi, I’m Dr. Jenny Schmidt-White. My practice focuses on family health and wellness, healthy aging for men and women and optimizing fertility & hormone function. I work with you, within realistic and sustainable parameters, to find the root cause of dysfunction in your body and address it.