Are you or anyone you know taking medication for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, depression, or ADD/ADHD?
Chronic dehydration is becoming more of an epidemic, and unbeknownst to many, dehydration may be the culprit of common health problems that people are currently taking medications for!
SYMPTOMS OF DEHYDRATION
Our bodily makeup is about two-thirds water, with blood consisting of 92% water, bones 22%, and muscles 75%. Our bodies depend on proper hydration for transporting and absorbing nutrients, flushing out toxins and waste, good blood circulation and pressure, organ and endocrine function, and optimal physical and mental performance. Water helps to regulate body temperature and lubricate joints. Water even affects energy levels, and chronic dehydration can result in chronic fatigue.
With the alignment work we do at Human Garage, we’ve found that those who are dehydrated experience more pain in their bodies than the average person. Many tend to have problems with adrenal and kidney functions and suffer from headaches or migraines. Water is needed to transport acidic waste from our cells, and when we’re dehydrated, our bodies cannot do this efficiently. In turn, the nervous system interprets acidic waste that’s trapped in the body as soreness or pain. Dehydration also causes muscles and fascia to tighten, reducing elasticity and ultimately resulting in poor posture and alignment.
Other symptoms of dehydration can include:
- Headaches, confusion, foggy brain
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Hormonal dysregulation
- Muscle contractions, restlessness & cramps (especially at night)
- Weakness or fatigue (including low energy during workouts)
- Joint pain including the back and neck
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Difficulty losing weight
- Gastric ulcers
THE DEHYDRATION DILEMMA
When we analyzed their biochemistry, 75% percent of clients tested showed that they were dehydrated. To some, it came as no surprise, but for others, their response was, “How can I be dehydrated when I drink tons of water?”
Such was the case when I was first tested. At the time, I was teaching several high-intensity fitness classes per week and coaching private clients. Before I switched to healthier glass and stainless steel bottles, I would tote around my 32 oz Nalgene water bottle everywhere I went. Like a Siamese twin, I was not to be seen without it. A popular guideline for water consumption is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water. I weighed 120 pounds, so my aim was to fill my 32-ounce bottle twice, downing at least 60 ounces of water by the end of the day, and even more if I worked up a good sweat that day. It turns out that as I drank water all day long, I also urinated all day long, not realizing then that I wasn’t effectively absorbing the water I was consuming. Water passed right through me, and a lot of the minerals required for proper hydration were being ushered out of my body along with it!
Herein lies the dilemma: How can drinking more water possibly make us more dehydrated?
The key to being well-hydrated is to make sure you have sufficient amounts of electrolytes, primarily the minerals sodium and potassium, in your body when you drink water. They are a vital part of the communication pathways between our cells and will help create the ideal environment for water to be absorbed and utilized appropriately. One molecule of water (H2O) bonds with 3 molecules of sodium (Na). Therefore, if sodium is not present in sufficient amounts in the body, water molecules will seek to bond with the remnant of sodium molecules that are left, which will then be flushed out of our bodies in the form of sweat and urine, depleting our sodium levels even more. When this happens, water isn’t absorbed and quickly passes through our bodies.
DEHYDRATION IN ATHLETES
After testing thousands of people and having worked with both amateur and professional athletes, we began to notice a pattern in how their bodies behave. You may have heard the term, “White Jug Syndrome”. This is where people think they are keeping themselves hydrated by drinking a gallon or more of water per day, but are in fact causing further dehydration. Over-consumption of water without adequate replacement of sodium in extreme endurance athletes can lead to hyponatremia (water intoxication), in which blood sodium levels drop gradually over time, and can be fatal. It is not sound advice to simply drink as much water as you can!
Another important fact is that gastrointestinal absorption of fluid is approximately 30 ml per minute, but the loss of fluid via sweat during extreme activity is approximately 50 ml per minute. This means that fluid loss will outpace fluid intake. For tips on how to hydrate properly, read on.
7 WAYS TO EFFECTIVELY HYDRATE
- Add sea salt to your water. A pinch or about ⅛ teaspoon of Himalayan pink sea salt added and stirred into 16 ounces of water is a good ratio. Do not exceed drinking this solution more than 3 times per day. Also take into account how much sea salt you consume in food. You can use any sea salt, but the best ones should be minimally processed and will usually have some color to it, usually ranging anywhere from gray to pink. Processed table salt is toxic to the body, so do your best to avoid it.
- Use QurEcology’s ElectroQur Solution. Add about 3 squirts from the bottle to 16 ounces of water. ElectroQur primarily contains a combination of potassium and magnesium. It’s a carbohydrate/electrolyte solution and is best consumed after an intense workout, at which time glycogen levels are low. (You can get ElectoQur at Human Garage).
- Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Many contain about 90% water by weight, and you’re getting nutrients and minerals along with it to boot! Cucumber has one of the highest water content of all solid foods. Other great choices are watermelon, tomatoes, celery, radishes, bell peppers, and spinach. Salads and green smoothies are excellent options for hydrating the body.
- Drink coconut water. Athletes, when practicing or competing for more than one hour, should consume 1.5 – 2.5 cups of coconut water 3 hours beforehand to prep for activity. The primary nutrient in coconut water is potassium and also contains a bit of sodium along with other electrolytes. It’s super refreshing and is considered “nature’s sports drink” by many. Keep in mind that pasteurization destroys the nutritional value of this delicious beverage, so make sure to drink coconut water that is raw or unpasteurized, such as Harmless Harvest Organic Coconut Water. Also, it’s becoming more popular to see actual fresh coconuts at health food stores and Asian markets nowadays…however, you may need a good butcher knife to hack off the top to get it open!
- Drink room temperature water. Room temperature water is well tolerated and better absorbed by the body. When we drink cold beverages, our bodies have to work harder to bring it to body temperature which takes more time and energy.
- Drink half your body weight in ounces. In general, this is a good guideline. It’s better to keep sipping water throughout the day, rather than gulping down cups of water at one sitting. Just remember to consume enough minerals and nutrients to help your body absorb the water you’re drinking. Athletes should consume 2 cups of fluids for every 15-20 minutes of intense exercise, following the sea salt protocol above (16 ounces = 2 cups). Remember not to do more than 3 rounds of sea salt water….we don’t want you to become too salty, which could actually cause the body to retain too much sodium and water leaves the cells, leading to swelling, bloating and other issues. Moderation is key!
- Drink beverages away from meals. Drinking liquids during or too close to a meal dilutes digestive juices and may impede digestion and nutrient absorption. Instead, drink at least 20-30 minutes before a meal, and at least 30 minutes to an hour after meals.
3 WAYS TO FIND OUT IF YOU’RE DEHYDRATED
- Perform a “Pinch Test”. This is a simple test to do on the fly, but keep in mind that it may not tell the whole story. Place the palm of one hand on a flat surface. With the other hand, pinch a piece of skin about a ¼ inch high. Typically, when you let go of the skin, it should bounce back to its original shape within a second if you’re hydrated. If you’re dehydrated, it will look more like the skin is slowly shrinking back to its original shape and will take longer than a second. Are your lips dry and chapped? That’s another good indicator that you’re dehydrated.
- Check the color of your urine. Ideally, urine should be light yellow in color if you’re well hydrated. If your urine is a brighter, richer, or darker shade of yellow, chances are that you’re dehydrated. However, do take into account that supplements or medications may change the color of your urine, so if that’s the case, it won’t be an accurate indicator.
- Take the BWA (Biochemical Wellness Analysis) test. At Human Garage, we address alignment from the inside out. This simple urine and saliva test is what we have used for years to test thousands of clients’ biochemistry for imbalances. Not only does this test hydration, but a total of 14 essential biomarkers that are important to repair and balance for optimal alignment of body and mind. Sodium and potassium are part of the “conductivity” portion of the BWA test, and works in conjunction with electrolytes to help our bodies manage water levels.
To recap, we are made up of 75% water and the fascia that controls everything that’s muscle-related is dependent on water for proper conductivity, function, and detoxification. Without proper hydration, our bodies get wound up and constricted because of tightness within the tissue. As a result, we feel an increase in pressure, stress, and inflammation surrounding our muscles, bones, organs, and joints. Many of us experience the repercussions of dehydration without realizing that it could very well be one of the root causes of issues we experience daily.
When we’re dehydrated, work on the external body is almost rendered useless as it is what’s going on internally that is the underlying issue and needs to be repaired at the same time. By seeking out how to properly hydrate and balance our biochemistry (or bioterrain), our body is given a chance for natural, normal function and physical stress is lessened in the process. Becoming aligned and balanced is a beautiful thing!
Today, we talked about the importance of hydration when it comes to being healthy, and behind every uber-healthy person is optimal alignment! Did you know that when you’re dehydrated, it is a constant stressor that puts us in a continual state of fight or flight? This increases cortisol production which in turn causes our adrenal glands to work harder, often leading to chronic fatigue and anxiety if not addressed early on.
With the month of May quickly approaching, it’s time to warm up to optimal health by discovering for yourself the alignment process at Human Garage. We invite you to begin your journey with us!
The Human Garage Alignment Protocol consists of four phases
to help you live a fully aligned life:
1) Assess 2) Repair 3) Integrate 4) Align For Life
Give our Alignment Advisor a call to bypass the waitlist
and book an Initial Consultation today!
Jillian Sommerfeld, HG Alignment Advisor
Jennifer is an Alignment Advisor, Motion Mechanic, and Staff Writer for Human Garage. Having worked in the fitness and wellness industry for over 17 years as a workshop presenter, personal chef, certified fitness and health coach, her passion is to guide and inspire people to live healthy, radiant lives, from the inside out!