One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor. —George Carlin
Well, you don’t have to drink a lot of alcohol to know you can still suffer from dehydration. Signs of mild dehydration include dry mouth, excessive thirst, dizziness, light-headedness and weakness. When you feel thirsty, you’ve already lost 2 to 3 percent of your body fluid.
The human body contains more than 50 percent water; this number depends on how much you weigh (a higher number on the scale will mean the least amount of water in the body). Water content differs throughout the body. Blood is made up of 83 percent water, bones are 22 percent water, and muscle is 75 percent water.
Ultimately, your body needs water to function. Kaiser Permanente nephrologist Steven Guest, MD, says, “Fluid losses occur continuously, from skin evaporation, breathing, urine, and stool, and these losses must be replaced daily for good health.”
The benefits of drinking water:
- Regulates body temperature;
- Lubricates joints;
- Protects body organs and tissues;
- Helps prevent constipation;
- Increases the function of the kidneys and liver in eliminating waste;
- Carries nutrients and oxygen to cells.
Additional benefits include:
- Softer skin through hydration;
- Speeds up metabolism, i.e. weight loss or helps maintain weight
To ward off dehydration and make sure your body has the fluids it needs, make water your beverage of choice. Here are some suggestions:
- Drink a glass of water with each meal and between each meal;
- Hydrate before, during and after exercise;
- Substitute sparkling water for alcoholic drinks at social gatherings;
- Add lemon or orange wedges or make a Thermos of herbal (noncaffeinated) tea;
- Eat more soup, fresh fruits and vegetables.
Caffeine and alcohol are not substitutes for replenishing your body of the water it needs. Alcohol causes you to urinate more frequently and can lead to dehydration if water is not integrated, while caffeine prevents water from traveling to necessary locations in the body.
Though practicing particular styles of yoga can be low-impact, it is a form of exercise that requires you to drink water before, during, and after. Join me on Wednesday nights. YOUR FIRST CLASS IS FREE!
Kelly D. McClain is a registered yoga teacher (RYT) currently teaching Beginner’s Yoga on Wednesdays at 7:15 p.m. at the GLCCB. Send your questions or requests for more information atHaYoga.Kelly@yahoo.com. Also, visit Tim Hurley, RYT at the Center on Sundays at 3:30 p.m.