Why plain water is the best
We care constantly deluged with ads about how this drink or that is the next best thing for us to drink. But study after study has shown that plain H2O is still the best.
Coffee and tea taste good, but both have the opposite effects as far as hydrating the body because of their diuretic properties, meaning they take water out of the body. For every cup of coffee or tea you drink, you excrete a cup and a half through urination. Unless replaced, it doesn’t take long to get dehydrated.
Soft drinks aren’t good for you either. Most of them are either sweetened with an artificial sugar that is bad for you, or real sugar which can spike the blood sugar level in your blood – neither of which are good.
Effects of dehydration
Because our brain is 85% water, even a 2% drop in body water and we can start to feel its effects. The first thing you’ll notice is your inability to remain focused on what you are doing and probably a mild headache. Basic math and even reading a computer screen or printed page become more difficult.
With the blood comprised of 80% water, dehydration causes the blood to get “sticky” meaning it makes the heart work harder to try and circulate it. Also, the blood in this condition does not carry as much oxygen to the cells or waste out of them. Over time, this dehydrated condition can lead to chronic cellular dehydration. The results are a weakened immune system, chemical, hormonal and ph imbalances that leave the body in a weakened state and more susceptible to a host of diseases – some life-threatening.
Stay hydrated (but not over hydrated)
A question commonly asked is “How much water do I need each day?” You may have heard the recommendation of at least eight 8-ounce glasses each day. And while that may work in many cases, it really depends on your age, weight, humidity in the air, air temperature, what you ate and how much water you are losing through sweat, urination and excrement. A better gauge as to whether you are getting dehydrated or not is to watch the color of your urine. If it is clear to a light yellow, you are properly hydrated, but if it starts to get a dark yellow color, dehydration is starting to set in.
However, you can get too much water and over-hydration can be as bad as under-hydration as it tends to wash the electrolytes out of your cells. As a rule of thumb, 2 ½ quarts per day should keep you hydrated, but watch the color of your urine to be sure and adjust as necessary.