Chances are that you are dehydrated and you probably don’t know it. Studies show that 75% of Americans are dehydrated. Now we are not talking about desert island dehydration, but not consuming enough water for optimum function. When we think of “getting healthy” and cleaning up our diet most of us think of eating more fresh wholesome food, maybe cutting some calories or skipping the processed foods but rarely does anyone make mention of one of the simplest cheapest and most effective ways to improve our health… drinking more water.
The lack of proper hydration can be linked to fatigue, headaches, muscle cramps, allergies, joint pains, digestive problems and a multitude of other ailments. Hydration is rarely the cause or driving factor to any of these things but is almost always contributory and improvements in treatment can almost always be seen when a patient begins to properly hydrate themselves.
Aside from just simply not drinking enough water many of the things we do drink and eat actually aid in functionally dehydrating us. Carbonated soft drinks, sugary juice drinks, alcohol as well as the morning coffee all actually cost us more water than they contain leaving us in worse shape than before we picked up that beverage. We drink when we are thirsty but often the signal that tells us we are thirsty can be misinterpreted as hunger and we eat instead; usually something cooked and processed which further dehydrates us. This is a very unhealthy cycle to be in and may be one of the reasons for the epidemic of overeating.
The standard recommendation of 8 glasses of water a day may not be enough for a lot of us; however, it would be a sizeable help in generating better health for most the population. Of course limiting the consumption of “other” beverages and striving to meet or exceed the minimum 8 glasses a day goal is a lifestyle change to many and as such will need reinforcement of outcomes, getting hydrated doesn’t happen in one day but noticeable changes can occur relatively fast. Many people notice thinking more clearly and breathing easier as well as better sleep almost immediately while reduction in joint pains and appetite changes often happen shortly after. Drinking more water is one of the easiest and most effective ways to improve your health and that always makes us happy to know we did something good for ourselves.