HYDRATE through the Holidays and beyond

A healthy habit we often neglect during long winter months and the Holidays  is staying hydrated. The weather is cool, we sweat less and often have little reason to feel thirsty. Holiday feasting include high sodium foods and beverages that can deplete the body of fluids  and cause  fatigue.  As you’ll learn later in this post, by the time you feel thirsty it may already be too late!  Staying hydrated goes well beyond a thirsty mouth and is important for your entire body!

BENEFITS OF HYDRATION

  • Transports nutrients and oxygen into cells and helps organs absorb nutrients more efficiently.
  • Increases alertness and clarity of mind. Find yourself getting brain fatigue ?  Try water therapy.
  • Enhances weight loss!  You can’t lose weight and clear by-products of fat if you don’t drink enough water to flush the body’s waste.
  • Assists in combating ailments and flushing toxins that lead to headache, back pain and fatigue.
  • Suppresses Appetite: Drinking water before a meal will help you feel more full and cut down on the amount of food you eat!
  • Aids in the process of digestion, keeps everything running smoothly in your digestive tract and helps reduce the risk of Colon and Bladder Cancer.

And if all those reasons aren’t enough—wait, there’s one more!  One added bonus to drinking fluids is that it helps you LOOK YOUNGER.  This is especially important in the winter months when skin can look dry and ashy.  When your body is properly hydrated, your muscles and skin look younger, smoother and more radiant.  Water helps skin retain and increase elasticity. Muscles need water to make them look full.  You can maybe skip visits to the dermatologist and all those controversial Botox treatments 😉 Well, at least you can save on too much moisturizer.  Try it and see!

DEHYDRATION

On the flip side, inadequate fluid intake can cause dehydration.  Are you feeling lethargic, foggy headed, have a headache or migraine, constipation, muscle cramps, or dry skin?  Is your urine darker than clear or light yellow?   You could be dehydrated!

HOW MUCH TO DRINK?

Experts recommend 8 to 12 –  8 oz glasses per day.

WHAT FLUIDS ARE BEST?

Water, seltzer water, low sodium soups, milk, low-calorie flavored & fruit waters, decaffeinated tea, fruit and vegetables.  The best veggies and fruit for hydration are cucumbers, celery, tomato, watermelon, grapes, cantaloupe and grapefruit.

Drinking throughout the day is the best way to stay hydrated.  If you wait to feel thirsty, you’re probably already dehydrated!

DRINK FOR THOUGHT

Here’s a warning to those of you still using and refilling plastic bottles!  A chemical compound called BPA (Bisphenol A) found in polycarbonate plastic bottles has been linked to reproductive issues, certain types of cancer and irregular heart rhythms—especially in women.  Be Safe!  Sip from BPA Free bottles or Stainless Steel water bottles! These are available at Wal-Mart, Target, CVS etc., for about $10.00. Fill them up with filtered water and DRINK UP !

Happy 2012 ( A little early ) and say CHEERS to making “Drinking more water!!!” one of your  New Year’s resolutions.

 

About Sunithi Selvaraj, RD

Registered Dietitian with a sweet tooth and a passion for eating healthy ( quite a combo) Nutrition Geek, Healthy Nut.........

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