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So, you think you’re not dehydrated?

As I continue my month of hydration, I am talking to a lot of different people about the necessity of water in the proper functioning of their bodies. The most common phrase I hear is, “Oh, I drink lots of water!”. Now I’m sure upon occasion this is true, but what is lots? Lots for a tiny woman of five feet nothing is an ocean apart from what lots for a man closing in on six feet. (See how I used ‘ocean’ as the distance there? I know, it’s cute, right?) Until you actually track how much water you consume on a daily basis for a little while, there is no way you can truly know if you are drinking as much water as you should be.

Although the equation I mention in my previous blog entry, “How much water do YOU really need?” , seems a bit excessive, you can still use it to get a better idea of where you should be. My new goal is 9 glasses of water a day, as I see it is much easier now that I’ve gotten the 8 goal down pat without living on my toilet. This is a far cry of the nearly 15 glasses ( which I think is excessive) I should be having according to the equation. Still, it is getting closer to where I should be.

A lot of people also tell me that they are just not that thirsty. As I read more about hydration, I find that there is obviously a problem. I’m currently reading a book called, “You’re not sick, you’re thirsty: Water, for health, for healing, for life.” , written by a Dr. Batmanghelidj. First of all, anything written by a man who has “batman” in his name, legitimately, has got my attention! He is a medical doctor who advocates hydration as a first course in treatment for nearly anything. The doctor says waiting until you feel thirsty to drink is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. At the point that your body sends the signal to your mouth to start acting like the Sahara, it has already begun to shut down other subtle processes. As I understand it, your body keeps your mouth relatively moist because it knows in the case of dehydration it will have to depend on food for energy and it needs to keep your mouth ready in case you eat something.

So, where is it taking all this water from before that, you ask? Good question! The doctor with the superhero moniker has that answered for us.

In dehydration, the loss of water looks like this:

8 % – Vascular System (this is where the saliva comes in)

26% – Extracellular (the fluid between cells, where the body holds about 30% of its water)

66% – Inside your cells!

Eep! I totally believe this and I have very good reason. Last summer, as I continued my quest to figure out what is happening inside my body, I had a live blood test taken. Although I didn’t feel dehydrated, the technician could tell that I was dehydrated, simply by looking at my cells. I’ve attached the picture above. As you can see, they don’t all look round and plump like they should. They look a bit wonky. I know, highly medical term but you knew what I meant! As shown in the picture, I also had a few examples of rouleaus, which is a sticking together of red blood cells. This can be due to many factors, but as mine were not severe, the technician thought it was likely dehydration. When he asked me if I’d anything to drink that day, all I could remember was a glass of juice that morning. This was early afternoon! It’s easy for your water intake to get away from you, especially if you are depending on dry mouth as your warning system.

So, how dehydrated are you? Have you ever tracked your water just to see how much you were drinking? What did you find out?

If you haven’t done so, I challenge you to try tracking the intake on an average day. Come back and let me know what happened!

To track your water try apps on an iPhone, as mentioned in “Pacing your water intake? There’s an app for that

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About msjenniferwalker

I'm a Jenn of all trades, as long as they are creative and fulfilling. I'm an actress, writer, photographer and all around social person. I love to learn, travel, meet new people and have new experiences.

Posted on January 14, 2012, in Experiences, Information and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Interesting… it’s funny, before I started to monitor and drink 8 glass of water I really tought that I was drinking plenty and that I wouldn’t have any trouble with all that. But I realised that I was not drinking enough and especially for the first half of the day. I really have to make an effort to drink all that water otherwise I forget about it.

  2. Meghan Barnes RD

    You can also use the pee test…yup I said it. Have you ever looked at the colour of your pee? First thing in the morning it is usually a darker shade of yellow because it is concentrated. The more you drink fluids and hydrate yourself throughout the day, the lighter shade of yellow it becomes to sometimes almost clear. The goal is to get to that pale yellow/almost clear urine. It’s your body letting you know how hydrated or dehydrated you are!

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