Sunday, June 28, 2015

Keeping it Simple with Water

This past week I had an opportunity to write a guest article for our local newspaper, the Blytheville Courier News.   I opted to write about the simple steps of hydration. I am still trying to find some balance in life and in my role of nurse practitioner, nursing educator, entrepreneur by keeping things simple are important to me.
Drinking water is simple, easy and inexpensive. Yet, so many people I see in my practice drink sweet tea, soda or energy drinks instead of water.
Every cell in your body needs water. That is why it is important to drink enough fluid.  Did you know that muscle consist of 75% water, your brain consists of 90% water, bone consist of 22% water, and blood consist of 83% water. If you do not supply your body with enough water your brain cannot function well, this can even cause a headache or a migraine.
As we approach summer and temperatures above ninety degrees, you should be aware of the symptoms of dehydration such as, dark urine, dry skin, thirst, hunger, and fatigue.
Dehydration can make you feel tired, become constipated, have muscle cramps, a headache, irregular blood pressure and even kidney problems.  Becoming more than twenty percent dehydrated can put you at risk for death. 
We lose water through sweating, exhaling, and urination. In hot weather, you tend to lose more water through sweating, in cold conditions, you tend to urinate more.  When you are ill, like with flu and diarrhea you tend to loose fluid.
How much water should you drink in a day to avoid dehydration?  We have all heard we need to drink eight glasses of water a day, but in reality there is no clear-cut answer to how much water to drink per day.  Water intake depends on several factors like your health condition, your activity status, the climatic conditions, physical size, your weight, and your environment.  
Here is your challenge using the formula below on an average day determine if you are drinking enough water to be healthy. 
Your weight is 150 lbs.  Divide you weight by 2 – the result is the amount of water in ounces you should drink every day. 150 ÷ 2 = 75 (you should drink 75 ounces of water per day). 

So, have you had enough water today? 
~ Connie ~

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