We are experiencing an incredibly hot summer this year. And with that heat, the subject of hydration is popular. Over the years, there have been varying directives on how one should stay hydrated. A potted plant is a great example to demonstrate the importance of taking in fluids steadily throughout the day. If you forget to water a plant for awhile, the dirt becomes hard and flaky. Consider this to be your bladder. Once you realize that water is needed, you pour a pitcher full of water onto the plant. The water pours right through the pot, all over the floor, with very little of it absorbing into the dirt for the nourishment of the plant, right? And, with your bladder, you are running straight to the bathroom, with very little fluid held internally!
It is much better to take in smaller doses of liquid – especially water – throughout the day. This way, the bladder tissue becomes soft and pliable, stretching as it is filled. This enables the body to take in more water and use it efficiently throughout all systems – circulation, digestion, elimination; even the nervous system needs to be hydrated!
How much water should that be? The standard recommendation from most naturopaths is a simple formula: ½ your body weight in ounces. If you weigh 100 lbs., drink 50 ounces. However, this is a guide. Your urine should not be clear; there should still be a slight tint of yellow.
Next, there is the question of what to drink. Keep in mind that coffee, tea and sodas are actually DE-hydrating. Even popular sports drinks do not really do the trick, with high fructose corn syrup and dyes. Studies have actually shown that these drinks can harm the urinary tract, and contribute to obesity in children.
Finally, the question of what kind of water? Tap, filtered, alkaline … so many choices! Experts from the Water Institute in California state that tap water is better than no water. But there is concern about chemicals in the water and chlorine affecting the thyroid’s ability to absorb iodine. Alkaline water, stored in glass containers for a brief period, can be very helpful. If you find it stored in plastic bottles on a store shelf, you are most likely wasting your money. The same goes for distilled. The absence of minerals causes the water to allow chemicals from the plastic to leach in, causing numerous health issues. Water filtered by reverse osmosis is as close to natural as one can get. Do your best to care for your body for a healthy and happy summer.