fitnessI’m sure you’ve all heard before that your body is made up of 60-80% water.  But perhaps we need to talk about how common and easy it is to go into a state of dehydration, and how it actually affects you.  First let us define what dehydration is.  It is not as simple as you are either dehydrated or not.  Your level of hydration is a fluctuating state.  Dehydration means your cells do not have enough water to operate optimally.  Water is the medium through which your cells do their jobs.  Just as if your car does not have enough oil in the engine, it cannot run as well as it should.

Being dehydrated can slow your metabolism by up to 30%.  This means that if you are trying to get in shape or lose weight, it becomes an uphill battle.  Dehydration also significantly affects your liver, which means your body will not be able to process and eliminate toxins as efficiently.  And if you are exercising, dehydration means your muscles won’t be at full capacity.  Dehydration can be the difference of one glass of water.  As a rule of thumb, you should consume 1/2 your weight in lbs, in ounces of water.  If you weigh 120 lbs, you should be consuming 60 ounces of water per day.  If you are exercising or perspiring excessively, this number needs to adjust accordingly.

There are different signs of dehydration that you may experience (everyone is different).  These include headache, constipation, aching muscles, fatigue, decreased brain function, and infrequent urination.  As a general rule, it is healthy to eliminate your bowels at least one time a day, no more than 3 (obviously this can range and you need to be able to assimilate the nutrients from your food), and to urinate once an hour.  The excretory systems are meant to do just that, excrete toxins.

Water quality is also an important issue to address.  It is very common for municipalities to add chemicals to the water supply, such as chlorine, to kill potential bacteria/parasites.  This is important to prevent infections among the masses.  However, consuming these chemicals is also detrimental to us.  Chlorine kills bacteria, this includes the GOOD bacteria in your colon, and therefore acts as a type of antibiotic.  This is quite devastating to your immune system as a large responsibility lies in your bowels.  Fluoride is another issue, and a popular misconception.  We have been taught that Fluoride is good for our teeth.  Unfortunately for us, there is research and many case reports showing otherwise.  (If you are interested in reading about fluoride, I suggest reading the book ‘The Fluoride Deception‘ by Christopher Bryson.)  Fluoride consumption actually destroys bone and teeth (naturally occurring known as calcium fluoride and artificial known as sodium fluoride), and also collects in the pineal gland in the brain.  A recent study out of Harvard University has shown that fluoride decreases IQ in our children.  All in all, it would be optimal for us to remove fluoride from the water we drink.  (I suggest also reading this article on Natural News  The best way to make sure you are consuming the best quality water is to purchase a reverse osmosis system for under your sink.  A system like this will purify your drinking water only and should cost about $200.  I could not think of a better investment (iSpring 6-Stage Reverse Osmosis Alkaline Mineral Water Filter System or  iSpring 75GPD 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System or you can purchase a portable system such as a Berkey Filter here.)

The last issue I would like to address is your water drinking container.  It is very common these days to purchase bottled water, or refill your own plastic container.  Plastic contains toxic chemicals that will actually leach into the water contained inside.  These chemicals have been found to disrupt your endocrine system, or your HORMONES.  Disruptions of hormones can lead to an inability to lose weight and infertility.  BPA is a popular chemical you may have heard about, and companies are now advertising BPA-free products.  What they do not tell you is that the plastic contains other chemicals that are either as detrimental or worse.  So all in all, I recommend NOT drinking out of plastic.  Good alternatives are stainless steel bottles (Klean Kanteen) or glass.  This is the bottle that I use, Lifefactory 22-Ounce Beverage Bottle.  (I would not suggest using bottles made of aluminum, such as some SIGG bottles.)

Gives your body what it deserves!  Because you only have one!

My love,

Dr. Kristin