Are you literally running on empty after the holidays? It’s not only all those high-fat, high-salt, high-sugar celebratory over-indulgence meals, it’s most likely dehydration.

Take the Following Facts to Heart, literally:

Your body is composed of roughly 69 percent water. When you become even mildly dehydrated (even losing as little as two percent of water) here’s what can happen…

  1. Mood swings unrelated to other extenuating circumstances.
  2. Decreased energy levels and inability to rejuvenate stamina.
  3. Cognitive function decreases (brain-fog for example).

The following conditions are caused or accelerated by dehydration and most people do not consider the consequences…

  • Diabetics and especially those who are not yet aware they are clinically diabetic. As blood sugar levels rise, your body attempts to eliminate excess glucose through increased urine output—causing more dehydration.
  • That female monthly menstrual cycle influences levels of body fluids, estrogen and progesterone swing up-anddown, making hydration even more important. For women who experience heavy periods, it’s not only blood they lose; it’s water as well.
  • If you must take prescription medications, be sure and check the list of side-effects before taking. Many meds actually have a diuretic effect—increased urine output puts you at higher risk of dehydration.
  • That fight-or-flight response of stress causes your adrenal glands to pump out stress hormones and can lead to chronic adrenal burnout. What most people don’t consider is that the adrenals also produce a hormone called aldosterone, which is responsible in regulating the body’s fluid and electrolyte levels. When chronic adrenal fatigue is present, the body’s production of aldosterone drops—triggering dehydration and low electrolyte levels. Keep in mind that electrolytes are the body’s “electrical system” so it’s no wonder messages get crossed or don’t communicate like in decreased cognitive function (brain-fog).
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a very challenging condition because its symptoms include nausea and chronic diarrhea—causing even more dehydration.

The Way I See It…
Hydration is SO easy and readily available…why would you deprive your body of a simple “fuel” to keep it running at optimum health and speed? The old excuse, “I don’t have time to drink all THAT water” is just that, an excuse, not a reason. Trick yourself anyway that works into drinking more water or herbal teas.

I fill four quart-sized decanters each morning with water and/or herbal teas. I work very long hours and by the end of the day, my decanters are empty. However, the trick for me is to drink out of a “fat” straw. My sipper cup has a fat straw inserted and both are made of BPA-free material—no, bpa-free isn’t the total answer but for now at least not as toxic as the soft plastic varieties. I also have a stainless steel water bottle with built-in straw and water filter to avoid buying water in plastic, especially when traveling. When you drink out of a straw, your body craves twice as much water and you consume it with half the amount of effort—try it—it works! Remember that herbal teas and sparkling waters count as water as long as you don’t add anything like sugar. However, you can sweeten tea with a natural no-calorie alternative like Stevia or Lakanto (aka Monk Fruit).