Becoming properly hydrated and developing the daily habits necessary to maintain excellent hydration is one of the simplest and fastest habits you can begin implementing right away to increase your mood, energy and focus.
“Studies show that even mild dehydration (1-3% of body weight) can impair many aspects of brain function.
In a study of young women, fluid loss of 1.36% after exercise impaired both mood and concentration, and increased the frequency of headaches.
Another similar study, this time in young men, showed that fluid loss of 1.59% was detrimental to working memory and increased feelings of anxiety and fatigue.
A 1-3% fluid loss equals about 1.5-4.5 lbs. (0.5-2 kg) of body weight loss for a 150 lbs. (68 kg) person. This can easily occur through normal daily activities, let alone during exercise or high heat.
Many other studies, ranging from children to the elderly, have shown that mild dehydration can impair mood, memory and brain performance.” 1
It is commonly known that human bodies need water to be healthy and that dehydration can be a serious health concern. Many factors will affect the length of time a body can survive without water. But it’s possible to die within a few hours or survive for up to a week as dehydration sets in.
Our bodies can survive a much longer time without food, but this rarely translates into daily habits. Most people consume plenty of food, but often skimp on proper fluid consumption.
There’s also plenty of confusion as to what proper fluid intake is, and what type of beverages can be counted as hydrating. Many of the drinks Americans consume are actually dehydrating. Sugar, caffeine and alcohol pull water out of the body.
With the level of toxins we’re exposed to every day in our food, water, the products we use, the air we breathe, in our work and living spaces and more, we probably need much more water than ever before to support our bodies’ detoxification pathways.
I feel best when I follow this formula: Take your body weight, divide it in 2, and aim to drink that amount in ounces of water daily.
Notice that I’m specifically referring to water. If you consume sugar, caffeine or alcohol, you’ll need to add extra water to your normal daily requirement in order to compensate for the dehydrating properties of those beverages.
Clean water is your best option for hydration, and no other beverage can truly replace water. I’ve heard countless people tell me that they don’t like water. I understand completely, as I used to feel the same way. However, it’s truly a non-negotiable part of a healthy lifestyle, so you must find a way to make it a habit.
There are plenty of water options available these days, from filtered tap water to all kinds of bottled options, so I encourage you to try as many options as necessary to find something you can stick with. If I can develop a habit of proper daily water consumption, anyone can!
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