The one and only liquid of life
I have recently read a great piece of writing by Aaron Robb which explains the basics of water flow in the human body. It immediately caught my eye as I pay great attention to the quality of what I consume. Since I regularly do sports I need an even deeper understanding of the science which stands behind water distribution in my body.
As you may already know, we consist in 72% of water. This makes us vulnerable to disorders associated with water loss. Our fragile nature is best illustrated by the fact that although we can survive without food for 3 weeks, we simply perish after just 3 days through lack of water. So, whether you lead an active lifestyle or not, there is no way you can undermine the significant role that water plays in your life.
Most of us are constantly and chronically dehydrated. It happens when you work, study, exercise or simply slacking off. Do you feel thirsty several times a day? That is how your limbs and other organs remind you that they need to be refuelled. But guess what, it is already too late. According to some scientists, the moment you feel thirsty indicates the lack of an equivalent of two cups of liquid in your body. And even if you drink a sufficient amount of water at once, it takes the intestines even an hour to absorb all this fluid.
There are many different conditions which determine our personal abilities to absorb water, but there is also a general rule to drink at least few cups of fresh water every day. According to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences most of us meet their hydration needs with normal drinking behavior, which includes all non-caffeinated beverages as well as caffeinated since there is no unequivocal evidence that caffeine leads to water loss and dehydration in consequence. The problem is people simply do not drink this much. As another independent research revealed, more than 90% of North Americans suffer from constant dehydration. We are so busy with everyday problems that we do not pay proper attention to drinking habits. If those are bad, it will cost us our health. If you do sports regularly you may need more personalized guidelines from a qualified dietitian. But still, the right and conscious approach to that matter is the key to success.
I would like to share some of my habits which help me with remaining well hydrated and feeling more vigorous and happier during the day. Maybe my experience will help you rethink your own habits. To my mind, changing your behavior is just the first step to full recovery and overcoming the lack of energy.
I have distinguished at least three important factors you should consider:
- Drink more fresh water. There is no way round this one.
- Sleep well. Sleeping, just like any other skill, can be mastered through practice.
- Exercise more. Simply go outside, walk, jog or cycle. No matter what you do, doing sports is always better than not moving yourself from your couch.
Furthermore, I strongly believe in the Pareto principle here. You can easily reach 80% of positive results just by giving 20% of your effort. To make things easier, below are my personal goals which I consider the most important in my daily routine:
- Add to the water. In the morning I drink a glass of lemonade prepared the previous evening. I always add a few mint leaves or lemon slices.
- 30 to 60 minutes after getting up I eat a homemade sandwich.
- I keep a bottle of water close to me at work and drink a small amount of this liquid every hour, not only if I feel thirsty.
- I limit my daily coffee count to two.
- I try to stretch my limbs during work, for example by taking a short 10 min. walk.
- Every second day I jog a short distance.
- One hour prior to going to sleep I read or take a bath, during which I never think about or mention serious topics, because that could prevent me from falling asleep.
- I sleep at least 7 hours per day.
After two weeks of sticking tight to the rules mentioned above I feel much better than before. I am full of energy and surprisingly stopped slacking off due to my increased motivation. Even the overwhelming feeling of sleeplessness which I felt after work has now vanished. I only wish I had the opportunity to focus on water flow in my body much earlier.
[Image: béa dres]