By Grandma Barton
Are You Drinking Enough Water?
Whether it’s because of your busy schedule or simply not having fresh, clean water on hand when you need it, chances are more than good that you simply don’t drink enough fluids, especially good, clean water.
We all know that water is good for us and even know why we should drink water, but it’s not a natural habit that many people form.
When we do reach for something to drink, we end up drinking coffee, lots of soda, alcohol, not to mention fruit juices and teas and milk and a bunch of other possibilities. Most of us, however, don’t drink enough fluids and our bodies become dehydrated — and that isn’t good for our health.
Most people don’t think they need to worry about dehydration. To them, dehydration is something that happens to travelers in the desert when they run out of water. But there is a chronic form of dehydration that does not have the sudden and intense nature of the acute form. Chronic dehydration is widespread in the present day and affects everyone who is not drinking enough liquid.
It can happen to anybody: athletes, those with the stomach flu or people with malabsorption issues (like Celiac, Candida, IBS or colitis). Dehydration can also happen as a result of:
- Frequent urination due to diabetes
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Prolonged intake of medicines like diuretics, antipsychotics and blood pressure medications
- Losing sensitivity to water deprivation (chronic dehydration)
Dehydration is a real problem because water accounts for more than half of your body mass—in the form of intracellular fluid, interstitial fluids, cerebrospinal fluid and more. These fluids unite your various organs and physiological systems into one coherent organism, allowing for many of your body’s most critical communications.
The following symptoms of dehydration should inspire you to drink a glass of water…and then another…then another.
Fatigue, low energy or tiredness are usually the first symptoms of chronic dehydration. Water is the primary driving force inside your cells and without it, your histamine levels increase releasing cortisol (stress hormone,) which suppresses your immune system and causes allergies, toxic build up, inflammation, slow metabolism and other health problems.
Wait a minute…fatigue is only the beginning symptom of dehydration!
If you have any long-term health complaint or problem, then you’re probably dehydrated. And have been for a longtime.
Digestive problems are another early symptom of dehydration because the digestive juices are less. Acid reflux is thought to be caused by the production of too much stomach acid. However, too little stomach acid is often the real cause. When the stomach does not have enough acid for digestion, food stays in the stomach too long and gets pushed back up, along with acid.
Constipation is another digestive symptom of dehydration. When chewed food enters the colon, it contains too much liquid to allow stools to form properly, so the wall of the colon reduces it. In chronic dehydration, the body reabsorbs most of that water, slowing down the natural passage of waste.
Drinking water to say hydrated is essential to keep all functions of the digestive tract running smoothly.
Premature Aging – Body and Mind
The feeling of a dry mouth is not the only “dry” sign of dehydration. Your mind actually becomes dry! The brain is about 95% water and relies heavily on blood supply (duh!) With dehydration, blood supply is reduced to significantly impair brain and nerve cell function, including loss of memory, mental focus and concentration.
In addition, dehydration may be a major trigger for arthritis. If your cartilage lacks water, it becomes dimpled and your joints don’t glide over each other. Instead, they rub and stick together, eventually becoming arthritis.
Most of us are chronically dehydrated and don’t even know it. One common reason is that we confuse thirst for hunger. If we wait until we are thirsty to drink water, we are already dehydrated. In addition, as we get older, our thirst mechanism gradually disappears.
Because we’ve ignored our body’s thirst signals for so long, we don’t easily recognize them. That’s why many people turn to a sugary snack when their body is actually asking for fluids instead. Constant snacking—and especially constant sugar cravings—can be one hidden sign of a dehydration imbalance.
When caught early enough, it is possible to reverse dehydration without the necessity of a trip to the doctor. I have a few effective home remedies for dehydration I want to share with you.
7 Home Remedies for Dehydration
- Chamomile tea is an old favorite. Decaffeinated teas are an excellent choice when it comes to fluid replacement. Chamomile has the added benefit of being a natural pain reliever so it also helps relieve the stomach cramps that often accompany dehydration.
- Bananas have great water content and are especially good for restoring potassium that has vanished with dehydration. You can also try watery fruits such as cantaloupe, watermelon and strawberries. Watery vegetables such as cucumbers are good, too.
- Drinking a cup of buttermilk mixed with half a teaspoon of dry ginger three to four times in a day to treat chronic dehydration.
- Try adding 1 teaspoon lime juice, a pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon sugar to a pint of water. Sip the beverage throughout the day.
- Coconut water is really high in electrolytes, is very hydrating and nature’s version of a sports drink. Coconut water basically has the same consistency as blood plasma and has even been used as a saline solution in blood transfusions in people in an emergency! Thanks to it’s high mineral content (especially potassium and iron), it can replenish chronic dehydration better than plain water. Coconut water is also relatively low-cal and low in sugar. (Coconut water is different from coconut milk. Zico brand is recommended – but this is not a commercial!)
- Yogurt and cottage cheese also help relieve dehydration by restoring normal levels of sodium and potassium. In fact, having a cup of yogurt mixed with 1 teaspoon of fenugreek powder is considered as one of the most valuable natural home remedies for dehydration.
- An epsom bath might be another home remedy for dehydration you’ve heard about. By absorbing magnesium through the skin, you can reduce inflammation and improve sore muscles or fatigue associated with chronic dehydration. The sulfates in epsom salts also improve absorption of nutrients, which will help your body return to the proper nutrient balance faster.
Attempting to function without enough water is similar to trying to run a car that doesn’t have enough oil to lubricate its system. And what happens to a car that isn’t lubricated? It heats up, and the engine can crack and get damaged. A similar effect occurs in the body when you’re not well hydrated, which often happens because you’re too busy and your system is running too fast and too long without a break. Luckily, the solution is simple. Drink more water.
How much and what type of water should we drink? Experts unanimously agree that we should drink approximately half of our body weight in ounces of water daily. Drinking water should be filtered of contaminants, such as heavy metals, dangerous chemicals and bacteria.
Chronic dehydration is avoidable and reversible. Your vital organs (heart, lungs and brain) require potassium and sodium balance from being well-hydrated to function. Understanding dehydration will empower you to become healthier and life longer, naturally.
Refuse to treat symptoms, signs and complications of drought in the body with toxic chemicals that kill more rapidly than the dehydration itself!
If you follow these home remedies for chronic dehydration, you will enjoy more energy, more strength and more mental clarity! You might be surprised your knees won’t creak either!
P.S. When suffering from dehydration, avoid any intake of alcohol and caffeine as they are known to promote sweating, thereby causing more loss of the bodies fluids.
Grandma Barton is mother to Joe Barton (founder of Barton Publishing), grandmother to 6 grandkids and 28 step-grandkids, and over 3000 Home Cures That Work members. She is a two-time breast cancer survivor with the help of Dr. Saunders and natural remedies. Grandma loves finding cures within the home to treat all sorts of ailments. With tips she’s learned on the farm and along the way, Grandma Barton brings a time-tested and trusted voice when it comes to home remedies. She really is an inspiration to us all.