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 Water & Hydration

May 2010
Hydrate or Dehydrate?
Shruthi Pendyala R
To drink or not to drink water, is the question. Here’s letting your body answer.

It’s not just your home cooler that needs water this summer; your body does too. Just like your cooler, your body too might stop running if you don’t give it its daily due. Your body needs to hydrate or it can run into so many problems. Remember water is not a quick remedy or a must during the summer months alone. We need to drink it down all year-round.

What happens if you ignore?
To know this, you’ve come to the right person; ask me, I was an expert at ignoring my body’s silent cry for water. I knew prevention is better than cure but I ignored and you might choose to ignore this article too. Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do about it. Like they say, “You can take a horse to the water but you can’t make it drink”. In the horse’s defense, it wasn’t told of the complications of lack of hydration and come on it’s a horse, but you are neither a horse nor ignorant. You are being told and so I hope you will join me in this quest to reach good health through hydration. Here is what happened to me because I chose to ignore, or was ignorant:
  • The number of strands of hair being left behind in my comb was shocking; it was almost as though some evil devil was pulling my hair out. Yes, it’s as scary as it sounds.
  • My skin looked like it belonged to a dried prune; dead, dry and lifeless. No amount of cream helped bring back its glow or the elasticity.
  • My nails were shadowing my hair; dull, dry and breaking. In short highly damaged.
  • And overall, I felt dull and fatigued. And this was only what I could see externally. Internally it was a whole lot worse:
  • It slowed down my metabolism to nearly three percent; that was enough to make me put on a lot of unwanted weight.
  • Toxins made a permanent home of my body as there was no water to wash them out.
  • I wasn’t getting my required amount of nutrients. My body thought it’s being starved of water so it stored every little I gave it. Making me look bloated and fat.
  • This was the worst of all; I was suffering from constipation and irregular stool pattern.
What should you do?
I was fortunate enough to avoid serious complications such as colon cancer. By not drinking enough water, the toxins in your body don’t get washed away which could lead to colon cancer. I was lucky; would you want to test your luck? I’m guessing not, so here is what you should do.
  • Drink 1.8 to 2 litres of water a day. Remember too much of anything is also bad. So avoid overdoing it.
  • Don’t go sudden; gradually increase the amount of water you drink to give your body enough time to readjust.
  • Suddenly increasing your water intake might make you feel queasy, so add a little bit of lime to drink it in the form of juice.
  • Eat foods that have high water content; water melons are great for the summer and as the name goes, it’s got 92 percent of its weight in water. Herbal tea and soups are also good.
  • Carry a bottle of water with you everywhere; leave a bottle in your car and a bottle at your office desk.
  • This might make you make that blessed nature’s call much more often. Also stop drinking water one hour before going to bed so you won’t have disturbed sleep.
Follow these simple steps and you will be walking your way to better health. Don’t expect immediate results. You’ll see the change. People with heart conditions, high blood pressure or swelling of the lower legs (edema) need to avoid excess water. If you have a history of kidney problems, especially if you have had a transplant, consult your doctor before increasing your fluid intake. For the rest of you – you must have heard the saying, “An apple a day keeps a doctor away.” Well that’s true but the real truth is that apples stole the thunder… if you ask any doctor he would tell you, “Two litres of water everyday will keep any doctor away!” So fill the glass up to the brim and glug it down... happy hydration!

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