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water bottle

Dehydration Generation – Who is Most Susceptible?

The sensation of thirst declines with age. Even young children who play outdoors in the heat are often reluctant to stop playing and drink water.

In seniors, illness and medications may further reduce thirst or increase urine production. Older adults are at increased risk of experiencing heat stroke or urinary tract infections.

I understand why people may not want to drink water. Besides possibly making extra trips to the bathroom, it is boring, tasteless and fills you up. There are many options to flavoring water from squeezing lemon or limes into a glass or water jar, to adding other assorted fruits such as apples, pears, oranges, etc. It just takes a few minutes to prepare.

Preventing dehydration is important. Whether you are outdoors or inside a cooled room, it can still happen. You lose fluids through perspiration and breathing, even if you are not exercising, your core temperature may rise and result in heatstroke. Early signs of dehydration include dark yellow urine and dry skin. In severe cases, symptoms can progress to dizziness, fainting, and even seizures. Treatment in extreme cases can also affect the heart and kidney function. Limit your prolonged activities if you feel any symptoms mentioned above. Your stamina will prevail.

To reduce your risk, sip water throughout the day rather than wait until you feel thirsty. It’s also smart to drink a full glass of water each time you take medications (if recommended). You can hydrate with foods, too, such as soup, smoothies, and produce with high water content, like celery and watermelon.

In the meantime, keep moving and exercising your body, especially if you have stiff joints from arthritis, sit too long or feel stiff or de-conditioned.

Reprinted with permission from Lori Michiel. 

Lori Michiel, NASM, has been assisting seniors in their homes since 2006 with customized exercise programs including those designed to address Parkinson’s, metabolic disorders, arthritis and diabetes. These adaptive programs are specifically designed to improve balance, circulation, flexibility, mobility and promote independence. Lori Michiel Fitness has over 40 certified trainers who are matched with clients in Los Angeles, Ventura and Orange Counties. Connect with Lori at www.LoriMichielFitness.com.

Water Droplet

Guide On How To Be Hydrated: MOVE Your Water

Water requires movement to stay energized. Even inside our bodies, water needs to move to have its potent cleansing and healing effect.  How much we move has far more impact on our hydration than we previously thought. The human body is a hydraulic pump system and squeezing, twisting and contracting all deliver hydration more deeply into our tissues. Our spinal canal and joints are central to this hydraulic system, as is fascia, our sponge-like connective tissue found throughout our bodies, in fact, there’s miles of it in there.


Guide On How To Be Hydrated: EAT Nature’s Water

Water is not just blue, it’s green! Eat Nature’s Water.

We think of water as being blue liquid, functional, moistening, and wet, but not nutritious. Original government guidelines on hydration were based on total ounces, and here is the surprise… 45% of those ounces came from food. Over the years, urban legend morphed it into ounces from liquid and finally from water only.  But getting hydration from water AND food is the absolute smartest strategy on the planet, one designed by nature.

Water from fresh food can be up to 2/3 more hydrating than water from a glass.

The gel water in fruits and vegetables is structured by nature, more nutritious, and guess what, more hydrating than liquids because it is packed with fibers to help water absorb not just flash flood through, and also full of nutrients.

Ranging between 80 to 98% gel water by volume, plants are nature’s perfect biological packaging of nutrients and hydration.  The next time you eat a fruit or a vegetable, it is a form of water. Water-rich foods are nutrient-rich, packed with antioxidants, proteins with their amino acids, and vitamins.  They also carry minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium, which when activated by the electrical charge in water are then known as electrolytes that we need for energy.. We need this fuel not only for biological nutrition but also for cognition, judgment, and mood.  And get this, because of the fiber in plants, the water stays in our system longer because we absorb it more slowly. It’s a triple play of hydrating health: pure nature’s water, absorbent fiber, and not only needed nutrients but electrolytes!

Top 12 Hydrating Fruits (% H3O2)

  1. Starfruit – 91.4%
  2. Watermelon – 91.4%
  3. Strawberries – 91%
  4. Grapefruit – 90.5%
  5. Cantaloupe – 90.2%
  6. Pineapple – 87%
  7. Raspberries – 87%
  8. Blueberries – 85%
  9. Kiwi – 84.2%
  10. Apples 84%
  11. Pears – 84%
  12. Grapes – 81.5%

Top 12 Hydrating Veggies (% H3O2)

  1. Cucumbers – 96.7%
  2. Romaine Lettuce – 95.6%
  3. Celery – 95.4%
  4. Radishes – 95.3%
  5. Zucchini – 95%
  6. Tomatoes – 94.5%
  7. Peppers – 93.9%
  8. Cauliflower – 92.1%
  9. Spinach – 91.4%
  10. Broccoli – 90.7%
  11. Carrots – 90%
  12. Sprouts – 86.5%

The Benefits of Fresh Juices and Smoothies

Besides eating lots of fruits and veggies, fresh juices and smoothies are easy to make and are highly hydrating.  While fresh juices with their gel water is still more nutritious and hydrating than a glass of water, they can be expensive to make and juicing filters out the pulp and discards it.

This is why we recommend smoothies as the path to optimal hydration.  Smoothies blend in the whole fruit or vegetable, retaining the plant fibers. In addition to helping us stay hydrated longer, these precious plant fibers, or cellulose, also sweep clean micro-sized toxins, cellular waste, and debris that are constantly coming into our bodies from our industrial environments.  Plant compounds can even buffer us from electromagnetic assaults, which create mineral imbalances. With smoothies, there is no tossing out the pulp!

In Hydration Foundation’s Recipe Section, we have created recipes and tips for making smoothies and other drinks.

Salt is a Hydrating Solution  

Yes, salt can help you stay hydrated. Natural (unrefined) and processed salts are not the same.  Unlike processed salts, natural salts contain sodium, potassium, and many other trace minerals. Sodium provides positively charged ions while potassium provides negatively charged ions. This combination generates electrical charges in our cell membranes and keeps cells functioning. If you don’t have enough salt in your system, your body’s internal charge is not balanced and cells can’t receive and transmit impulses the way they should.  To learn more about salt and its critical role in hydration, click here. A small amount of natural salt is absolutely essential for hydration.

Free Webinar!

Join Hydration Foundation founder Gina Bria for a free webinar on this topic, Guzzling 8 Glasses a Day Is Not the Way… and 5 Other Ways to Get Hydrated You Don’t Hear About

Originally printed on the Hydration Foundation. Reprinted with permission

As founder of The Hydration Foundation, anthropologist Gina Bria spreads the science of how plants transform liquid water into gel water, or H3O2. She shares how we can adapt and use these ideas now in our water-challenged world for better hydration and better water protection worldwide. As a thought leader on the topics of hydration, energy, and water purity, she has shared the TEDx stage with leading water researchers, Dr. Gerald Pollack of the Pollack Water Lab, Dr. Stephanie Seneff of MIT, and Algonquin Grandmother Elder, Nan Andry. She has presented her work in rejuvenation and longevity at worksites in industries as diverse as IT companies, museums, sports conventions, schools, hospitals, and health and wellness gatherings. Her forthcoming book, “QUENCH: Reclaim your Energy and Health with the New Science of Hydration, including A Five Day Plan to Get You Hydrated”, is co-authored with Dr. Dana Cohen, MD, an innovative integrated physician in New York City.


Hydration Is Key!

How do you know when you’re dehydrated? How do you keep hydrated? Do you mean drinking water? If so, how much water should we drink? These are all very simple questions to which many do not know the answers. Let’s change that.

Meta Slider - HTML Overlay - pregnant woman holding bottle of waterWhether you exercise or not, hydration is still an important factor in everyday life.  Our body is an intricate matrix of systems that work together so we can function properly. If one of those systems is off, it forces the remaining systems to work harder. It’s like riding a bicycle with a poorly lubricated chain. In order for the bike to progress forward, one would have to pedal harder and faster than if the chain was well lubricated.

Our body depends on water to survive. Every cell, tissue and organ needs water.  Without water our body could not remove waste, metabolize food, lubricate joints, maintain its temperature and transport nutrients. Water makes up more than half of our body weight and is the most important nutrient that it uses.

We lose water every day when we sweat, use the restroom and even when we breathe.  We lose water at an even faster rate than normal during high temperatures, exercise, sickness, vomiting or have diarrhea. When this happens we become dehydrated.

Have you ever felt so thirsty that when you drank water it was the best thing you ever had? That is most likely due to being dehydrated, meaning the body does not have enough water to function properly. Some signs of dehydration include:

  • Extreme thirst
  • Headaches
  • Muscle cramps
  • Darker urine or very little urine
  • Rapid pulse
  • Dry mouth
  • Confusion
  • Sleepiness or fatigue

According to Harris Lieberman, Ph.D, if you go 4 – 8 hours without water you are mildly dehydrated (1.5% drop in body weight) and then severely dehydrated if you go approximately 24 hours without water (3% – 4% drop in body weight). In order to get the body back to its normal state after being dehydrated, we have to go through the process of hydration, i.e.replacing the missing water. This can be done by:

  • Drinking water and other beverages high in water content such as tea, coffee, lemonade, vegetable juice, fruit juice, milk, etc.
  • Eating foods high in water content such as cucumbers, watermelon, green peppers, lettuce, radishes, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, strawberries, tomatoes, spinach, grapefruit, baby carrots and cantaloupe.
  • Consuming ice chips.

waterBut this still leaves one question unanswered: How much water should we drink? There are a variety of responses, but what I always recommend to my Renov8 Fitness members and clients is to drink half of their body weight in ounces of water everyday.  For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, you should drink 70 ounces of water a day.

Increasing water intake abruptly can be a challenge at first. The key is to slowly work your way up to the allotted amount of water each day and eventually your body will compensate. Your body will function properly in everyday life if you stay hydrated!

Reprinted with permission from Renov8 Fitness, LLC. 

Heather Binns is a nationally acclaimed fitness expert, wellness educator, certified personal trainer/coach and best-selling author. She loves fitness and has a passion for high-energy and personal fulfillment, and has spent most of her life devoted to helping others achieve their fitness goals.

Water: A Wonderful Performance Enhancer

woman-drinkingWater is a wonderful performance enhancer. When a star UConn basketball player took the advice of his sports nutritionist Nancy Rodriguez RD and started drinking enough to consistently void a light-colored urine, he was amazed at how much better he felt all day. Unfortunately, too many athletes overlook the power of this essential nutrient. Perhaps it’s your turn to give water a try? This article offers droplets of information to enhance your water IQ, optimize your water balance, and help you feel & perform better.

• You don’t have to drink plain water to get adequate water into your body. All fluids count, as do foods that have a high water. For example, oatmeal is 84% water; low fat milk, 90%; coffee, 99.5%; lettuce, 96%; tomato, 95%; broccoli, 89%; low fat vanilla yogurt, 79%; and ice cream, 60% water.

water-glass• Water is the solvent for biochemical reactions. Your body cannot function without sufficient water, as noted by the fact that athletes die from dehydration.

• Your body needs water to moisten food (saliva), digest food (gastric secretions), transport nutrients to and from cells (blood), discard waste (urine), and dissipate heat (sweat). Water is a major component of the cells in muscles and organs; about 60% of a young male’s body weight is water, as is about 50% of a young woman’s body weight.

• Different body parts have different water contents. For example, blood is approximately 93% water, muscle is about 73% water, and body fat is about 10% water. Water constantly moves between the inside and the outside of cells. About 4% to 10% of your body-water gets replaced every day with “fresh” water.

• Note: Bioelectrical impedance (BIA) methods of measuring body fat actually measure body water. From that, a formula estimates the ratio of water to muscle and fat. Hence, if you use a Tanita Scale or Omron device, be sure to maintain adequate hydration. If you are dehydrated, you’ll end up with an inaccurate (higher) estimate of body fatness.

• Your body produces about 8 to 16 oz. (250-500 ml) water per day during normal metabolic processes. During a marathon, a runner’s muscles can produce that much water over 2 to 3 hours. When muscles burn glycogen, they simultaneously release about 2.5 units water for each one unit of muscle glycogen; this helps protect against dehydration.

coffee• Coffee is a popular source of water. Although once thought to have a diuretic effect, current research indicates coffee (in amounts normally consumed) hydrates as well as water over a 24-hour period. That is, after drinking coffee, you may urinate sooner, but you will not urinate more than you consume. Army research on caffeine and dehydration confirms coffee is an acceptable source of fluids for athletes, even during exercise in the heat. Hence, coffee and other caffeinated beverages such as tea or cola count towards your water intake.

• An increased concentration of particles in your blood triggers the sensation of thirst. If you are a 150-pound athlete, you’ll start to feel thirsty once you’ve lost about 1.5 to 3 pounds of sweat (1% to 2% of your body weight). Sweat loss of more than 10% body weight is life threatening.

• Body water absorbs heat from the working muscles and sweat dissipates the heat. That is, the evaporation of a liter (about 36 ounces) of sweat from the skin represents loss of about 580 calories. Sweat keeps you from overheating during exercise and in hot environments.

• To determine how much water you lose when you sweat, weigh yourself (with little or no clothing) before and after an hour of hard exercise with no fluid intake. The change in body weight reflects water (sweat) loss. A one-pound drop in weight equates to loss of 16 ounces of sweat. A two-pound drop equates to 32 ounces—that’s one quart. Drink accordingly during your workouts to prevent that loss!

• When you sweat, you lose water from both inside and outside the cells. The water outside the cells is rich in sodium, an electrolyte that works in balance with potassium, an electrolyte inside the cells. Sweat contains about 7 times more sodium than potassium; hence sodium is the more important electrolyte to replace during extended exercise.

• Moexercise-Sclerosisst athletes who lose more than 2% of their body weight (3 lbs for a 150-pound athlete) lose both their mental edge and their ability to perform optimally in hot weather. Yet, during cold weather, you are less likely to experience reduced performance, even at 3% dehydration. Three to 5% dehydration does not seem to affect muscle strength or performance during short intense bouts of anaerobic exercise, such as weight lifting. But distance runners slow their pace by ~2% for each percent body weight lost by dehydration. That means, if you weigh 150 pounds and lose 3 pounds sweat (2% dehydration), your 8-minute mile slows to an 8:19 pace. That’s preventable!

• Adequate fluid intake can reduce problems with constipation and urinary tract infections. There is no scientific validation of theories that excessive water intake will improve weight loss, remove toxins, or improve skin tone.

• Should you plan to drink “eight glasses of water a day”? No scientific evidence supports that rule, so you can simply drink in response to thirst. You can also monitor the volume of your urine. If your urine is scanty, dark, and smelly, you should drink more! If you have not urinated during your work or school day (8:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m.), you are severely underhydrated.

tap-water• Is bottled water better for you than tap water? Doubtful. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, nearly half of bottled waters come from municipal water supplies—not from the mountain streams pictured on the labels. This suggests standard municipal tap water is high quality. Rather than spend money on bottled water, turn on your tap! This will help stop the flood of 95 million plastic water bottles that get discarded each day, of which only 20% get recycled. Drink plenty of water—but think “green.”

From The Athlete’s Kitchen
Copyright: Nancy Clark MS RD CSSD, Feb 2012

Nancy Clark, MS, RD, CSSD (Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics) counsels both casual and competitive athletes at her office in Newton, MA (617-795-1875). Her Sports Nutrition Guidebook and food guides for new runners, marathoners, and soccer players offer additional information. They are available at www.nancyclarkrd.com and www.sportsnutritionworkshop.com.


Armstrong, L., A. Pumerantz, M. Roti, et al. 2005. Fluid, electrolyte, and renal indices of hydration during 11 days of controlled caffeine consumption. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab 15:252-265
Koslo, J. “Water, hydration and health: What dietetics practitioners need to know” in SCAN’s Pulse, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2012 31:1 (Winter)
National Academy of Sciences. Institute of Medicine. Food and Nutrition Board.
Dietary Reference Intakes for Water. http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/DRI//DRI_Water/73-185.pdf
Wilmore, J and D. Costill. Physiology of Sport and Exercise, Human Kinetics, 1994.