I'm an awful patient. Even TV Doctor House would agree. He'd probably down another handful of narcotics before ever entering
my room. I, on the other hand, can't take narcotics. I toss my cookies...or would, if I ate when I got sick.
But I don't eat or drink. Therein lies the purpose of this article. To drive you to drink.
Water, that is.
You see, 60% of your body weight is water. That's a lot less than the 85% water weight gain I attribute to the scale
numbers going up, but it's still a lot. So what do our bodies do with all that water? Well, the Mayo Clinic has a diagram
which shows the many uses water has.
I got sick a couple of weeks ago and--as usual--allowed myself to dehydrate. I ended up in the hospital treatment room
getting two liters of fluid pumped into me.
(And they don't give water away, you know.) I had a pounding headache that nothing alleviated. I was so weak I had
to rest after just walking across the room.
And I was vomiting. I ached all over. I couldn't think straight. ( Okay, it's arguable whether or not this was a symptom.)
In short, I was miserable.
And when Mama ain't happy, Ain't nobody happy.
I felt better after I got the fluids. But normally, I was consuming three sodas a day, and a couple of cups of coffee.
Wasn't that fluid? Well, yes--and no.
Coffee, tea and sodas do contribute to our fluid intake. But they contain other things that aren't as beneficial to our
bodies as plain old water.
An article I read told me to just make sure I "drank whenever I felt thirsty." The trouble is that when I was
consuming all those sodas, I never FELT thirsty at all. Now, drinking four to five 16 oz bottles of water a day, I am thirsty
all the time.
And science tells us that, as we age, we lose our ability to discern when we really are thirsty. Beyonders may not know
when they need to knock down a big cool drink.
How do we know if we are getting dehydrated?
Well, some of the symptoms of dehydration are:
COTTON MOUTH--you know how it feels
to wake up in the night and your tongue feels dry and is sticking to the roof of your mouth?
BEING REALLY TIRED OR SLEEPY-- okay,
I know. But I'm talking about being tired even when you do get more that 4 hours sleep.
§ EXCESSIVE THIRST--except remember, for Beyonders, this one isn't a reliable barometer.
NOT GOING TO THE BATHROOM MUCH--AND
WHEN YOU DO YOUR URINE IS DARK AND SMELLS LIKE SOME OF THOSE "PORT-A-POTTIES" YOU FIND AT AUCTIONS AND COUNTY FAIRS.
FEW--MAYBE NO TEARS WHEN YOU CRY
WEAKNESS.--I went for my usual morning
bike ride and was scared I wouldn't be able to get home under my own steam. ( Not that I have a steam bike, you understand.
It's just your normal run-of--the-mill pedal thingy.)
So how much water do we need a day?
The Institute of Medicine recommends about 9 cups a day for women, and 13 for men. That's a lot. Another rule is eight
eight-ounce glasses a day: a glass or two when we get up in the morning, one with each meal, and a glass before, and
If you drink a lot of coffee or tea, you probably are spending a lot of time in the "powder room" as it is...and not
powdering, either. Substituting water for at least some of those drinks won't increase those visits. as a matter of fact,
they might decrease. Tea and coffee are diuretics...causing us to lose fluids from our bodies.
There are a lot of foods which have a high fluid content. Actually, foods can contribute up to 20% of our fluid intake.
Watching our diets, making sure to include these foods, will help us achieve that high "watermark" of 64 ounces a day.
Other benefits of increasing our water intake?
Smoother, younger looking skin. ( My husband noticed this!)
Less arthritic pain.
It's a serious thing--dehydration. A thing many Beyonders don't take seriously. We have a lot to do, you know. a lot
of responsibilities. We don't have time to do all that drinking. But you know what? Beyonders are realistic. We know a lot
of stuff. And one of the things I know is that I don't have the stamina I had twenty years ago. I get sick easier, and
it takes longer to get well.
But I have kids to care for, and bills to pay, just like I did when I was thirty-something. Beyonders have to think in
terms of evening the playing field to do the kind of parenting we need to do with our children. Keeping well is paramount.
(I guess you thought the Paramount was a downtown denver movie theater?)
And keeping hydrated is HUGE in keeping well.