Thursday, April 21, 2011

Drink up!

It's just that time of year...I leave work brain dead each day and still have more to do in the evenings and I need full mental capacity for it. Exactly the kind of day where having a food plan (and sticking to it) comes in handy. I did OK today, not great, but OK. You'll see...

Anyway, Spring is the 'busy' time for me at work. It often requires working overtime and during normal business hours, I spend most of my day in direct communication with students and their families on the phone, in person, and over e-mail. Today, it was talking on the phone and in person. It's amazing how thirsty you get when you talk all day!!

Obviously, we all want to stay hydrated, so how much water should we drink each day?? I used to think it was 8 glasses (64oz). I read recently that you should just listen to your body and drink when you're thirsty. OK, that seems reasonable. The same article, however, stated that it was acceptable to get your water from caffeinated beverages and food. I can see getting water from food, if you eat  enough vegetables (they're mostly water). What I don't subscribe to is getting water from caffeinated beverages. Maybe some of you can, but I know how much caffeinated beverages dry me right out.

So what is the right amount? Well, like so many answers that I give to my students and their families, 'that depends.' You see, your body's requirement for water may be different than mine. Our bodies lose water when we sweat, when we breathe, when pee, when we get the idea. We lose water whenever we do anything. So how much water you need depends on how much water you lose each day.

Our bodies are roughly 60%'s amazing we don't just float away! We need to maintain that level of water so that we don't become dehydrated. Even mild dehydration can drain our energy. Besides, our bodies need water to function. It does so much for us! Water regulates our body temperature, dissolves minerals so that our body can use them, prevents constipation, flushes out waste products and so much more!

But just like soy, there is such a thing as too much. Water intoxication is when you drink soooooo much water, that you dilute all your electrolytes to the point that they can't do their jobs. What are their jobs? Electrolytes are salt ions that our cells use to move fluid and nerve messages into and out of cells. In case you didn't know, our nerve messages are those little things that our brain sends out to tell the rest of our body what to do. You know, like breathe and stuff like that. So, if our electrolytes can't do their jobs, stuff like our lungs don't know to do theirs.

Unless you're being hazed, water intoxication is pretty rare, so don't worry. You do, however, need to stay hydrated so that your body can function properly. The 8 glasses a day rule of thumb is a good one. If you are someone who loses a lot of water, drink more, but replace your electrolytes too!

Today was not one of my best...I brought my fruit, bought milk and forgot my cereal at home.

LUNCH!! I missed my snack, was cranky, overtired and just generally out of sorts. I couldn't resist the mac and cheese, so I got just a small portion.

Admittedly, this was not today's salad (which I had for dinner), but it looks really similar. I ended up eating about 1/2 and was pretty hungry by the time I got home. I was craving something carb-y and fatty and yummy.

My crave-snack when I got home...I couldn't stand the cravings any longer.

No comments:

Post a Comment