I need a drink!

by Dr. Todd Meyers | June 25, 2008

Dr. toddWe probably all need a drink OF WATER. With summer upon us and temperatures on the rise, an increase in the amount of water you consume is probably needed. This time of the year I hear an increase of complaints related to dehydration. Muscle cramps, fatigue, muscle weakness, headaches and nausea to name a few.

Nearly all the reactions that occur in our body depend on water and electrolyte balance. Water makes up at least 60 percent of your body. Blood, kidneys, heart and lungs are made up of 80 percent or more water. Muscles, spleen, brain, intestines and skin are 72-75 percent water. Even bones are made up of around 22 percent water.

Mike Colgan of the Colgan Institute calls the body a “Hairy protein bag full of water.” This bag of water has many holes, which allow for leakage. Skin pores which allow for perspiration, the kidneys/bladder that expel wastes and the respiratory system, which must be moist to function. Keeping the body hydrated is important to maintain the proper temperature of the body. When muscles contract they generate heat which needs to be released to the body surface and adequate water to maintain blood volume is vital.

On a normal, moderate temperature, inactive day you lose approximately six glasses (1.5 liters) of water through kidney filtration (urine) and another three to four glasses through the skin and respiration. Therefore, an average person on an inactive day needs eight to nine glasses per day just to replace average losses. Caffeinated, alcohol and many carbonated drinks have a diuretic effect and actually increase your daily requirements. When the outside temperature increases and/or physical exertion increases then so does the amount of water. Here are some typical water losses during exercise in moderate temperatures: 45 minutes of swimming = 10 oz, five-mile run = 24 oz, bicycling for one hour = 33 oz and a marathon = 116 oz. As the temperature and physical exertion increase, you need to drink more and maintain electrolyte balance with QUALITY electrolyte drinks or mixes.

If you are involved in intense activity, you lose electrolytes while you sweat. Make sure to replace your electrolytes with fluid replacement to avoid hyponatremia. This condition results from excessive water intake without replacing electrolytes and causes a low concentration of sodium in the blood.

Even mild dehydration – 1 percent of body – can create a reduction in your body’s performance. If dehydration is 2-3 percent, serious performance inhibition occurs.
Do not wait until you are thirsty to decide to drink. Make fluid replacement part of a daily plan. Frequent drinks of water will reduce fatigue and help maintain hydration and proper body function. Keep water handy and have it available for easy consumption. So, have a drink!

Free womens’ fitness and financial event – "Mind, Body and Pocketbook: Get Healthy Today” – coming July 10

CAREFREE – Women of all ages are invited to spend an hour getting healthier by attending the free event, "Mind, Body and Pocketbook: Get Healthy Today," from 5 – 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 10.

Financial and physical fitness go hand-in-hand in this informative discussion presented by Noah Kendrick of Edward Jones, at 37555 Hum Road, Suite 205 in Carefree. Seating is limited, RSVP to 480-595-2041.

Guest speakers include Seema Mohan, MD a practicing physician who will answer questions and discuss women's health news. Attendees will also see a video panel discussion.

Kendrick will present a look at today's financial markets and offer five quick tips on women and investing. "We want women to walk away with information they can implement immediately, to better prepare themselves for retirement," Kendrick said.
"Women statistically live longer than men which is why it is important to set long-term financial and health goals. Not only do they typically earn less, but their financial and physical health often takes a back seat as they tend to be the primary caregivers of children and elderly parents," he said.

Kendrick points to studies from The Women's Institute for Secure Retirement:
• Nine out of 10 working women earn less than $50,000 per year.
• Half of all women work in jobs without pensions.
• Women retirees receive only half of the pension benefits that men receive.

It's never too late to learn about good health. Women of all ages are encouraged to attend "Mind, Body and Pocketbook: Get Healthy Today." For information, or to RSVP call 480-595-2041.