The 365 Commitment

Hydrated State

Sometimes the simple truth is the truth. We look for all these reasons for why something is not right, only to discover in the end that the simple thing that was right in front of us was the culprit the entire time. Many people complain about being tired, feeling sick or rundown, headaches or brain fog, with mood swings and grumpiness. Although there can be many reasons for this, the most likely and most frequent cause is dehydration.

I am not talking about deprivation where you need to go to the hospital and get an I.V. of fluids, I am talking about everyday dehydration and it is more common than you realize. Even a small reduction of water in your system, can seriously impact your mood, attention, memory, motor skills, muscle and brain function. Water accounts for most of your body weight. Depending on your build, it could be as much as 70% of your mass. There is a balance of fluids in your body that is carefully regulated by your circulatory systems. The slightest decrease in fluids can have a dramatic impact on you.

This explains why you have mood swings, or cycles of behavior. You can try to blame mental problems, and perhaps you do have a condition but most likely, you are just not drinking enough water. Here is how it happens. You get to an equilibrium, you start to feel better. Your body is well hydrated. As a consequence your brain starts functioning better, you feel good. You start making plans and you start making improvements. You create a plan to eat better, spend more time outdoors, and get some exercise. You do all of those things, and everything is progressing well. Then one day you just wake up tired, grumpy, irritable, mentally and physically drained.

Or sometimes everything is going well, and you just get sick. The sickness produces the same result as your new health kick. You upset the balance and you get into a hydration deficit. The slightest deficit will produce these negative results. Eating less, exercising, changing temperature and many other things can cause this balance to upset. Here is what happens in the body. You lose water through breathing primarily but also through waste. If you lose water without replacing it, then you get into a deficit. As a result, your blood becomes thicker and more concentrated. Your kidneys will as a result start to retain water. You will start urinate less frequently as a result. Your blood thickens even more and your cardiovascular system has to work harder to pump the blood in your system. You are more prone to exhaustion now, and a tell tale sign is when you stand up quickly you will feel faint. Your body will struggle with this even more when under stress, such as intense exercise and heat conditions.

This then produces a reduced ability for your body to manage temperature. Your body will be warmer than usual. Your body will start to borrow water from wherever it can. Cellular shrinkage will occur as the body tries to keep water in the vital areas like the blood stream. This is when, btw, that your mind gets trigger and you actually become “thirsty.” Note that the blood thickening has already occurred, you have already started to go into water retention mode. The thirst mechanism is really emergency time, but the damage has already begun by that time.

The simple answer is to always stay hydrated. I am not going to give advice on how much to drink. You should be definitely be urinating frequently, up to 5 or 6 times a day most likely. You can actually drink to many fluids, but that is hard to do. Reality is that you can never drink too much water under normal circumstances. Start simple by adding glasses of water during obvious times. Right when you get up, just get in the habit of drinking a 2 cups of water. That is a tall glass or one of those plastic water bottles. You can have a tall glass of water before you eat any meal or snack. That would be about 8 cups of water if got into that habit. You can decide to drink 2 cups of water every time you have to pee. That would be another 8 cups. That would do it for me. That would get me to around 4 liters per day. I am a big guy, so that is probably way more than what most people need. Add this into your food and other beverages and you would be walking around constantly in a hydrated state.

A hydrated state is the best for you. You will function better, think better, have better moods, react to stress well and generally just feel good. Highly recommend solving his problem before you go on to anything else (like diet, exercise).

Guy Reams

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