It's important to stay hydrated
Each day, our bodies have a need for water. How do you know if you are getting enough? What is the correct balance of intake versus output? Is the water we are drinking coming from the cleanest sources? Factors such as age, diet, exercise, climate and altitude can affect our water needs.
We lose water through sweat, respiration, digestion and renal activity.
Common signs of dehydration include: dry mouth (sticky); constipation; lack of energy; thirst; lack of urination; dry skin; dizziness; and headache.
Water helps to flush out toxins, carry nutrients to our cells and can help regulate our temperature and aid blood flow.
Here are a few tips for staying hydrated:
• Take water with you in a reusable container from home when you leave the house each day and refill as needed. I prefer to use stainless steel, as some plastic reusable containers can leach chemicals. And plastic containers needlessly fill up and occupy space in our landfills.
• Drink water throughout the day — not all at once. Picture your body like a sponge. If you poured an entire glass of water on a sponge all at once, most of the water would roll right off rather than being absorbed. The same thing happens to our body if we try to play catch up and drink water all at once. Most of the water will pass right through us. Sip water throughout the day to allow the water to absorb into your cells.
• My rule of thumb is to try and drink half of my body weight in ounces every day — more if I am exercising and more in the summer.
• When you wake up, try to drink a glass of water first thing. Imagine how dehydrated our bodies get after sleeping for eight hours with no fluids.
• Stay away from soft drinks as a source of hydration, including diet drinks. They have artificial sweeteners and provide no nutritional value.
• 100 percent fruit and vegetable juices, low-fat milk and herbal teas are good healthy hydration choices, as long as there are no additional sugars.
• Certain foods can be a good source of water, such as fruits and soups.
At home, we have installed a water filter system that pulls the chlorine out of the water we drink and shower in. Since installing this system, we have noticed that our skin is less dry and irritated.
We also have a water filter and reverse osmosis system at the market to insure that all of the water touching the produce and the prepared foods is free of chlorine and chemicals.
Next week: Are you local?
Kevin Cotter is managing general partner at New Earth Market in Yuba City.