Necessary for survival, the human body is made up of about 60% water while our Heart & Brain are about 75% water. An important step in any anti aging skin care routine is maintaining proper hydration yet many American's find themselves unintentionally dehydrated. A survey at New York's Nutritional Information Center suggested that 75% of Americans found themselves dehydrated on a regular basis. Interestingly, the way our body understands thirst is by a negative feedback loop of information sent to the brain by our bodily organs - usually asking for water when it's just a little too late - especially for proper skin maintenance. It has been a standard guideline since the early 1940's to drink eight, 8 oz. glasses of water per day but is there more to this general guideline we should take into account? Let's take a look into how our bodies react...
Life in us is like the water in a river.
⋅Henry David Thoreau⋅
THE MOST COMMON & SIMPLE SIGNS OF DEHYDRATION
Bad Breath & Dry Mouth
Yes, there's more to it than just brushing your teeth. Lack of saliva will lead even the cleanest of mouths to share unwelcome scents to the closest people in our lives. A quick and sure sign of dehydration is dry mouth.
Dry & Red Skin
OK, so this one may seem obvious but it's true. An appearance of flushed and/or dried skin can be a direct sign of dehydration. As your body becomes dehydrated your body will show signs in its largest organ almost immediately. An easy test for hydration levels is pinching the skin on your hand, if it remains "tented" rather than immediately returning to its normal appearance, you need water.
Surprise, you may not be hungry - you just need to take a drink from your water bottle! Dehydration can make it difficult for your body to access your energy stores within your body, primarily the liver. While your hypothalamus is responsible for both your thirst & appetite (as well as body temperature and sleep) and when under stress, can easily get confused and send mixed signals. Most common food cravings would be anything sweet.
If you are a migraine sufferer, you are well aware of this fact. Even slight to mild dehydration can lead to a headache and trigger migraines for some. The American Migraine Foundation cites 1/3 of all migraines to be linked to dehydration and their recommendation is to always carry a water bottle.
HOW CAN WE MAINTAIN PROPER SKIN HYDRATION?
Registered Dietitian Alissa Rumsey, advises this simple method: Prevention
"Prevent dehydration by staying on top of your fluid intake, starting with a glass of water first thing in the morning. If you feel hungry, and you haven't drank much that day, try drinking a glass of water and waiting 15 to 20 minutes to see if your hunger subsides."
The 8 x 8 rule: 8, 8 oz glasses of water per day is simple to remember and easy to follow. The typical water glass in an American home is more 14 - 16 ounces so you may not necessarily need to drink 8 separate glass fulls. Start your day with 16 ounces of water before you order your Grande (16 oz) Latte from Starbucks.
Your Food Has Water: Fruits and veggies like, watermelon, strawberries, peaches, oranges, zucchinis, cucumbers, celery and lettuce. Lettuce is 98% water. Keep this in mind next time you are second guessing a salad.
Be Mindful of Caffeine: Although experts have debated whether caffeine is truly a diuretic - causing your body to lose more fluid through urine than consumed - many bodies react to caffeine differently. Current statements from the Mayo Clinic suggest that you should include your morning latte towards your over all daily fluid intake.