April Showers Bring May Flowers
This time of the year, many people over the world start to grow weary of all the rain spring brings. The saying “April showers bring May flowers”, a shortened phrase from a poem penned back in the early 1600’s, was a reminder that a period of discomfort can provide the basis for a period of happiness and joy. What we can all recognize is that water is a necessity for life to endure.
Did you know that water makes up roughly 70% of the Earth's surface? Did you also know that water makes up more than two-thirds of human body weight and that the human brain is made up of 95% water; blood is 82% and lungs 90%? I didn’t either! I found the statistics to be amazing and staggering. Without water, our bodies would dehydrate and we would die in a few days!! A mere 2% drop in our body's water supply can trigger signs of dehydration such as: fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math and spelling, and difficulty focusing on smaller print, such as a computer screen or labels on a bottle.
Mild dehydration is also one of the most common causes of daytime fatigue, and as living proof, mild dehydration can also trigger PVC’s (Premature Ventricular Contractions of the heart). An estimated 75% of Americans have mild, chronic dehydration. We often hear that we should drink 6-8 eight-ounce glasses per day of water. Kudos to you if you already drink that much!! However, amounts really need to be tailored to meet the needs an each individual. Ideally, one should drink half their body weight in ounces of water. For example, someone who weighs 140 pounds should be drinking 70 ounces of water a day. Whenever I coach my clients to increase their water intake I almost always hear “If I drink that much, I’ll be in the bathroom all day!!” I once had someone explain to me why when we increase our water, we feel the need to void more frequently. He likened it to a sponge. When we pour water on a hard, dry sponge, water initially splashes right off, as the sponge is so dry it cannot absorb the water. But once the sponge becomes wet it can absorb and hold so much water that it takes one squeezing it to remove excess water. The same is true for our bodies.
If you are someone who doesn’t drink much water, don’t try to increase your water intake all at once. You’ll just lose it in the bathroom. Instead, try increasing your water intake by four ounces every week until you’ve reached your ideal water intake.
Here are just some of the important things water does for us:
- Serves as a lubricant everywhere in the body
- Regulates body temperature
- Removes harmful toxins from the body
- Transports valuable nutrients from the foods we eat to the body
When we are dehydrated, here are some signs our body warns us with:
- Dry, sticky mouth
- Sleepiness or tiredness
- Thirst (by the time you are thirsty you are already dehydrated!)
- Decreased urine output/dark urine output
- Few or no tears while crying
- Muscle cramps
- Headache, dizziness, or lightheadedness
We often ignore the signs of dehydration and risk our health in doing so. Thirst is one of our most powerful longings. There is no reasoning with it, no forgetting it, no overcoming it by ignoring it. When we are thirsty, we must give in to it. Thirst will be heard and we have to yield to its power!