I know that I have repeatedly told my own story of when I sat down to work one morning, long before the sun came up and then suddenly wondered why it had had gone dark, and then realized that the sun had gone down and it was now night time. Sadly, what is most concerning out of this particular story, is not only the fact that I was so engrossed in what I was doing that I did not notice the passage of time, but that I did not eat or drink anything during this whole period. I do recall thinking, on occasion throughout the day, that I should get something to drink – but that thought was quickly followed by “let me just finish . . .” whatever it was that I was doing at that moment in time. When I did finish whatever it was that I was doing, the memory of the thought that I needed to drink something was long gone and I just went onto the next thing that I needed to do.
Here’s the thing though – apparently by the time you feel thirsty, your body is already in the throes of dehydration.
According to an article by Dr. Robin Rushlo, our bodies are supposed to be made up of about 70% water. Our blood, “muscles, skin and vital organs all contain and need large amounts of water for optimal health. Water also transports oxygen to your cells and delivers nutrients, removes waste and provides energy to the body.”
Clearly, my not having had anything to eat and/or drink the whole day was not a good idea and I was obviously quite dehydrated by the time that I realized that the day was gone.
We also seem to lose quite a large amount of liquid during the course of the day – around 2.5 litres (and remember with that liquid we also lose a lot of salt when we sweat – something that I had to learn the hard way earlier this year), through normal bodily functions such as sweating, breathing and body waste. Also the more physically active we are the more liquid we use.
According to Dr Rushlo, the “symptoms of mild dehydration include chronic pains in joints and muscles, lower back pain, headaches and constipation.”
Drinking loads of coffee (or caffeine type drinks) or soft drinks, also doesn’t help because of the caffeine and the artificial sweeteners, that have their own accumulative side effects and the bottom line is that they usually make us lose more liquid than they give us. So again, not enough liquid in the body. Dr Rushlo says that “many people are unknowingly in a mild state of undiagnosed dehydration.”
Sadly I think, he is talking directly to me!
You see part of my problem is that I don’t particularly like the taste of water and whilst it is funny when I say that I have to put the ‘whiskey into the water to disinfect it’, the truth of the matter is that I can’t be drinking whiskey all day long either!
So, what am I doing about this sad and sorry state of affairs?
Well firstly, now when I sit down at my desk to work, I also set the alarm (one of those oven timer type gadgets). That way, every hour, I get to either have something to drink or even just get up to walk around for a few minutes. Secondly (thanks to my friend Claudie and Woolworths), I have discovered that ice cold (and I mean with lots and lots of ice) water that has some sort of fruit in it, doesn’t taste too bad. Yesterday I had a strawberry day, with about six sliced strawberries in a large beer glass with lots of ice and water. The day before was half a peeled lemon and today it’s going to be a peach day. The slight hint of the flavour of the fruit and the ice makes the taste of the water quite nice and I find myself replenishing my ‘water’ several times during the course of the day.
Whichever way you choose to get the required levels of liquid into your body though, just make sure that you do – your life depends upon it.