Keep drinking enough water even as the weather turns cold


As the weather here in Toronto starts to turn colder my Vintage Fitness clients tend to decrease the amount of water that they drink. A newsletter from Newport Natural Health explains the importance of staying hydrated.

Wake Up To Water

Being well hydrated means your body's organs have the water they need to function properly. That's why I encourage my patients to start each day by drinking 22 ounces of fresh water first thing in the morning. Think about it -- you've just spent seven or eight hours sleeping, and, during that time, your body has lost water due to respiration (breathing) and perspiration. Plus, your body has been undergoing a detoxification process while you were sleeping. Grabbing a cup of coffee may help you wake up, but it won't do much to rehydrate you. Drinking water first helps replace what was lost during sleep and helps remove toxins from the nighttime purification process, making water the "solution to pollution" that accumulates during the night. As an added bonus, many patients tell me they have much more energy during the day when they wake up to water. I know I certainly do.

In addition, drinking plenty of water can significantly reduce the risk of a healthy individual having a fatal heart attack, according to a study of more than 20,000 men and women. Researchers found that drinking five or more glasses of plain water daily is as important as a nutritious diet, regular exercise, and not smoking when it comes to preventing a fatal heart attack. Dehydration increases blood's "stickiness," and raises levels of several heart-disease risk factors. You know how hard you have to squeeze to get honey out of a plastic bottle. That's an image of how hard your heart has to work to pump blood when you're not drinking enough water. Now, contrast that image with a squeeze bottle filled with a free-flowing liquid like water. No comparison, right? So simply staying hydrated protects the heart by making it easier to do its job.

Don't Risk Dehydration

Often, patients tell me they use thirst as a guide to drinking water. Red flag time! Thirst is a sign of dehydration, and you definitely don’t want to go there. First of all, many people misinterpret thirst as hunger, so, instead of water, they reach for a snack. In addition, our sense of thirst diminishes as we age, so thirst is not a very good indicator of the need for water.

Symptoms of dehydration cover a wide range and may include: achy, painful joints, constipation, irritability, difficulties with ordinary mental tasks, wrinkles, fatigue, faster-than-
normal heart rate, decreased urine output and, of course, thirst or dry mouth. If you think you may be dehydrated, lightly pinch the skin on your forearm. If it stays "pinched" for more than a second or two before returning to normal, you probably need more water.
Leigh Erin Connealy, M.D.


Good Luck!

Erin Billowits

Vintage Fitness serving Toronto Canada including Downtown, North York, East York, Markham, Unionville, Etobicoke, Mississauga, Brampton, Burlington