Best Friend Handbook: Drink Up
My friend Katherine Stuart writes a wonderful blog,”Best Friend Handbook,” everything from fashion and beauty tips to nutrition and recipes – including recipes for success. In one of her latest blogs, Katherine talks about the importance of staying hydrated. Yes, we know you know the basics, but how about the fact that being dehydrated in any way can harm your heart – and dehydration wreaks havoc on your skin? Katherine also lets us know how to calculate exactly how much water we need to consume, how to track our H2O consumption, and her favorite water bottles. (One of them doubles as a mini roller.)
I was recently reminded of the importance of staying hydrated when my Mom wound up in the hospital for dehydration. Although we’re all probably familiar with the symptoms of mild dehydration:
• feeling thirsty
• dry mouth
More severe dehydration can actually be dangerous. It can make your blood pressure drop which makes you lightheaded, which can make you fall, which can result in a concussion, broken bones and/or severe bruising. Not fun. It can also make you confused, unable to understand or make a decision, and, worst of all, it can seriously harm your heart. Being dehydrated in any way makes your blood more viscous which is bad for your cardiovascular system. It also may harm your endothelium which is a thin layer that lines the blood vessels and helps to regulate blood flow. Bottom line, a happy heart is a hydrated heart.
And in case that isn’t enough to stress the importance of staying hydrated, not drinking enough water makes your skin look and feel like crap — sensitive, itchy, scaly and with fine lines that suddenly look more like valleys. Skin that isn’t getting enough H2O loses elasticity or “bounce back” which is one of the fundamental pillars of youthful looking skin. Would you rather have skin that feels taunt or more like a slightly deflated balloon? Yep, that’s what I thought.
So, here are some tips for staying hydrated:
How Much H2O?
The standard rule for staying hydrated is eight 8 oz. glasses a day which is about 2 liters, but the right amount is really going to depend on your body weight and your activity level. If you weigh 120 lb., for example, you will need to drink 80 ounces of water a day. Then add (or subtract) 7 ounces for every 10 lb.. Ok, that’s pretty easy. But do you exercise? If so, you will need to up your total water intake by 12 ounces for every 30 minutes of exercise. That should give you a baseline. Then, it’s time to count your bathroom breaks. If you’re not getting up to pee at least 6 times a day then you need to drink up.
Track Your H2O…
More about Katherine Stuart:
Katherine is a former movie executive and screenwriter who now runs her own content company, Content by Katherine. Her blog, the Best Friend Handbook, was born out of a desire to help other women feel better about themselves. As a lifelong best friend, fashion aficionado, former Pilates instructor, and amateur cook as well as the person that everyone comes to for advice, Katherine decided to take her opinions global, and create a virtual best friend. You know, someone who loves you no matter what. Who never judges you for eating, say, a quart of ice cream, always knows the best recipe for an impromptu dinner party and who can tell you exactly which eye cream will make you look like less of a hag the morning after one glass too many.