Dehydration is the term health care professionals use to describe the lack of sufficient fluids in your body. Living in the desert makes drinking the right amount and type of fluids critical to your health. It is recommended that you drink at least six-8 oz. glasses of water in the winter and ten-8 oz. glasses in the summer.
Healthy fluids for your body include: water, water and more water—filtered, non-filtered, iced, bottled…As long as it’s clean and fresh, it’s fine! Fluids that are not as good for your body include caffeinated or decaffeinated drinks. Sugar or artificial sweeteners in drinks can irritate the bladder and make you the feel like you need to urinate. Beverages such as coffee, tea and cola contain caffeine which can act as a diuretic, causing you to lose fluid, and can result in dehydration (not enough fluids for the body to function properly). Now to get to the most important part of this blog…Changing what you drink to mostly water can be easy. Start by replacing just one glass of your favorite beverage with water, per day, for several days. Then replace another glass of your favorite beverage with water. Keep this up until most of what you drink is water.
You want a fresh source of fluids flowing through your body all the time. Foods will digest better, medications will dissolve better, and you will feel better. Often people will tell me, “If I drink all that fluid I will be in the bathroom all day”. Actually, your body will become accustomed to the amount of water and the increase in fluids will make your urine less concentrated. Proper hydration helps your brain, bladder, intestines and heart while also helping to prevent urinary tract infections.
Debbie Ohlrich BSN, RN, CWCN