By Dr. Kimberley Ramberan, ND
Hydration for the Holidays! The holidays are upon us! This is the perfect time of year to emphasize how important hydration is. There are so many things to do! So many people to see that we want to feel our best and actually enjoy our time with friends and family. Nothing is worse than getting to your holiday vacation and getting sick or feeling run down.
During the summer, we tend to think more about drinking water and staying hydrated. During the colder season, many people have reported harder to drink water. But staying hydrated is equal, if not, more important this time of year to combat some of the issues we all deal with.
Dry Skin, Dry Lips, and Dry Scalp
The winter brings harsher weather outside and drier conditions inside our homes. Considering the skin your body’s largest organ, your skin needs to stay hydrated. Hydration of the skin maintain its proper barrier functions. We can put on all the lotion and chapstick we want, but hydrated skin, lips, and scalp start from the inside out.
Dehydrated skin can lead to:
Exaggerated appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
Exacerbation of acne
Other inflammatory skin conditions
Low Immune System Function
A low immune system makes you more susceptible to catching that runny nose, annoying cough, and dreaded flu. When we experience dehydration, our immune system has a huge impact on our lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a complex network of vessels. This system runs all over the body like a river system. These vessels transport our immune system via lymph fluid so it can attack bacteria and viruses that enter the body to prevent us from being sick. When we experience dehydration, we have less lymph fluid. So our river system has dried up and our immune system cells can’t get transported to where they need to go which leaves our bodies vulnerable.
1 Drink, 2 Drinks, 3 Drinks…More?!
We have all said those famous last words, “I never want to drink again!” as a result of the dreaded HANGOVER. The common symptoms of a hangover is a result of our body trying to deal with the toxic burden of excess alcohol consumption. Alcohol gets processed through our liver and kidneys. Ever wonder why you have to pee more? That is due to more fluid intake! As well as your body is trying to get rid of harmful by-products and utilizes water to help the detox process. So alcohol can be very dehydrating, which can deplete not only the water stores in our body, but also water-soluble vitamins. Also, our essential electrolyte levels get thrown way out of balance resulting in a state that gets harder and harder to bounce back from.
Low Mood and Low Energy
With less sunlight and less outdoor time, many people report struggling with a lower mood and lower energy levels in the winter months. Dehydration only adds to these issues. One of the major symptoms of dehydration is low energy. Some studies have shown that even mild dehydration can affect your energy levels, mood and ability to think clearly. Your brain is 73% water! If you are not drinking enough water, there is no way that your brain will be able to function at maximum capacity.
Dehydration symptoms: headaches, foggy thoughts, and irritability.
If I’m not Thirsty then how can I be Dehydrated?
The human body has some amazing features that help us survive and adapt to harsh circumstances. Whether you are lacking water because you are in the Sahara Desert or if you forget to fill up your water bottle, your body will sense dehydration. Your body will not be able to distribute nutrients, eliminate toxins, and heal tissues if you are not getting enough water. Your body is already at a critical deficit if you are feeling thirsty. Additionally, if your body is regularly dehydrated it will shut down the thirst feeling we get to some extent to help make us more comfortable.
Here are some statements that can mean you aren’t drinking enough water on a regular basis:
I’m never thirsty and I don’t drink water.
I’m always thirsty even though I drink water.
Whenever I drink water I have to pee immediately.
When I drink water I get nauseated.
If you identify with one or some of these statements, bring this up with a Naturopathic Doctor! It could be helpful to create some simple individualized solutions to help you hydrate. As well as improve your overall health especially if you are dealing with chronic health concerns.
Tips on How You Start to Hydrate?
Start off by making it your goal to drink at least 2 litres of water per day~8 glasses. There are all these calculations out there that can get intricate. But working yourself up to 2L per day in the span of 1-2 weeks can be a comfortable way to start.
For every glass of caffeinated beverages you drink, add in an extra glass of water.
If your lifestyle causes you to sweat, talk with an ND about proper replacement electrolytes.
Having soups and broths this time of year is a great way to get hydration from foods.
Add things like citrus fruits, berries, or mint to water to help keep things more interesting.
The Next Piece of the Puzzle: Electrolytes
Think of electrolytes like the motor oil in your car. They don’t make the engine run, but they’re necessary to keep everything running. Your electrolyte levels depend on proper functioning. The proper functioning of the digestive, nervous, cardiac, and muscular systems.
The take home message here is that water AND electrolytes are both essential for proper hydration. Electrolytes are electrically charged minerals and compounds that help your body function. Electrolytes help produce energy, contract your muscles, and regulate pH levels. Here are the types of electrolytes: sodium, chloride, potassium and calcium. Without a proper supply of these substances, water can’t do its job properly.
An electrolyte imbalance can lead to:
Losing fluids as a result of vomiting or diarrhea, sweating or fever.
Not drinking or eating enough.
Medications such as steroids, diuretics and laxatives.
Post surgery or after blood loss
Hydration Solutions with Dr. Kimberley Ramberan:
IV Therapy can be a great way to get the necessary fluid. It is a fast, effective and safe way to get electrolytes and vitamins into you. Also a great way to help you recover from a wild weekend or that lingering cold or flu that won’t go away. If you would like to book an IV Therapy session with Dr. Kimberley Ramberan , please contact us! If you would like to learn more about IV Therapy, please email or book a free 15 minute meet and greet.
Consult with Dr. Ramberan about proper electrolyte supplementation. A plan that would be safe and effective for you to use on a daily basis.
Work with Dr. Ramberan to improve overall system absorption and utilization of nutrients.
“As a rule of thumb in my practice, I will make sure my patients are properly hydrated. Before starting on protocols, I will implement a way to ensure optimal utilization of nutrients. So whether it’s the last push at work before the year is done, all the holiday parties, all the shopping, outdoor activities, the cold weather and all the other things that make the holidays so lovely and so busy, make hydration your #1 priority, you’ll definitely feel the difference.”
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