It’s coming to the end of a really hot summer here in Australia. Staying hydrated is super important any time of the year but even more so in summer or if you are participating in sports that make you sweat. (or if you were on the same train as me last night with broken air conditioning, woo steamy!)
Water is vital for survival. We can last a lot longer without food than we can without water. Roughly three to five days before the body and internal organs start to shut down. Our brains alone are composed of 70% water. Every part of our bodies relies on water to make it work.
It is well documented that the ideal recommended amount of water a human should consume per day is about two litres. This is very negotiable. Everyone is different and depending on your lifestyle you may need more or less. If your hauling butt outside on a 40-degree day, then yeah you’re going to need more. Common sense stuff really.
Here’s an interesting fact for you. Vegetarians need less water than meat eaters to stay at optimal hydration. Why? When we consume animal based products extra water is required to break down the nitrogen atoms they contain. Nitrogen can only be processed by the body to make urea with the aid of water. (1) I can personally back up for this statement. Since returning to being vegetarian I am requiring less daily water than I did during my meat eating days.
Hydration is not solely about water either. Nutrients called electrolytes play a large part in our hydration balance. What are electrolytes?
Electrolytes are positively or negatively charged ions that conduct electrical activity. In the human body electrolytes must be present in proper concentrations to maintain fluid balance, muscle contraction and neural activity. (2)
Electrolytes are a combination of sodium, magnesium, potassium and calcium. These are all lost through sweating. That is why in hotter months or following vigorous workouts it is important to replace these minerals.
Most of us are aware of the symptoms of dehydration. Headaches, muscles cramps, fatigue/dizziness, nausea and sometimes-impaired mental clarity. A raging thirst usually means you are already dehydrated.
There are loads of electrolyte replacements on the market. It is a personal choice, which you chose. I personally steer clear of the high sugar sports drinks. Any drinks that are coloured are a good indication there are some not so good ingredients in there. Coconut water is awesome, very natural. Even better if you can get it fresh from the ‘nut.’
This recipe is a favourite, tried & tested one. It’s been around the block in Bikram Yoga circles for a long while. Bikram’s wife Rajashree is credited for its invention. Its’ simple, cheap and all the ingredients are easily found in your local super market or health food store. Happy hydrating!
Love & Light
1 – Virtue. D. 2003, Eating in Light: Making the Switch to Vegetarianism on Your Spiritual Path. Loc 579