Tag Archive for dehydration

What You Need to Know About Hydration and Brain Health

The easiest way to get healthier fast is with good old fashioned water. Sounds easy right? But most of America is chronically dehydrated; leading to more than just a little dry mouth. Water plays a vital role in every aspect of our bodies. Studies have shown that most people are always partially dehydrated. This means that their brain is working considerably below its capacity and potential. Scary, right? » Read more..

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Keep Your Brain & Body Healthy This Winter

By: Emily Roberts, MA, LPC

Tis the season to be…Sick? Injured? Exhausted?  Let’s hope not.  As the chilly air approaches and the snowflakes begin to fall your immune system is up for a challenge.  Winter is notoriously one of the most difficult times of the year on our health.  Holiday stress takes a toll on us mentally and physically, add in a cold, dehydration, or even a hit to the head and you have yourself a rough few months.  In order to keep your family healthy this seasons our suggestions below.

Immunity Boost.  Our immune systems often take a nose dive when there is a change in temperature.  As adults, the stress of the season, end of year deadlines, and having contact with our office mates who arefeeling under-the-weather, can severely affect our body’s ability to fight off viruses. For kids, they are constantly around runny noses and germs. You know the drill one kid get the flu, and suddenly a classroom of 20 becomes 10.

- Tip: For adults and children, make sure that you are taking your vitamins consistently. Studies suggest that when taken regularly, vitamins and minerals do their job to keep us healthy and happy. When implemented at the sign of sickness, they are not built up in our immune system enough to ward off viruses. Also, it is suggested that Vitamin D, especially in the wintertime, can ward off depression and increase overall immunity.

-Tip: Remember the basics and remind children: cover your mouth/ nose when you sneeze-don’t sneeze on others, wash your hands,  use hand sanitizer, blow your nose in a tissuenot your shirt sleeve ( I really do see adults do this all the time- yuck!) .

Stay Hydrated.  Getting our H20 intake is one of the most neglected parts of our winter routine and is detrimentally to our health.  Dehydration can be just as common in the winter as in the summer. Since your body is not sweating as much as it did in those hot and humid summer months, it’s easy to overlook the signs of dehydration. A dehydrated body can lead to exhaustion, muscle fatigue, cramps, loss of coordination and even stroke.  Dehydration can also leave your body more susceptible to common colds and flu, which are both more prevalent in the winter.

- Tip: Coffee can dehydrate you big time, and although it’s tempting on a chilly day, try tea instead.  The health benefits of tea are immense. The American Dietetic Association (ADA) suggests many teas increase immunity, fight free radicals, reduce cancer risks, heart disease, and other ailments.  Tea also contains flavonoids that may help with blood vessel functionality and buildup of cholesterol. If you’re not into tea, try hot tea, sparkling water, or flavored water if regular water isn’t hitting the spot. For kiddos, cut their juice with water, and decaffeinated flavored tea such as spiced apple or honey lemon can make a great warm treat (plus many feel mature drinking tea- huge selling
point!). Read more: Howto Stay Hydrated During Winter | eHow.com

Head Injuries.  Winter sports can bring on many physical risks.  For our skiers and snowboarders out there helmet use is strongly recommended.  Long term mental issues are often systemic of childhood head injuries.  Dr. Daniel Amen’s work on traumatic brain injury has more verified this. Helmet use is associated with a 22 percent to 60 percent reduction in head injury risk, but helmets are not being used by the majority of those on the slopes. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that half of head injuries on the slopes could be prevented by helmets, but a survey of several United States ski resorts found that helmets were worn by just one in eight skiers and snowboarders. Notably, the most-skilled athletes were most likely to wear a helmet.

-Tip:  If your renting ski supplies make sure that you ask for helmets, many rental facilities do not reserve these for you unless you ask in advance.

-Tip: If your child protests, find a picture of a famous Olympic athlete cruising down the slope in their cool helmets, it will help them make a positive association with staying safe.  Also be a good role model, if you’re telling them to wear aone, and your helmet-less they are less likely to comply.

So drink up, stay safe, and be healthy this season.  You’ll enjoy hitting the slopes and building those snowmen much more with an optimal immune system- and your kids will too!

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Thirsty? Are You Getting Enough Water?

By Emily Roberts, MA, LPC

Are you getting enough Water? Let’s face it, most of us consume more caffeine then we do water, and with the summer heat, getting hydrated is more important than ever.  Many of us are running on energy drinks and soda, without even thinking about how many glasses of water we have had.  The bottom line is adults and children in the United States are dehydrated, which consequently effects brain chemistry and ones overall health.  Adequate hydration is important for proper brain functioning, as mild dehydration can impair your ability to concentrate, compromise your digestive track, and cause a decrease in energy.

To calculate how much water one needs divide body weight by three to yield the minimum water needed to detoxify the brain daily, if one is exercising heavily divide the body weight by two.  See the table for The Beverage Institute of Health and Wellness recommendations. http://www.thebeverageinstitute.com/

Most children are not getting enough water either, without this we see the same symptoms as we do adults, plus a lot more irritability and focus issues.  It’s important to make sure they are drinking plenty of water when they are outside playing, especially in these warm summer months. Studys show that children will drink up to 50 percent more water if it’s flavored (certainly, adults will too).  Make sure the flavored drinks they consume are all natural, made mostly from water, and do not have added sugars, dyes, or flavors. Here are some other creative ways to get children, and adults, to get their recommended H2o for the day.

  • Sparkling water- this is a favorite among kids and adults I know.  These come in subtle flavors such as mixed berry, lemon, lime, and grapefruit.  I am currently obsessed with the strawberry flavor at Whole Foods, I drank 32oz without even realizing it.
  • Fruit and Vegetable juice- remember many fruits and vegetables are high in water, I suggest diluting juice with 25 percent water to get more with great flavor.
  • Broth based soups and Popsicles- believe it or not, they are high in water content and contribute to your daily fluid intake.
  • Tea- weather its iced tea, green tea, or decaffeinated tea, this is a great way to get flavor and nutrients, as well as hydration.
  • Emergen-C packets- one packet in 8 oz of water gives you 1000 mg of vitamin C, 24 vitamins and minerals, and a great taste to boot.  They make water fizzy, tasty, and full of nutrients; great for kids and adults. http://www.emergenc.com/

Remember, drinking water is the easiest thing you can do to increase hydration, detoxify your body and brain, and help you with optimal health.  By now you are probably reaching for a glass of water (yay). Make sure in these hot summer months, you and your children are getting enough to drink!

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