Have you hydrated today?
This is a question I am frequently asked. Mostly because I have a heart condition and when I let myself get dehydrated I get chest pains and my beat goes out of rhythm. A heart condition isn’t the only reason to stay hydrated though and as authors and bloggers it’s one area we tend to forget.
Welcome to the Manic Writer
Hi, I’m Ann Shannon, the Manic Writer and this is my November contribution to the #authortoolbox blog hop. The #authortoolbox hop is hosted by Raimey Gallant. She’s an amazing blogger with a background in marketing and she writes! (She might be a superhero!) You can click here to check out Raimey and the other participants in the hop. They’re a great bunch of bloggers and writers and I’m excited to be a part of the group. As for me, I write romance and I spotlight Indie Authors on my blog because Indie’s are awesome! I giveaway an indie book every month. Won’t you drop your email in that subscribe box and join me in my mania?
The focus of the #authortoolbox is to help our fellow authors be, well, authors. The topics range from marketing, to editing, critiquing and author related products. I’ve learned a lot from hopping around the various posts and I’ve contributed my own planning system. You can check out the #authortoolbox tag on the sidebar to see my other posts and get my printables to help you organize your own days, weeks, months and years. If you’re an author you can even join the hop! Click that link above to check out the other posts is where you sign up.
This is the second installment in my new column about the author and self-care. Though it’s really just me reminding myself what I should do to take better care of myself. My guess is there are many people out there who also need the reminder and so I’ll talk out loud and offer it to them as well. Besides I learn best when I take notes.
I have great plans for this column and many ideas, but I figured I’d cover the basics first; Sleep, last month; Hydration, this month and next month I’ll discuss eating.
First Things First
It bears repeating that I pass no judgment on anyone for how they hydrate. Drinking, what you choose and how you manage it is a personal decision and can only be approached individually. I am not a doctor and my advice is not meant to diagnose or contradict your doctors advice. If you have questions then I recommend that you talk with your doctor or another medical professional to determine what’s best for you.
Water, the one thing the human body can’t go without. The average human will last three weeks without food, (I might last a little longer, just saying.) but it will shut down after just three days with no water. I kind of get sketchy after a few hours, but that might be my heart. How long can you go without a drink before you feel it?
Do you know the signs of dehydration? The Family Doctor lists them as urinating less often than usual, dark colored urine, dry mouth, sleepiness, headache, confusion and dizziness. They suggest you take action to avoid these symptoms rather than wait for them to show up.
The human body needs water so badly because it is made up of about 60% water! Any Trekkies in the audience who remember the “Ugly bags of mostly water” line. Ugly was obviously a personal judgement, I think we are all quite beautiful, but apparently we are just bags of water.
Water is the building block for almost every function in the human body. It is key in chemical reactions, it transports nutrients and waste, maintains blood volume, regulates temperature and also functions as shock absorber when we are hit.
When we are properly hydrated our bodies function better, and maintain our weight more easily, maintain mood, and boost brainpower.
As an author I need my brain to function as well as it can. That alone is a good reason for me to stay properly hydrated.
So how can we hydrate? What is hydrating and what is not?
Of course water comes to mind, but sometimes we need a break from plain old water. And not all drinks are equal hydraters. Daily Burn has some great suggestions when you need something besides water to sip at while you pound out your next story on the keyboard.
Their first suggestion isn’t something you drink at all. They recommend fruits and veggies that have a high water content such as watermelon, lettuce, and cucumber. There is a variety of vegetables you can choose from and they’ll satisfy that urge to munch while you’re working too!
On the drink menu they suggest, milk, smoothies and sports drinks, though they do warn that you should be aware of the sugar content and not overdo it. Visit their site for more great ideas and to find out why coffee makes their list of alternative drinks when you need to hydrate!
Finally, how much do you need to drink?
How much is a very personal question and depends on your own personal body and medical conditions. If you have questions and aren’t sure ask your doctor to help you figure it out. The basic rule is to sip at water through out the day. If you find yourself feeling thirsty then drink a little more, if you find yourself running to the bathroom too often, then drink a little less.
As I said in the beginning, I have a heart condition that acts up if I get dehydrated. I have a cup of hot tea in the morning. It’s a comfort food for me and it makes me smile. Then I drink water or homemade, lightly sweetened iced tea throughout the day as I need. Sometimes I manage to stay hydrated enough and sometimes I don’t.
How do you stay hydrated? Do you use a water bottle or a very large coffee cup? Chime in on the comments and let me know.
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