505-662-31001450 Iris St. Los Alamos, NM 87544
THE FAMILY YMCA Los Alamos, NM

Bandelier

Session 2: Hydration

Class Work:
1. Weigh In
2. Add your team weights up
3. Post on the Wellness Board
Healthy Hydration

Our bodies are made up of 65-70% water. We must drink the right amount of clean water to maintain healthy bodies. Too little water can cause dehydration. Repeated or prolonged dehydration can lead to kidney stones and urinary tract infections. Dehydration can also lead to seizures due to an imbalance in your electrolytes. The most serious effect of dehydration is hypovolemic shock, or low blood volume and can lead to death. While these are three examples of extreme dehydration, mild dehydration can lead to a myriad of problems as well. Unexplained hunger, headaches, fatigue, irritability, and dizziness are all signs if mild dehydration. Fortunately dehydration is easy to fix, just drink some water. However, too much water can result in mineral and electrolyte imbalances, also known as hyponatremia. Hyponatremia is a serious illness and in rare instances can lead to death. Finding the right amount of water for our bodies to function properly depends on your individual circumstances. Part of your homework assignment for this week will be to calculate your daily water needs. Regardless of the number you discover, a good rule of thumb, your urine should be straw colored, any darker and you are probably dehydrated!

Lifestyle and environment factors also need to be considered when determining how much water we need. For example, we absorb or loose water depending on the type of food we eat. Leafy green vegetables and fruits hydrate our bodies, while fast food and salty items require extra water for digestion. Other factors increase our need for water including: hot, humid temperatures, arid environments, high altitude living, exercise, illnesses, pregnancy, and alcohol intake.

The buying and selling of water is a huge market in America, but what type is best? Access to clean tap water is not an option for everyone, and checking your water supply by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is always a good idea. Marketers would have us believe that bottled water is best. However, 25% of bottled water is really just tap water sealed in a plastic bottle!. Additionally, there is no current limit on the amount of phthalates (developmental toxins) found in bottled water, but there are such limits for tap water.. Finally, 17 million barrels of oil are used to produce the plastic for bottled water each year, and only 22% of those bottles are recycled. Using a non-reactive metal or glass reusable water bottle to reduce your exposure to plastics and investing in a filtering system is your best bet for your body, your pocket book, and our environment.

You are probably saying to yourself, okay great, I need to drink water, but what in the world does this have to do with weight loss? An estimated 65% of hunger signals are really dehydration signals. Our bodies tell us to head to the kitchen, when all it really wants is a nice drink of water. So the next time you think you are hungry, drink a glass of water before you have that snack.
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Homework
1) Keep up with those food journals, have you noticed any trends in your eating habits?
2) Calculate how much water you need in a day.
3) Start tracking the amount of water and other drinks you consume in a day.
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