Misty rain intensified and my steps became quicker. Determined to exercise before the rain came, I ventured off on a walk. Although just a mist, it made me think about how rain can be gloomy. But water brings life, to us and all living things.
Water rejuvenates. It brings refreshing comfort to dry earth, parched throats and dehydrated cells. Our bodies and minds yearn for it, literally and spiritually.
Jesus knew of the importance of water enough to describe His gift of eternal life as living water. Water is crucial for our survival.
Our brain is comprised of up to 78% water. When dehydrated, our attention, short term, long term and working memory all suffer. Brain shrinkage can occur with even the mild water loss of perspiration. It also occurs if we don’t drink enough water each day. If you are thirsty, you are already on your way to dehydration which impacts mind and body.
The recommended amount of water to drink is 8-8 oz. glasses/day on average for people in a temperate climate. Recommendations vary depending on exercise, climate, age and medical conditions.
Here are a few tips for your water consumption:
- Water works wonders for fatigue. Fatigue is typically a symptom of dehydration. When tired, drink water! It really does provide a boost to your body and brain.
- Drink a large glass before even getting out of bed. Overnight is when our bodies lose the most water, so put a glass on your bedside table and drink your first glass, first thing.
- If you don’t love water all by itself, add a slice of citrus. Whatever flavor you prefer-I love lemon in my water, but an orange or lime slice is great too. Be careful of flavor additives that add unnecessary calories &/or unwanted sugar substitutes.
- Although coffee and tea in moderation are good to stimulate us in the am, they can also dehydrate. So for every cup of coffee or tea, have another glass of water!
If you are like me, midafternoon fatigue and hunger occur frequently and can be when unhealthy food choices creep in. Rather than having a caffeine drink, a big glass of water is much more beneficial. In addition, replacing the junk food with a snack of whole grains, healthy nuts, dried fruits and a bit of sweetness provides the protein and carbs to get me through the rest of the day.
Here is a snack mix I put together and have on hand for those afternoons when I want a Coke or a Snickers:
To make this in your own proportions, I have listed it in parts. Use what specific items you enjoy to make it your own. The key is having brain healthy protein, whole grain carbs and a bit of extra sweetness if you desire. Make it in a big batch, it will keep for 2 weeks or more-if it lasts that long!
Wellness Journey Snack Mix
3 Parts Whole Grain Cereal-I use whole grain oatmeal squares, multigrain Cheerios & Rice or Corn Chex cereal-(make it gluten free by using only gluten free whole grain cereal-Rice or Corn Chex etc.)
2 Parts Brain Healthy Nut/Protein– I use plain unsalted almonds but walnuts or sunflower seeds work too. At times, I dry pan roast them with a bit of salt first which brings out the natural oils
1 Part Dried Fruit-I use dried cranberries or blueberries but raisins or chopped apricots would be tasty too
½ Part Semi-Sweet or Dark Chocolate Chips-the darker the better for your brain!
So have a drink of life giving water with this snack-your mind and body will thank you!