The Importance of Hydration

Written by Ashley Marie

Oct 14, 2019

How much water have you had today?

Are you drinking enough water on a daily basis?
 

We’ve all been told or asked the above statements many times, but REALLY how important is it to make sure you are drinking enough water? Although some of us think the water in our body is made of booze, it’s actually comprised mostly of water. Fun fact: between 60-70% of your body is water!

So how important is it to make sure you are drinking enough water? Let’s take a look at how hydration affects the systems in your body.

1. Fluids carry nutrients to your cells, which can help with regularity and also help flush bacteria from your urinary system (kidneys, bladder, ureter, urethra).

Fact: Your body needs nutrients – so think of water as a superhighway to make sure they get to where they need to go. Sometimes, after a night (or day) of drinking, you will be dehydrated (SHOCKER!). Not surprisingly, the water highway dries up and the nutrients in your system can get backed up, stuck, not dispersed correctly, etc. The best way to avoid drying up your nutrient superhighway (because it DOESN’T help a hangover), would be to have a glass of water in between the boozy cocktails. That way, you won’t experience the following:

If you are having fewer bowel movements, you are likely experiencing constipation due to a lack of fluids. Constipation can leave you feeling bloated, uncomfortable, fatigued and honestly – just plain gross sometimes. It can also reduce your appetite, which perpetuates the cycle a bit… Increasing your water intake can help reduce all that yuck and help you have more regular bowel movements. In addition, you increase your risk of a UTI due to concentrated urine if you’re not hydrated properly. Concentrated urine can irritate your bladder and make you feel like you have to go to the bathroom more frequently. Drinking more fluids helps flush irritants out of your system. Have you heard the phrase, “I’m sweating it out”? Booze is a fluid, although a dehydrating one, and still needs to be flushed out of your system – or sweated out if you’re following the rules 😉 #ByeFelicia   
 

2. Staying hydrated helps your heart pump more blood, through your blood vessels, and into your muscles more easily. So if you’re hydrated, your heart doesn’t have to work as hard. #goals
 
Better circulation and blood flow facilitate more oxygen in your cells and can improve your performance and recovery, as well as promote cardiovascular health as a whole. So, when you’re earning your booze – it’s not as difficult! Can you say #winning? However, when you’re dehydrated your heart has to work harder, so everyday activities, like walking up a flight of stairs, can be difficult. 

(Note: Cayenne pepper, pomegranate and cinnamon are also three foods that help increase blood flow and circulation.)  

Morning (non-boozy) gut and circulation cocktail
(Note: Drink this BEFORE you eat, drinking after may actually slow digestion. *This recipe may also help with weight loss if drank regularly.)

1-2 Tbs Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar
6-8 Oz Hot water
½ Lemon (fresh squeezed)
½-1 Tsp Cayenne pepper
1 Tsp Cinnamon 

3. How much water is the right amount of water?

Every body is different – literally. The amount of water that I need is different than the amount of water you need. On average, the goal is to drink 6 to 8 – 8oz glasses of water a day. For those of you who don’t do math often, that’s 48 to 64oz of water a day. However, if you’re drinking adult beverages, please keep in mind that booze, sugars, and salt, are dehydrating substances – so you will need to drink MORE water than normal to counteract the cocktails, EVEN IF YOU EARNED THEM. Like we discussed above: Booze. Glass of water. Booze. Glass of water. You got this. 👍 

Now personally, I drink about a gallon of water a day – which is 128oz (roughly 16 – 8oz glasses or about 8 – 16oz water bottles). I know, #math right? So after I’ve earned my booze, I still need to drink MORE than the gallon I usually do to keep myself hydrated. 

To gauge if you are hydrating enough, check your urine – if it is more clear or slightly yellow tinted, you’re doing a good job keeping yourself hydrated. If it is more yellow, or brown – you need to step your water game up yo.

4. Our brains depend on proper hydration to function properly.

Think of it like this: You know that feeling you get in the morning sometimes after a ROUGH night of boozing it up? The “my brain isn’t working” or the “brain fog” or my personal favorite – the “struggle bus.” That is your brain being mad at you for failing to properly hydrate so it can PROPERLY function. Brain cells require a balance of various elements and water to operate, so if you disrupt that balance with dehydration – your brain cells lose efficiency. Lack of fluid can affect your mood and memory (leading to increased symptoms of anxiety and tension), can make you more sensitive to pain, can reduce your cognitive function, and negatively impact your motor skills (walking, exercising, operating heavy machinery AKA driving). 

Driving dehydrated can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence or driving while exhausted, as all three of these scenarios reduce your reaction time, and concentration, and motor skills/abilities.

If we haven’t yet convinced you that staying hydrated is important, let’s talk about the impact dehydration has on your libido and sex drive.
 
Ladies, you’ve probably had a night where your man’s *princess sofia just wasn’t working – commonly referred to whiskey d***… here’s the science behind the boozy problem. 
(*Bonus points if you can name that movie reference!)

5. Being dehydrated can lower your libido and even cause sex to be painful.

Besides creating issues that make it hard to “get in the mood” like headaches, fatigue, and irritability, dehydration can also lead to erectile dysfunction (ED) (which can be caused by lack of blood flow [oxygen] or mood changes) and vaginal dryness (VD). VD can cause pain during sex, which isn’t going to make you all that excited to “do it”, is it? Your down there care needs just as much attention as the rest of your body, and the skin is susceptible to dryness if not taken care of properly. Which overall means, you need to make sure you are drinking enough water to keep your ENTIRE body hydrated. Failing to drink enough water can lead to itchiness, burning, and pain DOWN THERE – all of which can cause, or exacerbate, a yeast infection by throwing your body’s pH balance out of whack. Which definitely kills your sex life for a bit. 

Besides the physical issues caused by dehydration, a person’s mental state can have a HUGE effect on their sex drive. Not having enough fluid can increase your cortisol levels (stress hormone) and when those hormones are elevated, your body is going to respond and want to take fight or flight (run). Drinking more water helps reduce stress by helping your body respond to exterior stressors more seamlessly than it can when your cortisol levels are elevated. The less stressed you are, the more likely you are to want to get busy. 

Conclusion

All in all: Paying attention to your body’s hydration can benefit you in SO many ways! Keep in mind though, that booze – even though it’s fun and awesome, caffeine, salt, and sugars are all dehydrating substances. So if you’re going to Earn Your Booze, and sweat it out, make sure you increase your water intake alongside those foods and drinks to keep yourself properly hydrated. 

RECAP!

Proper hydration can:

1. Help carry nutrients to your cells, help with regularity and also flush bacteria from your bladder (and other boozy irritants from your system). 
Proper hydration can: help your heart pump blood, through your blood vessels and into your muscles more easily. Therefore, creating better blood flow and more oxygen in your blood, which helps with performance and recovery, as well as erectile issues. #yourwelcome
 
2. Help your brain function properly, which affects your mood, memory, efficiency, pain sensitivity, cognitive abilities and motor skills. Mood also effects your sex drive… better mood = better sex drive. Did I miss anything there? Because it basically affects EVERYTHING.
  
3. Have a positive effect on your sex drive, libido and cortisol levels. It can help with ED by giving the body proper blood flow (no more whiskey d*** guys!) and with VD by making sure your ENTIRE body is hydrated properly, as well as reduce the chances of a yeast infection. 

Less stress = more sex 😊

So… have you had enough (water) to drink today?

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