The Secret to Avoiding the 3pm Slump
Feeling cranky? You could be thirsty.
Midafternoon and you are feeling tired, sluggish, and stressed. You might find yourself yawning and moping around, maybe even snacking on sugary food to keep your energy up. Your head is pounding and suddenly focusing on a task is seemingly impossible. If this sounds familiar, you may not be drinking enough water.
Picture this: the human body is more than 60% water. In fact, water is the single most vital resource for the health of the human body. Even mild dehydration can have a negative effect on mood and energy levels. Now take into account that over 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. This is bad news!
Did you know that without proper water intake the human body actually starts to deteriorate? When consumption is limited, the enzyme activity in the body slows way down. Blood flow to the heart and brain is sluggish. Vital tissues and organs start to dry out and struggle to function properly. As a result you start to feel lethargic, sick, and irritable. Chronic dehydration can contribute to many health issues such as fatigue, high blood pressure, skin disorders, digestive malfunction, constipation, weight gain, high cholesterol, asthma and premature aging.
Dehydration is not always easy to identify and is often mistaken for sleep deprivation or even hunger. Left untreated, dehydration can cause extreme health repercussions or even death.
5 Signs That it’s Time for Another Glass of H20:
- Food Cravings
Strong cravings for food (especially sweet foods) can be a sign that you are dehydrated. If you find yourself wanting to snack, reach for some fresh fruits and veggies. Certain foods such as berries, watermelon, cucumber, celery and lettuce are almost 90% water and will work to hydrate and nourish your body.
Our brains swim in fluid inside of our skulls. As our body uses up its water stores, this fluid is reduced. In severe cases, the brain starts to brush against the skull causing discomfort in the form of a headache. Pay attention to any head pain or dizziness as these can be symptoms of severe dehydration.
- Cold Clammy Skin
As fluid in the circulatory system decreases, the body tries to compensate by restricting blood vessels to maintain a healthy blood pressure. This process causes blood flow to the skin to shut down. As a result, the skin becomes cold and clammy, and may look pale.
- Fatigue, Brain Fog & Mood Swings
As little as a 2% drop in body fluid can lead to fuzzy short term memory and irritability. Dehydration affects the whole body, including the central nervous system. As your fluid levels decrease, your body literally starts to shut down. This leads to low energy, fatigue symptoms and just general weariness. The ability to concentrate is completely diminished and stress levels start to rise.
- Dry Mouth
“Dry Mouth” is one of the last signs of dehydration. By the time you actually feel thirsty you are already partially dehydrated. Starting each day with a glass of water is a good idea as it will help to flush out toxins and prevent dehydration before it sets in.
Additional Warning Signs of Dehydration:
Although the above signs are good indicators, you may not always have obvious symptoms. Luckily, there are other ways to detect whether or not you are sufficiently hydrated.
Pinch a small section of skin on the back of your hand between your fingertips and pull upwards away from your hand. Quickly release the skin and notice what happens. If you are well hydrated, your skin should shrink back rapidly to its original form. If the skin stays loose and pinched, you could be dehydrated.
Simply take a moment to notice the color of your urine each day. If you are drinking enough water your urine will be clear. If urine appears lightly colored or yellow you are about 3% dehydrated. Darker urine and orange urine are strong indicators of moderate to severe dehydration.
Dehydration can be dangerous and at times life threatening. Call a doctor or seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of the following:
-Low urine output and/or dark urine
-Blue lips or blotchy skin
-Severe lethargy and confusion
-Rapid breathing and a rapid or weak pulse
Staying conscious of your water consumption is easy to do if you pay attention to your body’s warning signs. Keep a water bottle handy and take small sips throughout the day. Try to stay away from other kinds of liquid, as our body processes water more efficiently than anything else. Juice, coffee, or tea will not have the same benefit as a pure glass of clean filtered water.
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