HYDRATION – Why drinking water alone does not “hydrate” the body during menopause
You’ve heard it many times…drink lots and lots of water! You should be drinking a minimum of half your body weight in ounces of water each and every day. Sounds great…but are you hydrating or just flushing your system?
Here’s a common misunderstanding: There’s a big difference between drinking water and actually absorbing water (hydrating). People are getting much better at trying to drink more water, but what happens is you’re not absorbing much of it at all because you don’t have the essential minerals, electrolytes, and salts to keep it in the system. It will certainly make you go to the loo more, and you may think thats a good thing, right? Well, no…you, are simply flushing your system and not allowing the body to actually absorb the essential minerals that the body needs.
This is even more critical during menopause, especially if you’re experiencing intense hot flushes and sweating more, because this means you are losing fluids that include sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium, which make up your electrolytes and cannot be replaced with water alone. If you sweat excessively with hot flushes and night sweats you must replenish the nutrients lost in order for your body to adapt and recover.
Electrolytes are chemicals (primarily sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin c) that form ions in body fluids. They help make sure specific bodily functions run at optimal levels. Too few electrolytes can cause such things as:
* Muscle aches, spasms, twitches and weakness
* Frequent headaches
* Feely very thirsty
* Heart palpitations or irregular heartbeats
* Digestive issues like cramps, constipation or diarrhea
* Confusion and trouble concentrating
* Bone disorders
* Joint pain
* Blood pressure changes
* Changes in appetite or body weight
* Fatigue (including chronic fatigue syndrome)
* Numbness and pain in joints
* Dizziness, especially when standing up suddenly
As you will see, some of these symptoms relate to our menopause symptoms too, so, making sure your electrolytes are in balance could help reduce the intensity of many of these symptoms.
Drink enough water (but not too much)
To prevent dehydration you need to make sure you are absorbing the water you drink, rather than it just flushing out your system and reducing your electrolyte balance even further.
As well as drinking plain water, focus on these foods — which are some of the most hydrating due to being very water-dense:
1. Coconut water
6. Bell peppers
7. Citrus fruit
9. Cultured dairy (kefir/yogurt)