Memory For Mommies

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Mommies, What are You Doing to Avoid Dehydration and Protect Your Memory?

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 water footprints

Avoiding dehydration is an issue that most mommies struggle with every day. Dehydration is defined as a condition of inadequate body fluids. Most of us go through our daily lives in a mild state of dehydration. Research has shown that dehydration starves your brain of water which forces it to work harder. In addition, recent research has revealed that failing to drink enough water can make your gray matter shrink, reducing the size and performance of your brain. Researchers also believe that even just 90 minutes of steady sweating (without rehydration) can shrink the brain as much as a year of ageing. This has led some medical researchers to conclude that Alzheimer's disease is simply the result of long-term dehydration of the brain.

 

Mommies are more prone to dehydration more than others because of a number of factors including physical changes, increased pace of life, extreme focus on their child and minimal focus on themselves, breast feeding, stress, exhaustion just to name a few. Besides brain and general health, dehydration impacts energy level, mood, and the ability to care for your child. What's the right amount of water required to stay properly hydrated?

 

There are two schools of thought in for maintaining proper hydration: 1) The Classic; and 2) Drink to Thirst. The Classic school of thought is to drink at least 8 to10 8-ounce glasses per day. According to nutrition expert StaciJoy Ellis (www.Stacijoy.com), a more accurate approach is to divide your body weight by 2 which will provide you with the proper number of ounces of water that you need to consume per day to stay properly hydrated. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds then you need 80 ounces of water per day (160 divided by 2 = 80). Physical exertion such as exercise and physical requires more water. The other school of thought is to drink to thirst. Meaning drinking enough water to stave off thirst, and not drink in excess of thirst. 

 

While breastfeeding mommies have to pay attention to dehydration, they also must be mindful of over hydration. One study showed that over consumption of water can lead to a decrease in milk supply. According to lactation consultant, Linda Wiesner, consuming more than 80 ounces of water per day can reduce a woman’s potassium levels and have a negative impact on milk supply. When the body is in a state of over hydration it will dump the excess fluid through the urine in order to maintain the proper electrolyte balance. As a result, water is diverted away from the breast, and lower milk volume can result. So breastfeeding moms, the rule is “drink to thirst.”

 

 Here are some general tips for avoiding dehydration:

 

  • Drink enough water to insure that your urine is pale yellow. If your urine is dark or concentrated yellow then increase your fluid intake.

 

  • Snack on fruits and vegetables which have a high water content.

 

  • Reduce consumption of coffee, sodas and other drinks that contain caffeine and sodium.   You can replace soda with flavored or sparkling water

 

  • Reduce alcohol consumption

 

  • Drink a glass of water at every meal before drinking any other beverage

 

  • Drink at regular intervals 

 

  • Make it easy to access: keep lots of water bottles around the house

 

  • Squeeze fresh lemon, lime, or orange into your water for a bit of flavor and a vitamin C boost 

 

What do you do to stay hydrated and protect your brain health? 

 

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