NOURISH: Week Two
Week Two: Hydration
Mama, this week of nutrition coaching is all about hydration.
Why? Well, two reasons.
Hydration is super important to all aspects of your mental & physical well-being. We won’t go into that whole “your body is 76% water” thing but, well, OK, I guess we just went there.
Hydration is a really do-able lifestyle change that has far-reaching impact on your life. More on that below.
We tend to take water for granted. We have constant access to water and we also have constant access to more flavourful drinks. Like coffee. Soda. Even flavoured & “enhanced” waters.
So plain old water seems, well, plain.
We know we should drink more of it. We definitely know the feeling of dehydration, and that middle-of-the-night desert in your mouth when you’ve neglected your hydration, had too many glasses of wine or been breastfeeding around the clock without much time to care for yourself.
Dehydration isn’t just uncomfortable; it impedes cell function & metabolism, causing diminished alertness, mood, energy and coordination.
Compounded with sleep deprivation in motherhood, especially the early years with breastfeeding babies or nightmare-ridden preschoolers, this is an exhausting & dangerous combination.
When you’re hydrated, you are more alert. You’re calmer. You’re more energetic. You feel WELL.
How to Hydrate
The great news? All you have to do is drink more water.
But, we know. Life is crazy and sometimes you get to dinner and realize you haven’t had a glass all day. Then you’re chugging water like a feverish elephant and peeing every 5 minutes.
Not ideal. Good effort, but not the best way to hydrate your cells and potentially can dilute sodium levels in the blood if you really chug too hard, too fast.
So we’ve created a printable water tracker to help you get real about how much water you’re drinking, or not, and mark your glasses of water as you go through the day.
Click below to print this handy reminder sheet and stick it to your fridge this week!
You can also use a free app like My Fitness Pal or Lifesum, which are meant mostly for tracking food but also include water & movement tracking.
Plain old water is your best bet. Plus, it’s a smart idea — and a great behaviour to model for your little ones — to get used to the taste of plain water, and to train your tastebuds to enjoy it without flavouring or sweeteners.
When you feel like something tasty, add fresh fruit or herbs to the bottom of your glass — try a couple of watermelon chunks, a few mint leaves, a slice of orange or a few blackberries — and muddle lightly with a spoon to release the flavour. Then top with ice & fresh water!
Or try these other great ways to get water into you without, you know, drinking water.
make a big pitcher of herbal tea, refrigerate & pour over ice when you want a cold drink
make a pot of herbal tea for evening sipping (also a great way to keep your hands & mouth busy and prevent mindless snacking)
plan soups and stocks as part of your regular diet (see next week for your own homemade bone broth!)
buy & pre-chop delicious watery vegetables & fruits like melon, cucumber, tomatoes, lettuces, citrus, etc. so they’re ready to grab when you need a snack
keep cans or bottles of carbonated water you can pour with a slice of lemon or lime for something special at dinner
make smoothies — and add ice — for breakfasts and afternoon snacks!
Check out the FIVE hydrating recipes below!
Also important to feeling hydrated is trying not to overdue caffeine, alcohol, starch/sugar or salt. No one is telling you not to drink coffee, have a glass of wine or sprinkle salt on your pasta. Just consider that these behaviours create more need for water in order to balance your hydration.
For you mamas with pelvic floor dysfunction, keep in mind also that over-consumption of caffeine may aggravate your symptoms.
So. Ready? Go get yourself a glass of water, mama!