By Dirk Smith
Feeling a hangover? Your headache is most likely caused by dehydration and now your feeling the consequences. In fact the majority (if not all) headaches are symptoms of dehydration and lack of water intake. You’ll see lots of products and hear lots of people who all of a sudden turn into “experts” and offer their advice. But in the end you just need to drink more water!
There are a variety of factors that will lead to dehydration such as hot/ cold environments; high sodium intake (pretzels, get it?), high caffeine/ high alcohol intake, exercise and well… the reasons are endless.
Headaches aren’t the only symptom of dehydration either, fatigue, lack of energy, bad breath, dry mouth, thirst, poor circulation, headaches, poor coordination, fainting, lack of sweat/ urine, sluggishness. Your body consists mostly of water so it’s important that you are constantly keeping yourself hydrated throughout the day.
“But how much water should I drink?”
The old rule of thumb “drink 8 glasses of water a day” is as old and out of date as a washed up music group from the 70s. Especially because it doesn’t adapt to different types of people and different lifestyles. The best and most basic way is to keep track of your pee! You should be peeing consistently throughout the day and should be clear with a slight yellow tint. If it is clearer than water you may be over hydrated, if it’s significantly yellow or dark, you need to drink more! The only exception is for those who take a multi-vitamin, which tends to turn pee into a fluorescent color.
There are times in your day where it is beneficial to drink more water, particularly right when you wake up to help encourage blood flow and because you are dehydrated from your sleep. During meals to help with digestion and circulation as well to encourage slower eating and discourage binge eating. During a workout/ exercise due to the increased workload and to due to increase sweat loss. As well in the Gay community drinking alcohol is very commonplace so it is important to balance your alcohol intake with water as well. Alcohol can quickly contribute to dehydration as well as intoxication. Balancing your intake with water will help you not feel as drunk and will significantly reduce, if not completely eliminate your hangover.
Benefits of drinking water:
-Keeps you looking and feeling young
-Contributes to weight loss
-Contributes to muscle/ strength gains
-Promotes brain function
+ So much more!
Bottle vs Tap Water? No matter what your source is, drinking straight H2O with no extra flavors or additives is much cheaper and more beneficial than those high fat/ high sugar drinks from the coffee shop. Drinking it right out of the tap also helps you get important vitamins and minerals that otherwise might be filtered out in bottle water, as well it is much cheaper and more accessible. Drinking from the tap also helps to boost your immune system. In the end, there really isn’t much water can’t help you with, so drink up!
Photo by Ariel Marie