Hydration For Hormone Health
Adequate hydration can be a simple fix for fatigue, insomnia, headaches, dry mouth and dizziness. Fluid balance in the body is ruled by a hormone called aldosterone. This steroid hormone is made by the adrenal cortex on the outer layer of the adrenal gland. Control of water balance happens in the kidney where sodium is kept in by releasing potassium.
The Physiology of Hydration
Blood volume is reduced when we are dehydrated so there is less in circulation and the viscosity is thicker. There is reduced venous blood returning to the heart and we tolerate heat less because we can’t regulate it as well. You will feel more tired more quickly especially when trying to be active. Since blood flow affects all cells and organs in the body, dehydration can have wide-ranging impacts. Even moderate dehydration can result in symptoms.
If you are feeling tired, restless or experiencing fatigue or insomnia it may be worth increasing your fluids. Simply drinking more water may be adequate but adding minerals in the form of electrolytes or amino acids can help you recover more quickly from stress or activity.
The right balance of sodium, potassium and magnesium can be hard to hit on your own. Having a balanced electrolyte that is easy to add to your water wherever you are can be very helpful. For those on a lower carbohydrate or keto diet it’s incredibly important to have electrolytes on hand. Anyone with an active lifestyle who wants to avoid sugary drinks can benefit from having some good electrolytes around.
The electrolytes I use are from the team at LMNT. They have a great product and a great mission. There are sample packs so you can try the different kinds and bundles to keep it affordable. I’ve had a few people reach out lately asking me how to get these so here it is!
Fluids in Many Forms
I stay hydrated by keeping a few other things on hand. Amino acids after exercise lower recovery time and help build muscle. Branch chain amino acids can be a great addition to your post-workout routine.
The other drink I love is bone broth. It’s very calming and satiating. Even on a hot day I’ll drink a cup of salty bone broth. I prefer having a powdered form around so I can just add it to hot water with a bit of salt.
Adding in a pinch of salt with some citrus is another simple way you can stay hydrated. Using a carbon filter is important. A high-quality, carbon-block water filter removes the most contaminants while allowing minerals to remain. Reverse-osmosis filters, on the other hand, remove the important minerals.
How Much Water & When?
Start by pouring a liter of water in the morning. Drink to satiety and then put it aside. Pour another in the afternoon and do the same. Having at least two liters every day is a good start. You can also calculate a more accurate baseline by cutting your weight in half and having that many ounces of water. For a person who weighs 140lbs you’d want 70 ounces of water which is about 2 liters.
When you are active or in hot weather add another liter. Keep in mind that pouring that liter in the morning and afternoon means you can drink it away from meals. I aim for 8am and 4pm which is before breakfast and before dinner. This means I’m not drinking a large amount with my food which helps with digestion. It also means I am well hydrated long before bedtime. Optimal sleep is definitely worth cultivating as part of your hydration and health routine.