I had my annual blood draw this morning. The drawing station opens at 8:00 am, so I started fasting last night at 8:00 pm, and planned to sleep as long as I could this morning in order to minimize the discomfort of the fast. So I got up at 6:00 am and was quite comfortable; I wasn’t even thirsty, so I’d planned on taking nothing by mouth until I returned home after the draw.
But Then I remembered!
I had a blood draw back in 2010 that didn’t require a fast, but I hadn’t had anything to drink in 14 hours! The draw was at the end of the day; I think I just got busy at work, and was too distracted to realize I was thirsty and/or didn’t have time for the inevitable “potty break”! And guess what happened? I was too dehydrated to draw! My blood volume was too low! They had to jab me multiple times in trying to find an insertion point that would produce blood! And for a needle-phobic like me, this was traumatic – I fainted!
Lesson learned: drink lots of water before blood draws!
This morning, though, I didn’t recall this lesson until I’d been up for a while. Then I panicked! “Oh, no! I haven’t eaten OR taken a sip of water since eight o’clock last night! I need to make up for lost time!” So in the short amount of time before I left the house, I guzzled and guzzled water, to the point where THAT was more uncomfortable than my 12-hour fast!
I guess I did an adequate job because I only felt one jab! BUT I crashed my sodium reading! Oops!
NEW Lesson learned: if Mother Nature calls during the night before a blood draw, drink water while you’re up!
A Desert Dweller, I’m Especially Passionate About this Topic
OMG! Don’t let your kidneys dry out! They filter your blood and keep your chemicals balanced! If your kidneys sense a “water shortage” they’re going to panic, go into “survival mode”, and not release (i.e. “share”!) it as freely with the rest of the body. Less water means denser blood which makes your heart work harder to pump.
There are many formulas and opinions about how much water we should drink daily. There’s no “one size fits all”; just keep it simple – your daily goal should be to aim for pale yellow urine by the time you go to bed each night. It’s so easy to monitor this as the day progresses. Dark-colored urine indicates dehydration. Dark-colored urine can also lead to a urinary tract infection, or even kidney stones, and nobody wants that!
Don’t wait until you’re thirsty – just sip here-and-there throughout the day whether you need it not. Your body can process about a quarter-cup of water every quarter-hour, but by all means, drink more if you’re thirsty.
Isn’t Sipping Water Throughout the Day so Much Easier than Suffering a Medical Event?!
If you feel fatigued, faint, dizzy, or confused, you might be dehydrated. If you’re working out, or outside on a hot day sweating a lot, heat exhaustion or heat stroke might be knocking on your door. I’m a desert mountain hiker. My hiking buddies and I are pretty good about getting off the trail by mid-morning in the summer, hydrating often while on the trail, and starting the hydration process the day before big hikes. Heat injury is a common call for our Search and Rescue volunteers in the summer.
Did you know that dehydration can cause convulsions and seizures? Yep, if you don’t have enough water in your body to carry electrolytes from cell to cell, they can’t deliver electrical signals as they’re supposed to do, and involuntary muscle contractions can ensue.
Your brain can shrink if it’s dehydrated!! If your brain tissue becomes thirsty you’ll suffer from headaches, loss of concentration, you’ll be in a bad mood, and be just as dangerous behind the wheel as is a drunk driver!
Do you routinely get “charley horses” while you sleep? It could be lack of water. You can eat a zillion bananas, but if you’re dehydrated, what’s going to deliver all of that potassium to your leg muscles? Potassium aside, moist muscles relax; dry muscles contract. Ouch!
Dry eyes? Maybe it’s lack of water.
Now Let’s Talk About Aesthetics
Aesthetics. The reason I always harp on you to drink plenty of water while doing Endermologie cellulite and wrinkle treatments.
Flushes Out Toxins
You’ve heard this so often that it has become trite! But there is something to it! Bodywork releases trapped “gunk” in your body. You need your lymph draining like a raging river in order to release these toxins. If you want to LOOK good and FEEL good you’ve got to release those toxins!
Keep Your Skin Looking Young
Most beauty experts agree that proper hydration keeps your skin more elastic and supple than it would be if dehydrated. A few think this is “bunk”. I’M on the former team based purely on my own observations. If I dare fall off the wagon for too long my color will be off, it’ll look a little sallow…people will ask, “Are you feeling okay? You look tired.”!!!
Helps You Burn Fat
Adequate water intake burns fat by encouraging your natural process of lipolysis – your body’s approach to burning fat. Your liver is directly responsible for burning your body’s fat reserve. But if your kidneys are thirsty, your liver has to do the kidneys’ job; that means it has to back-burner its fat-burning job! Yikes!
Control calorie intake
“When you’re hungry, drink a glass of water”. Yes, that age-old advice works wonderfully to silence my hunger pangs. How can it not? Water fills my stomach, thereby silencing the “feed me!” messages!
But proper hydration not only “controls” calories, it also “burns” calories! Yes, you increase your resting energy expenditure as you drink water!
Feel Better, Look Better
Water is your lifeblood…it’s your friend…essential for so many reasons. If you haven’t already, start nurturing a good relationship with water. Your health will thank you.
Cindy Baumann, Sleek Physique, LLC
Expert Certified Endermologie Practitioner