With the heat of summer it’s important to keep ourselves hydrated and keep our electrolytes balanced. Hydration is so important to the proper functioning of our bodies.
How Much Water Should We Drink?
The general rule is to take your body weight and divide it by half and that is how many ounces of water to drink in a day. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should drink 75 ounces of water a day, which is almost 10 cups of water. For pregnant mamas, we recommend adding one extra cup of water for the baby since there are extra demands on the kidneys of a pregnant woman; plus you need to continually replenish amniotic fluid for your baby.
The best time to drink water is BETWEEN meals. If you drink a lot of water with your meals, it will bloat your stomach, dilute your digestive juices, and hurt your digestive process. As a result, you may experience heartburn and indigestion. For this reason, we recommend to stop drinking water about 15 min prior to your meal and wait 45 minutes after your meal to begin drinking again. Small sips of water with your meal to help you wash your food down is okay, but it is recommended to keep it minimal, like one-half cup or less. If you have digestion issues, try adding 1-2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to a half cup of water and sip this with your meals.
If you have difficulty drinking water, try adding something like lemon juice or liquid chlorophyll to give it a little flavor. This may help it go down easier for you. Both lemon juice and liquid chlorophyll are very alkalizing for your body. Liquid chlorophyll has a fresh minty taste and has lots of valuable nutrients including trace minerals and is a great blood iron builder. We sell a 16 oz Liquid Chlorophyll in our office for $20.00. Just add a tablespoon to your water a few times a day.
Electrolytes are also very important for our body’s proper function. We are especially vulnerable in the summer when we lose more salts due to heat and perspiration. Potassium and sodium salts are important to muscle function, energy, heart function, and fluid balance in your body. Many women who become dehydrated or low in electrolytes report muscle spasms, heart palpitations, rapid heartbeat, extreme fatigue, and swelling. These symptoms are more common in pregnancy.
Everyone knows the popular brands of electrolytes, however, it’s important to read ingredients on your products and avoid excess sugar, food colorings, and artificial sweeteners. If your electrolyte drink is blue, it’s probably not natural. There are some more natural electrolyte beverages including coconut water which is very high in potassium (all brands are not equal, so if you think you don’t like it, give it another try. My favorite brands are O.N.E and ZICO.) Emergen-C packets are another good natural source of electrolytes and come in many different flavors. You can also make your own electrolyte drink which is often used during labor. It’s called Labor-Aide. Here’s the recipe for making your own electrolyte beverages.
What Kind of Water is Best?
There are different types of water including tap water, filtered water (usually carbon filter), reverse osmosis water, UV light purified water, and distilled water. Water can also be enhanced with minerals and pH enhanced to make the water more alkaline. My favorite type of water is purified using a reverse osmosis membrane. The reason I like reverse osmosis water is because it typically goes through multiple carbon filters plus a fine osmosis membrane that purifies the water very well without taking out all of the important minerals like the distillation process. Reverse Osmosis water can be purchased at the store (just read the label on your water bottles to see how the water is purified) or you can purchase and install a reverse osmosis unit under your sink counter to have unlimited water at home.
Written by Kimberly Verbarg, June 9, 2020. Kim is a Florida Licensed Midwife since 2009, and the Director of Sweet Child O’ Mine Birth Center in Brandon, Florida. She brings her background as a naturopath, herbalist and holistic practitioner to her Birth Center practice.