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Dr. Deborah Rouse-Raines: Give Me Some Water

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For most of my adult life I have been trying to lose weight or at least not gain weight. I know that drinking water really helps me in this endeavor but I also know that I really don’t like drinking water, especially in the winter. Now I’ve decided not to drink out of plastic bottles for the environment and all this possible crazy plastic cancer stuff so I am really struggling getting the water down. I am not the only one, especially in winter.

Our bodies are made up of almost 70% water and we lose about 8-9 cups a day to replace fluid loss through the skin, going the bathroom and even just breathing.

We have these same losses in the winter but many people don’t drink as much because they are not sweating or feel hot. They don’t drink enough and become easily dehydrated.

What are some of the problems with mild dehydration?

Even a small amount of dehydration causes headaches, fatigue and irritability. The elderly are of particular concern because they are not as responsive to thirst and will often forget to drink at all. They can become easily confused. People (me) will often eat, when in fact they are thirsty contributing to that winter weight gain.

What about exercise in the winter?

Exercise results in fluid loss anywhere from 10 to 30 ounces per hour of exercise even in the winter and that needs to be replaced on top of the daily requirements. So hot chocolate after playing in the snow will not only warm you up but also help replace fluids.

How do we know that we have had enough to drink?

Drink enough fluids and eat fruits and vegetables until your urine is clear enough to read a newspaper through it.

Caffeine and alcohol can cause water loss so take this tip.

New Years Eve Tip: Alternate water with alcohol to avoid a hangover and be sure to have a designated driver. Buzzed or not really buzzed can easily be over the legal limit. I recommend everyone have a breathalyzer in your car. You would be shocked on how little alcohol it can take to be at the legal limit.

Bottom line: If you drink at all, don’t drive.
Happy (and safe) New Year!


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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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