Friday, January 29, 2010
How are you doing with your New Year’s Resolutions? Personally, I haven’t been near the gym all month, although I have bought a couple of Dance and Yoga DVD’s which are proving to be just as effective for my exercise resolution.
My resolution to drink more water and less coffee, tea, and soda has improved considerably. We all hear or read about the health benefits of drinking more water, but do we really do it? If you’re trying to lose weight then drinking water is important not only for proper digestion but to prevent over-eating. The body sends messages to the brain to tell it how hungry or thirsty you are, and if you don’t connect the dots and drink enough water, you may eat more to satisfy your body’s urge for water.
Most of us spend hours in front of the computer and we all have our favorite comfort foods and drinks. However, drinking water affects your brain so much it could just boost your creativity and ability to stay writing longer and more productively than grabbing another can of Diet Coke.
“Water comprises more of the brain (with estimates of 90%) than any other organ of the body, with muscles next at 75%, and then kidneys. Under normal conditions, it is recommended a person drink 1/3 oz. of water per pound of body weight each day, with that amount doubled or tripled in times of stress”.
From “Smart Moves” by Carla Hannaford, Ph.D, Neurophysiologist
“Water is the single most important nutrient for your body. Your body loses about two quarts of water every day through perspiration, urination, and exhalation. Instead of reaching for your soda, drink pure water throughout the day.”
From “Health Coach Training”
Maintaining a healthy balance of water will ensure our brain is functioning at its optimal level of performance. Dehydration can lead to headaches and long-term neural damage sustained from elevated stress hormones. However, drinking too much water can also lead to “water intoxication”, where the body is flooded with too much water and organs start to shut down. This can lead to death and isn’t something to fool around with, however, more people are dehydrated then will ever end up in the Emergency Department with water intoxication.
Drinking water at room temperature will encourage you to drink more than if you keep your water cold in the fridge. It goes down easier and you will find it’s nicer to sip it at your computer than an ice cold Coke out of the fridge.
When I was a police officer, I had the opportunity to attend the autopsy of a murder victim. It was fascinating to see what a real brain looked like – weighing approximately three pounds, with the power to direct our bodies’ language, thought processes, emotions, and learning ability. The brain is a complex and fascinating machine, allowing us to dream up our stories, characters, and fantasies, which we bring to the written page.
If something so simple as drinking enough water every day can help us do that, shouldn’t we all have that bottle of water sitting at our elbow as we write?
What is your experience with various drinks affecting your writing? I'm open to new ideas!