Tag Archives: hydration

The Hydration Project

There are drinks out there that are good for you…

and there are those that are, in my opinion, pure evil on ice…

I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but at some point in my life, I became a person who does not particularly like to drink either one, or any of the many options in between.

It’s true. If you’ve read any of my posts, you’ve probably come across one or two that mention my dislike for drinks. Actually, disinterest is probably more a more accurate term. I don’t realize I’m thirsty until I’m really, really thirsty and have a searing headache, and “I think I’d like something to drink” just isn’t a thought that naturally pops into my head. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I spend the greater part of my life in a state of chronic dehydration. 

Why, you ask? 

Well, there are lots of reasons.

I spent many years working in food service, during which I was not allowed to have a drink in my prep area, and my restroom breaks were limited. So, naturally, I got in the habit of not ever having a drink.

I also spent a lot of years battling an unhealthy relationship with food, looking for any way to cut calories. As we’ve all heard a million times, you shouldn’t drink your calories. So, because I looked at most drinks as something that would displace the food I wanted, I cut most of them out.

During college, I drank. Sure I did ;)  But, my cup usually held either a double shot of espresso to help me start my day, or a nice dry red wine to help me end it. This was also the time when I was diagnosed with high blood pressure and was prescribed a diuretic (like I needed another one…) Needless to say, the combination didn’t do much for my hydration status.  

These days, all those bad habits have snowballed into one big problem. I often go a full day without even noticing my thirst. This is particularly bad because, at this point, I nurse a 9-month-old, exercise moderately, and continue to take a diuretic for HBP (which can deplete my potassium), so I need to drink considerably more than average. If I am lucky enough to get pregnant again, it will only be that much more important. 

It’s funny that I should be so interested in healthy foods and healthy lifestyle choices, but so neglectful of healthy hydration. But, if you think about it, it kind of makes sense in that there really aren’t that many readily available healthy beverage options out there. When you are pregnant or nursing, watching sugar, eliminating caffeine, and not even willing to consider artificial sweeteners, you wind up SOL most of the time, and it’s easier to just go without than to drink something that feels unhealthy. There are few good options in the average convenience store or chain restaurant. I know, I know…there’s water. But a girl can only drink so much plain water!!!

Happily, my “get hydrated” goal is not a brand new one. I set out to change my ways quite some time ago, and I’ve discovered that, as with food, there are great healthy options out there if you just look for them and don’t settle for what’s in the nearest soda fountain.

That’s why I’ve decided to start a series of posts entitled The Hydration Project. I plan to share my thoughts on the subject, and I hope you will share yours as well!

Some of the topics I’d like to discuss include (not necessarily in this order):

  • Tips on getting hydrated and staying hydrated
  • Recognizing thirst and the effects of dehydration
  • Preventing dehydration
  • Foods that hydrate
  • Drinks that fall within my/your personal “healthy” parameters (and ones that don’t!)
  • Drink recipes 
  • Your suggestions are welcome!

This is an important topic for me, and from many of the comments I’ve received in the past, it seems that there are many others out there (busy mommies, busy students, busy everybody…) who tend to neglect this very important piece of the big health puzzle. I have several posts planned throughout the coming weeks – and a few fun giveaways, too! –  so look for the title “The Hydration Project” if you’re interested. I look forward to hearing from you, learning from you, and further establishing some healthy hydration habits!

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 I know you all have something to say on the subject of hydration! Comment away! 


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Ouch. My head hurts.

Today’s a pretty boring food day for me, and I don’t have much in the way of baby news since I’m spending the whole day at work, away from my boy. :(

But I do have a fantastic headache to talk about.

I’ve been getting these horrible headaches since about a month after I gave birth. I thought maybe it was low iron, so I had that checked. It was fine. I’ve found that when I get enough sleep and make an effort to drink and eat enough, they are far less frequent.  I have a problem with chronic dehydration and I guess, of all the things that could be causing these headaches, that one makes the most sense. I just don’t ever drink anything. And now that I’m 6 months into breastfeeding, it’s a constant battle.

While I was pregnant, I drank a lot of coconut water. I think I need to pick that habit back up. I love the taste of it, and what’s not to love about a drink that has one ingredient? I think soda is the worst thing ever created, and I have to watch the caffeine in tea, so I’m left with water. I can only take so much plain water. 

I always get a weird reaction when I mention it…”Wow…that’s fattening!” It’s not. That would be coconut milk. Totally different. Water is what you get when you crack open a coconut. It’s clear-ish, pretty low-cal (NO fat) and filled with potassium and all the stuff you need to replenish after a workout. Coconut milk is the fatty, milky, delicious stuff you get when you grate and press the oils, sugars, etc. from the meat of a coconut. Both are basic staples for life, if you ask me. Thanks for the coconuts, Mother Nature.

There are a lot of different brands doing coconut water now. I’m not sure why one would be any better than another, since they all just contain coconut water. I really dig ZICO, though, because they make a mango flavor which is just bangin’. (OK, so that one contains a little bit more than just coconut water…)

I think I’ll pick one up today and see if it helps at all. 

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If there are any breastfeeding mommies out there that experienced headaches while nursing, I’d love to hear from you! Advice, please!

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