Do you instinctively grab a coffee or an energy drink when fatigue sets in? What if the answer to your sluggishness was simply water?
In this episode of The Breast Cancer Recovery Coach, we unravel the many ways our bodies lose water, and how factors like cancer treatment and aging influence our hydration levels and even our sense of thirst.
On a weight loss journey? Learn why water is your indispensable ally. By the end of this episode, you won’t just be drinking water because "that's what they advise", but because you genuinely understand the myriad ways it sustains and rejuvenates you.
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This is Laura Lummer, the breast cancer recovery coach. I'm a healthy lifestyle coach, a clinical Ayurveda specialist, a personal trainer, and I'm also a breast cancer survivor. In this podcast, we talk about healthy thinking and mindfulness practices, eating well, moving your body for health and longevity. And we'll also hear from other breast cancer survivors who have reengaged with life, and have incredible stories to share. This podcast is your go to resource for getting back to life after breast cancer. Hello, and welcome to episode 44 of the breast cancer recovery coach. Today we are talking about hydration, fatigue, Glowing Skin and Weight Loss, can water really make the difference? First of all, I want to thank you for listening and I want to share or give a shout out to yogini 613, who left a really cool review on the podcast. And I appreciate it so much. I just want to share it with everybody. She says love Laura, I was diagnosed with LCIs a year ago, and Laura's podcasts have given me so much hope and so many tools to navigate the changes I have encountered. And yogini 613. I hope that you're doing great. And I thank you so much for taking the time to leave that review. It means so much to me. And I know that it's so much more helpful to other survivors who might be looking for something to give them some tools to work with to. So thank you for doing that. And if you're out there, you're listening to the breast cancer recovery coach and you get something out of this podcast. Please make sure you subscribe, so you never miss an episode. But also, if you could take a moment and leave a review for the show. It's really, really helpful. And I really appreciate it. And I hope you're the next one that I'm giving a shout out to. Okay, so what if I told you that there was one thing you could do that would reduce fatigue? improve the appearance of your skin? Support your weight loss and improve bowel movements? And oh, yeah, it's free. Would you want to hear more? Well, you're about to, we're going to talk about why you actually need water. I mean, do you really know why water is so important? Or is it just something like exercise and eating veggies? You know, you're supposed to do it? But you're not really sure what the big deal is? Maybe you've heard you should drink eight, eight ounce glasses of water every day. But where did that number even come from? And how could it be true for everyone? What if you're five foot 10 and 190 pounds? Do you need the same amount of water as someone who's five foot two and 130 pounds? What if you're older you're ill you're active? Should your water intake change? It really, what is the point of drinking a bunch of water anyway? Why not just drink Coke or juice or energy drinks? I mean liquid is liquid right? Well, let's start with some facts. So I could go into what percentage of various tissues in your body are compromised water. And I would find that fascinating, but you'd probably be bored. So since I love the way that Dr. bett Manuel de states the importance of water in his book, you're not sick, you're thirsty. I'll start with that. He says water has two primary functions in the body. The first one is life sustaining properties. The other more important role of water is its life giving functions. That's pretty cool. Water is one thing that will cost us our lives. If we're deprived of it for about a week, give or take a couple days depending on a person's physical state. Water helps us to dissolve other substances in our body. It starts important chemical reactions, it lubricates tissues. It regulates our body temperature, and it provides minerals. Hydration is so important that it's one of the steps in my guidebook care four steps to healing after breast cancer. The R stands for rehydrate. So you may have heard that our bodies are up to 60% water. And that might seem a little difficult to wrap your head around, right? It's like I don't feel like a jellyfish. But if you think about it, water is a main component in your blood about 83%. As a matter of fact, think of your watery eyeballs. Those little globes are up to 95% Water, muscle and brain tissue or up to 75% water. So you could see how getting dehydrated could affect the way you think cause fatigue and stiffness in the body. If these tissues start to dry out even a little bit, so I can remember the event specifically that caused me to start paying more attention to the importance of water and researching all that water does for our bodies and our health. I was in a yoga class and the teacher had been out sick for some time, a couple of weeks, she had had a substitute teaching the class, she was sick with the flu. She was telling us about her long recovery because she had been really sick. And at one point, she was talking to a friend of hers who was a nurse. And the friend told her that she needed to get IV hydration. So she went to see her friend, she received a couple liters of IV hydration. And she said she felt like a new person. Now, that was years ago. And at that time, I never even heard of such a thing. Of course, I knew hospitals used IV drips when people were admitted. But I'd never heard of using IV drips just for day to day health. And now not only are their IV hydration rooms popping up all around me, but I use them, I recommend them to people. And if I'm feeling rundown, or I start showing signs of sickness, illness, or when my kids are sick, if I have a really bad headache, I head to the hydration room. And I'm telling you, the impact is amazing. And immediate. I go in 30 minutes later, I walk out feeling so much better. And I'm really happy to hear from actually some of the women that I currently work with who are in treatment for breast cancer, that their physicians are beginning to incorporate IV hydration as part of managing the side effects from their chemotherapy treatments. So that's really awesome. So today I want to talk about mild dehydration, because that's what most of us are dealing with, and what most of us need to manage. While more severe forms of dehydration should be addressed by a medical professional, which I as a reminder am not.
So mild dehydration starts at a very low level, just losing one and a half percent of your body's total water puts you at that line meeting the criteria for mild dehydration. I'll tell you about a simple indicator of whether or not you're hydrated, and then some strategies to keep you hydrated. I also have a free download for you to help you get more hydration into your body. Along with increasing your fresh food intake. It's actually a really cool chart that shows you the water levels in different fruits and vegetables. So you can find that in the show notes for this episode at Laura lummer.com forward slash 44. So today we'll look at three things that are important to us lady says we recover from cancer treatment. And as we try to feel our best from day to day, we'll look at fatigue, skin appearance, and weight management. Now commonly we think of hydration from the view of taking in water. So let's talk for a moment about all the ways that we lose water throughout the day. So we lose water through our skin throughout the day as our body works to keep its internal temperature consistent. Remember I said water helps with thermal regulation regulating the temperature of your body. So this can happen through sweating from physical exertion, hot environmental temperatures, hot flashes. So depending on where you live, how much you move, how much of body fat you have, how many hot flashes you have. According to Science Direct the loss of water through your skin can average 300 to 400 milliliters, which is 10 to 13 ounces. This is the amount of water that's evaporating through your skin. perspiration, right? We lose on average, another 300 to 500 milliliters through exhaling each day. And an additional one and a half liters on average, give or take a few ounces, depending on your age, your bowel regulation, your kidney function, but we lose this amount through urine and feces. So if you're thinking, I don't really exercise that much, so I probably don't have to worry about dehydration. Maybe you should think again, because you lose more water than you really think about during the day. So if you experience fatigue, headaches, heartburn, constipation, and bad breath, I'll get to that too. You might really want to consider your hydration levels. So let's talk about fatigue. Now fatigue can be caused by many things including lack of sleep, sleep apnea, illness, stress, drugs disease, so I'm only talking about how hydration can affect fatigue. If you have long term fatigue or severe fatigue, please consult a medical professional. So when you wake up, or you get hit with an afternoon slump and energy you probably reach for a coffee. A caffeinated soda may be an energy drink, but how often do you reach for a glass or two of water in that situation? Hopefully after this show, it will be a lot more often. When you are are even mildly dehydrated, small blood vessels begin to constrict because you have a lower volume of blood running through them, then your heart rate starts to increase because your brain is saying, hey, let's get back to normal. So your heart pumps a little bit faster, but it's still moving less blood and carrying less oxygen, which makes you feel tired. Your thinking gets foggy, you're more easily irritated, you perceive simple tests as being more difficult than they are. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that cognitive performance of the way we're thinking was declining at dehydration levels of 1%. Another study in the Journal of Nutrition found that a group of 25 healthy 23 year old women when they were mildly dehydrated, which was at 1.36% of their normal hydration level, that they experienced more fatigue, they had less energy, and their moods were negatively affected from their normal, fully hydrated state. Even more amazing was a study again published on Science Direct that found the amount of driving errors made when mildly dehydrated, were equivalent to those made when sleep deprived, or having a blood alcohol content of point 08. That was crazy. So maybe it is worth stopping for bathroom breaks on your next road trip and just bringing along a big old glass of water or a bottle of water. Finally, something to be aware of from John Muir health on their website under the category of dehydration and aging, is that our sense of thirst lessons over the age of 50. So we might feel tired rather than thirsty as a sign of mild dehydration. And in addition to that having the sense of thirst is an indication that you're already dehydrated. So if you're thinking, Well, every time I get thirsty, I have a drink, then you're almost constantly running behind the eight ball behind that level of mild dehydration. So what about your skin? Well, skin contains about 20% of the total amount of water in your body. Now the cool thing about the largest organ in your body your skin is that you can hydrate it from the inside out and from the outside in. Skin also follows your body's constant goal of homeostasis and that when your skin is dry, your body's going to try to fix it and bring it back to the proper level of hydration. And it does that by actually producing the lubricant that it can, which is more oils. So if you find that your skin is more oily than normal, yet it still feels tight or dry or itchy. You may need more hydration. drinking lots of water will help and I say lots because your skin is going to get what's left after your vital organs get hydrated. So drink until you see that glow that you're after. And you feel that fullness in your skin. You can also use hydrating sprays on the skin. And remember that there's a difference between hydrating and moisturizing when it comes to skin. Hydration is the level of water that plumps the skin was moisturizing is what's creating a barrier that keeps that hydration inside the skin. Dr. Paragon the author of many best selling books on skincare from the inside out. And the creator of Paragon MD skincare and cosmetic line says that without proper hydration, your skin can develop inflammation, because it can't get rid of the toxins that affect the skin's appearance. Proper hydration is critical for this process. So an interesting finding as I was researching this podcast is that there was not a lot of studies on the effect of water or hydration on the appearance of skin. Then I came across a 2015 interview with the New York based Dermatologist, Dr. Rachel Nazarian. This interview was in women's health magazine. And it talked about how little research there is in this area. Because no one wants to fund studies on something they can patent like water. But Dr. Nazarian says and I agree with her that you don't always have to have a study to be able to know that something is good for you. So you be the judge. Focus on proper hydration over a consistent period of time because it's not an overnight fix and see what it does for your skin. So let's talk about water and weight loss. First of all, there's the obvious if you replace high caloric or for that matter, even low caloric beverages with water, you're decreasing your calorie intake and that supports weight loss. Also, water tends to create a sense of fullness. So if you increase your water intake, it actually acts as a natural Your appetite suppressant because it sends a message to your brain that you're full. Also, remember in the beginning of the show, I said water has a role in dissolving other substances and in chemical reactions in your body. Well metabolizing fats and carbohydrates is one of the roles that water plays a critical part in. So to burn fat, water has to be able to interact with triglycerides in your body. I also said that water lubricates the body and removes toxins that make moving and recovery from exercise a lot easier. And that is a crucial pillar when we're talking about weight loss. This may seem counterintuitive also, but proper hydration also reduces water retention, because it supports healthy functioning of the kidneys. It also helps to improve bowel movements and to reduce constipation, which reduces the feeling of bloating, and who wants to do anything like exercise or prepare a healthy meal when you feel bloated? No one. It's a terrible feeling. So circle back around we're real quick to the bad breath comment? Well, your saliva Your mouth has all kinds of bacteria in it. So your saliva has these antibacterial qualities to it. And when we're dehydrated, and we have dry mouth, it gives more of a chance for that bacteria to grow and gives you bad breath. So drink more water. Forget those Altoids you can just have a glass of water.
So do you really need eight, eight ounce glasses of water a day? Well, the best answer is it depends. Your water intake depends on how active you are, how old you are, whether or not you're ill or on medications that are dehydrating you. When I was on chemotherapy, I would keep a liter sized bottle of water by my bed every night. And it was gone by the morning. And I would still pee and almost brown color. That's some serious dehydration. Now in the fitness world, the recommendation is typically to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water to keep everything moving and working to best support your health. So here's some strategies that you can use to increase your water intake and keep your hydration at its peak. One drink to eight ounce glasses of water as soon as you get up in the morning. This will rehydrate you from the entire night. It wakes you up gives you that feeling of just brightness and lightness and it gets everything moving internally for you first thing in the morning. Consume at least 10 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Now a serving is only half a cup when it comes to fruits and veggies. So that's not really as much as it sounds. It's just five cups. Think about the size of the salad that you have easily five cups of fruits and veggies, right. Remember to go to my website and download my free guide for this episode. So you can see the water content in fruits and veggies and you can have that as at your fingertips as you plan out your food. Again, you can get that at Laura lummer.com forward slash 44. Another strategy is to drink an eight ounce glass of water about 30 minutes before every meal. This will help your hydration and it acts as a natural appetite suppressant so it will help to keep your portion sizes more reasonable. If you exercise moderately for an hour or less every day or a couple of times a week, drink about eight to 16 ounces of water during your workout, and then another eight to 16 ounces following it. And you may need more if you exercise more intensely, or in a very heated environment and you sweat more. As a guide to be able to tell whether or not you're hydrated, use the color and frequency of your urine as an indicator of proper hydration. Now most people urinate six to eight times a day. And your urine color should be either colorless or very pale yellow. I think most of you know if you've eaten something like beets, it's going to be red. If you've just taken a vitamin, it might be bright, but just think about the average color. If your urine is darker than that pale yellow or even colorless, you need to increase your water intake. Don't go crazy and start drinking gallons of water that far exceed the amount of water that your body is putting out. Remember, water is filled with minerals and your body needs the minerals that water transport. So if you drink tons and tons of water, when your needs are much less than that, and you're not replacing the needed minerals, you could harm yourself and that's not the point of a healthy lifestyle. So I hope you heard something here that helps you bring a little more balanced to your life and caffeinated pep to your step and a little more glow to your skin. Try reaching for a tall cool glass of water than that Next time you need an energy boost, and let me know how it works for you. You can find me on Facebook as Laura Lummer and Instagram as the breast cancer recovery coach. And if you haven't visited my website lately, check it out at Laura lummer.com where you can download my free guide care four steps to healing after cancer. Or take this step and join me and our amazing group of thriving breast cancer survivors in revivify. Rivera phi is my seven step, mindful based program that gets you back to life and to the happiness you deserve. After breast cancer. You can become a part of your vivify now for just $37 And that's the introductory price and it's a screaming deal. So grab it at that price while you can, and come and hang out with this community of women who really get it and who are building their best lives. Until next time, drink up and be good to
yourself. You've put your courage to the test laid all your doubts your mind is clearer than before your heart is full and wanting more your futures Give it all you know have you been waiting on