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One Small Change

Let’s Spend the Month Drinking


Everyone is worried about the swine flu when, in fact, there’s a pandemic that’s already afflicting an estimated 33 percent of the active, healthy population. While it’s rarely going to kill anyone, it seriously compromises physical and mental performance. In fact, you’re probably already showing symptoms without even realizing it.

I know I am, and so is the rest of my family.

The plague is dehydration.

When I asked Douglas Kalman, Ph.D., R.D., the director of nutrition and applied clinical research at Miami Research Associates, to estimate the percentage of fit, physically active men and women who are in an under-hydrated state, I never expected it to be fully one-third of the population. With so many sports drinks, sodas, juices, waters and fancy beverages on the market, you’d think our tanks would be brimming. I mean, nearly as many people carry water bottles now as cell phones. But it’s similar to the obesity dilemma, says Kalman. Despite all the available nutritional information and healthful eating alternatives, people still ignore it.

“Along with carbohydrates, fats and proteins, water is a vital macro-nutrient,” he explains. “We need it for carrying fuel and oxygen to cells, for flushing waste products from the body, for keeping skin moist, for regulating body temperature and blood pressure, and for cushioning joints. If you’re an athlete and you’re just 2% under-hydrated, your performance in the gym and in daily life is being negatively impacted.”

So I can’t help wondering what I could become by making this one small change in my life. How much closer might I get to my potential and even brake the skid of age if I simply drank the recommended amount of fluid every day? Instead of swallowing vitamins and supplements, perhaps all I need to do is swallow more water. Talk about miracle cures.

Kalman, who will be my advisor throughout this month-long experiment, predicts that if I’m diligent about drinking (and I have shown such a propensity, although with different types of fluid, in the past) I will enjoy more energy, less fatigue, less joint pain, faster muscle recovery, increased alertness and an overall higher quality of life.

If all this sounds worthwhile, then join me for this 30-day experiment. All you have to do is drink the recommended amount of fluid daily. To broaden the perspective, my 46-year-old wife and 20-year-old daughter will be joining me and sharing their experiences at a later date. About the only thing you stand to lose is a little extra time in the bathroom but, then again, you can always print out this blog and take it with you.

Here's to your health!

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About The Author

Joe Kita – Joe Kita is a noted writer, editor, motivational speaker and teacher. He authors the blog "One Small Change" for CorePerformance.com.

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Tags: Hydration, Beverages, Health