How Much Water Do I Drink?

I am often asked how much water is enough? Well, that depends on each individual and what their lifestyle is. If you are an athlete, then more water is needed to re-hydrate yourself. If you do not work out, then the amount is lower.

Did you know that water accounts for over 60% of your body weight? Every organ and system in our body relies on water to survive. Lack of water leads to dehydration which can give you headaches and less energy.

Every person loses water when we breathe, perspire, urinate or defecate. We should replenish water frequently so our body can function and move properly.

So, how much water do we need? Most medical journals say 8-9 cups of water per day. This is a very vague rule and does not work for everyone. Lets review some other ideas for water consumption.

  1. Replenish: an average person normally urinates 6.3 cups a day. We also lose about 4 cups per day while breathing, sweating and defecation. Food accounts for about 20% of liquid per day so if you drink a little more than 8 cups a day along with a healthy diet, you can replenish any fluids lost.
  2. The 8×8 Rule: drink 8 ounces of water per day.
  3. Check your urine color: It should be clear or slightly yellow. If it is dark yellow, then this means you need to consume more water.

What factors lead to drinking more water per day?

  • If you exercise add 1.5 to 2.5 cups of water per day. You will notice that you body will crave the additional water anyway after a workout. If you are a marathon runner or exercise excessively, it is recommended to add salt to the water because of the salt lost with sweat.Weather: Hot or humid weather can promote sweat and lose valuable fluid. Heat provided in the winter will dry out the skin and high altitudes (higher than 8,200 feet) can trigger rapid breathing and increased urination. More water should be added to you diet.
  • If you are sick with the flu or have intestinal issues you may vomit, have diarrhea which will rapidly deplete water in the body. You may want to add electrolytes to the water to make sure you have energy after being sick.
  • Breast feeding and Pregnancy: It is recommended to drink about 13 cups of water if you are breast feeding. Babies take a lot of fluid out of your system. If you are pregnant, it is recommended to drink 10 glasses of water per day.

Drink water…it is great for your body and mind!

Bisphosphonates Or Natural Foods?

What are Bisphosphonates?

Bisphosphonates are drugs used to try and prevent bone loss.  Cancer patients are put on this because drugs they take to treat pain associated with cancer can lead to bone loss.  It is also used with patients with Osteoporosis.

Drugs prescribed for this problem are:

Fosamax, Actonel, Boniva, Aledndronate, Ibandronate and Risedronate.

Health Concerns:

With every drug there is a side effect.  Some of the side effects with using Biphosphonates are abdominal pain, dyspepsia (upset stomach), nausea, constipation or diarrhea, flatulence, vomiting, dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), gastritis, muscle and joint pain, headaches, dizziness just to name a few.

So, if you can avoid taking drugs for the problem, here are some food and vitamin suggestions that can help keep your bones healthy.  Calcium, vitamin D and phosphorous are key to bones health.  Eating dairy products, salmon, sardines, almonds, and green leafy vegetables are great to keep your bones strong.

Whole grains, shell fish, lean meats, beans along with fruits and vegetables (especially brussel spouts) are filled with zinc, boron and copper which is needed as well.

With every problem we encounter in health, there are most often natural methods of relief.  It just takes a bit of an effort and research to find out what they are!

25 Tips To Avoid Insomnia

If you have problems sleeping, try some of these methods!

1. Listen to relaxing music. White noise and nature sounds can be quite relaxing and serve as meditation before going to sleep.

2. Avoid snacks right before bed especially grains and sugars. Raises in blood sugar can inhibit your sleep. Then when your sugar level drops, it may wake you up and give you difficulty in falling back asleep.

3. Try to sleep in complete darkness if possible. Light can disrupt your pineal gland which produces melatonin and seratonin.

4. If you wake up at night to go to the bathroom, make sure there is as little light as possible. It will keep melatonin levels at the right levels and get you back to sleep. Wearing eye covers helps too!

5. If possible, take the television out of the bedroom and if you do have television, refrain from watching it an hour before bed. Television stimulates the brain and it will take longer to fall asleep.

6. Since the feet have less circulation than the rest of the body, wear socks to bed. Studies have shown that if your feet are cold, it disturbs your sleep.

7. Read a relaxing book before bed. No thrillers or high drama novels.

8. Alarm clocks should be somewhat soothing but still wake you up. Having a loud sound wake you up is stressful to your body. There are alarms that mimick the sunset and the light increases gradually waking you up smoothly. If that is not your style, then how about a CD or radio station that plays classical music, jazz or blues. These tend to be soothing yet stimulating enough to wake you up.

9. Writing your ideas down on paper to get them out of your system. Writing down your thoughts allows you to relax and get back to sleep.

10. Get to bed as early as possible. Did you know that our systems, particularly the adrenals, recharge and recover during the hours of 11 p.m. and 1 a.m? The gallbladder dumps toxins during this time as well.

11. Check the EMFs (electro-magnetic fields) in your room. High levels caused by radios, cell phones and electronics can interrupt the pineal gland which has a direct effect on Melatonin and Seratonin. There are gauss meters that check the levels. Keep unnecessary electronics off or out of the bedroom if possible.

12. Don’t have your heat on above 70 degrees. If you are too hot, it will wake you up and be difficult to fall asleep.

13. Eating a high protein treat before a few hours before bed raises melatonin and serotonin levels.

14. Try to keep prescription medication at low levels. Many drugs have insomnia as a side effect.

15. Avoid caffeine.

16. Avoid alcohol. Alcohol prevents deep stages of sleep so it may cause you to wake up easily.

17. Stay fit. Being overweight increases your chances for sleep apnea.

18. Avoid foods that may cause you to become congested or cause gas.

19. Avoid drinking beverages within 2 hours of bedtime. Drinking fluids right before bed will cause you to get up and go to the bathroom and disrupt your sleep. Also make sure to go to the bathroom right before bed. This decreases your chances of waking up in the middle of the night.

20. Take a hot bath or sit in a sauna before going to bed.

21. Keep the alarm clock away from your view. If it is pointing toward you and you are a light sleeper, you will look at it and disrupt your sleep.

22. If you are menopausal or peri-menopausal, hormonal changes may cause problems. You may need to consult a nutritionalist to help you eat foods to regulate your hormones or seek out a endocrinologist who specializes in women’s health.

23. Stay consistent with your bedtime. It keeps your body in a rhythm and it becomes routine and easy.

24. Exercising for 30 minutes regularly. However, don’t exercise too close to bedtime or it may keep you awake. Studies show exercising in the morning is the best if you are a morning person.

25. If you have tried all of these tips but still have problems, you may want to get your adrenals checked by your medical doctor. Adrenal stress causes insomnia.

4 Great Ice Cream Tips

Warm weather is here and that means ICE CREAM!  Here are a few tips to watch calories if you want to indulge:

Tip 1:
Pick frozen yogurt instead of ice cream!  You still get the ice cream taste but with less calories.

Tip 2:
Avoid additional toppings. These add calories to your ice treat.  If you have to have a topping, pick sprinkles instead of peanut butter cups, cookies, brownies.

Tip 3:
Order fruit options like sorbet or sherbert.  These still have a high calorie content but lower fat.

Tip 4:
Order a cup of ice cream over a cone.  The cone is added calories and every calorie counts!

Hope this helps you to make the right decision when eating ice cream on a hot summer day!

What Is The 80/20 Rule?

When discussing the 80/20 Rule it is pretty simple:

Eat healthy foods 80% of the week, and eat unhealthy foods for the last 20%.  Most people in the United States do the opposite.  20% unhealthy and 80% healthy.  This is why obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancers have increased.

A healthy diet should contain the following:

  1. Sufficient amounts of proteins (meat, fish, and eggs)
  2. Carbohydrates (bread, starch, pasta, rice)
  3. Fruits and Vegetables (these contain great vitamins and produce fiber
  4. Fats (olive oil, nuts, seeds)

Drinking a lot of water is key too!  It keeps you full and our body consists mostly of water so if we lose water we need to add it back into our system.  There are plenty of diets out there that are good for you.  If you like fast food, there is the “dash diet”.  There are also plenty of guides for diabetes, high blood pressure and Gastrointestinal issues.

Good luck and happy eating!

Increasing Energy And Stamina When Dieting

Wondering how to keep active while lowering your calorie intake?  Here are some healthy tips!

Balance is key!  If on a minimum of 1,200 calories per day, 50-55% should be coming from carbohydrates, 15-20% from protein, and 25-30% fat.

Ensure that you eat a high fiber, low refined carbohydrate diet:  For example, if you’re going to eat bread, select 100% whole wheat. Stay away from “white” and “enriched” bread and foods

Eat smaller, frequent meals rather than a few, large meals:  It is recommended to eat 3 meals and 2-3 healthy snacks per day. We are not talking snicker bars here! Try an apple or a half a cup of blueberries. This will help maintain blood sugar levels while increasing your satiety.

Stay hydrated: Hydration is vitally important. Drink water prior, during and after exercise.  Men on average should consume about 13 8-oz servings of water per day. Women should consume about 9 8-oz servings.

Decrease your caffeine intake: Consume less than 400mg of caffeine per day. If you need caffeine, consume 2 oz every 2 hrs is the best dose of caffeine for energy. Opt for smaller cups of coffee instead of one large one: your body can only process a limited amount of caffeine at a time.

Increase your physical activity: increase your maximum aerobic capacity through your exercise. Exercise improves your mood immediately and it is great for your heart!

We not only help you with keeping your body moving and fluid but can guide you to a better you.

The Truth About High Fructose Corn Syrup

High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is added to numerous foods and drinks. A lot of athletes drink Gatorade and it contains loads of HFCS.  HFCS is created by changing glucose which is a sugar molecule into fructose.  Fructose is in fruit but it is all natural and mixed with enzymes and fiber.  HFCS is not the same as natural fructose.

Companies started to use HFCS in their foods in order to increase the shelf life of their product. Gatorade noticed an increase in stamina for athletes and it kept athlete’s energy levels up by adding electrolytes to the drink which is a great additive to water but the HFCS is not good for filtering through the body in general.  It was a good idea, Good theory, but athletes and the general public  are beginning to see ill effects of their product and others like it.

Here are some affects of HFCS:

1. Weight gain:

HFCS is hard for the body to breakdown and metabolize. In a sense, HFCS tricks our body because the slowdown prevents the body from communicating to our brain that we are full.  This means…we eat more and gain weight.

2. Diabetes:

According to the Diabetes Health website, consuming HFC may lead to what is called “insulin resistance”. What this means is normal amounts of insulin are inadequate in our bodies fat, muscle and liver cells. This leads to diabetes. After becoming a diabetic, it can cause other problems with the heart, circulation, loss of limbs, loss of sight and a premature death. Is has also been suggested that the increase in Juvenile diabetes has increased because of the high levels of ingestion of HFCS.

It is better to intake natural sugar than ingest HFCS. Companies like Coke and Pepsi are starting to offer sugar soft drinks at the demand of the consumer.

When buying any food or drink, check to see if it has high fructose corn syrup and see if there is an alternative.

Dr. Amie B. Gregory, Redwood City Chiropractor
Precise Moves Chiropractic
(650) 353-1133

Agave Syrup: An UNSAFE Sugar Substitute

Agave syrup is a man-made sweetener which has been through a complicated chemical refining process of enzymatic digestion that converts the starch and fiber into the unbound, man-made chemical fructose. While high fructose agave syrup won’t spike your blood glucose levels as High Fructose Corn Syrup is reported to do, the fructose in it may cause mineral depletion, liver inflammation, hardening of the arteries, insulin resistance leading to diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and obesity.

There are a few different natural sweeteners out there that give you your sweet fix without putting a lot of stress on your body and its organs. Try Stevia, this substitute is a lot sweeter than table sugar so if baking, use about half of what you would normally.

Hope that helps.

 

Hypertension And The DASH Diet

Hypertension is defined as having blood pressure greater or equal to 140/90 on 3 or more visits to the doctor.

To combat this problem it is very important to exercise while keeping track of your heart rate as well as eating what is called the DASH diet.  This includes a diet high in fruits and vegetables with decreased dairy products and saturated fats.  If you follow this plan, you will see not only great results in our cholesterol level and blood pressure, but will probably lose some inches too!

Here is a list of what is recommended by DASHdiet.org:

Type of food Number of servings for 1600 – 3100 Calorie diets Servings on a 2000 Calorie diet
Grains and grain products
(include at least 3 whole grain foods each day)
6 – 12 7 – 8
Fruits 4 – 6 4 – 5
Vegetables 4 – 6 4 – 5
Low fat or non fat dairy foods 2 – 4 2 – 3
Lean meats, fish, poultry 1.5 – 2.5 2 or less
Nuts, seeds, and legumes 3 – 6 per week 4 – 5 per week
Fats and sweets 2 – 4 limited