Concentrating solely on your mental health during addiction recovery often leads to forgetting about the importance of staying hydrated during your recovery. While detox eliminates all traces of drugs or alcohol from the body, and residential treatment programs provide nutritious meals to patients, a successful recovery includes paying attention to your physical condition as well.
Why is Water So Vital to Brain and Body Health?
Over 75 percent of human blood, muscles, and brain are composed of water. In fact, the brain would be about the size of an apricot if there wasn’t enough water to keep its tissues sufficiently hydrated.
Hydration is critical to transporting nutrients and oxygen molecules to all body cells. Drinking enough water to maintain normal hydration also keeps your joints supple, promotes metabolism, and keeps air in the lungs moisturized.
How much water a person needs to drink to avoid dehydration depends on their age, body mass, and health status. For example, a moderately active, non-pregnant 30-year-old woman who is five feet five inches and weighs 130 pounds should drink around nine cups of water per day. Men with the same factors influencing their water intake should drink 10 cups of water per day.
Signs of Dehydration
Staying mildly to moderately dehydrated for too long can cause:
- Dry, sticky mouth
- Dry, itchy eyes
- Heart palpitations
- Fatigue/lethargy/lack of motivation
- Weight gain
- Joint aches
People in addiction recovery may find dehydration symptoms actually interfering with their recovery. For example, moderate dehydration has been shown to shrink and constrict blood vessels in the brain. This can lead to memory problems, brain fog, and an inability to focus. People in recovery who rely on mindfulness techniques and meditation often have difficulty thinking clearly and objectively when they are not optimally hydrated.
Tips to Help You Stay Hydrated During Recovery
Always carry a water bottle with you: Having your own water supply on hand makes it easier to remember to drink water. You might even find yourself drinking more water throughout the day without even consciously making an effort to drink water.
Add flavor to bottled water: slip small pieces of fresh watermelon, pineapple, or oranges into your water container. Squirt lemon or lime juice into your water bottle to add flavor if you find the taste of water boring.
Use an app to track your water consumption: Try setting alarms or computer reminders that remind you to drink water once per hour. It’s one thing to commit to drinking more water. but you must maintain that change until it turns into a habit. Download the Waterlogged app for your iPhone and see if that helps you drink more water during your recovery.
Eat these vegetables and fruits: cucumbers, celery (95 percent water), tomatoes, broccoli, watermelon, oranges, and strawberries all have a high water content that will help you stay hydrated if you can’t drink as much water as you should be drinking.
Contact Hickory Treatment Centers Today for Help with Treating Addiction
Please call 1-800-604-2117 if you or someone you know has a substance abuse disorder and needs professional treatment as soon as possible.