Wednesday, February 21

The Crestone Eagle is a nonprofit monthly newspaper serving Crestone and the San Luis Valley

Navigating the Vortex: Hydrate for the Holidays

By Gina M. Barrett.

I can’t say enough about the importance of hydration while living in the high mountain desert of Crestone, Colorado. Hydration is notably necessary for optimal physical health, but dehydration will also effect our moods.  

According to the National Library of Medicine, “Data consistently show a reduction of >2 percent in body mass due to dehydration results in effect on mood, fatigue, and alertness.” (2019, Narrative Review of Hydration and Selected Health Outcomes in General Population).

“The National Academy of Medicine suggests an adequate intake of daily fluids of about 13 cups and 9 cups for healthy (person), respectively, with 1 cup equaling 8 ounces.”

This amount of water consumption can include tea, juice and foods that are high in water.  As the temperatures get colder, according to ayurveda and chinese medicine, drinking hot tea all day long helps to warm the body. For my healing, I drink herbal blends twice daily. One for sleep and one as a daytime remedy for my other healing needs.  I drink these hot, cold and iced year round.

Have you ever noticed how thirsty you get after exercise? This may be your body asking for electrolytes. Electrolytes help the body to absorb more water. I prefer coconut water over a brand with artificial dyes and sugar. I will also buy coconut water with pineapple juice for extra sweet when I crave that. 

The New York Public Health Department shares that, “The average 8-ounce bottle of energy drink has about 27 grams or 7 teaspoons of sugar.”

“Experts believe that too much sugar may make dehydration and other symptoms worse. This is likely because of the interaction of sugar and water within the cells. Higher sugar intake causes the cells in the body to transfer more water and increase urination.” (Medical News Today, Dehydrating Drinks: Caffeine, Sugar and Other Ingredients, Updated 2023).

This is why I felt the holiday season was a good time to share this information so we can all enjoy the holidays feeling our best and being our best with those who we share the season. May this lifestyle change carry over into other times of year.  You can’t drink enough water here.  

Initially, you may feel full. Studies show that an added benefit to drinking more water is weight loss. At first, you may have to drink more than you actually want to meet the suggested consumption level of 9 cups per day. As your body adjusts to this new amount of water consumption, you will begin to crave more.  

Emmanuel, a person who has been channeled and whose teachings are now transcribed in many books, and someone who understands the unseen, says that “all we need is water to heal.” I have tested this advise, and have found it to help me move through extreme pain, over use of an allergen (like sugar or gluten) and more. Clear it out!  Including emotions. How many notice that their thoughts are clearer after, or during, taking a shower or a swim?

Ways to hydrate:

~ Take showers or baths regularly.

~ Soak and/or swim in the nearby hot springs. Be sure to cool off for as long as you soak in hot water, and drink water while soaking. Soaking exclusively in hot water will increase dehydration. Drinking alcohol while soaking will do the same.  

~ Use a humidifier in all the rooms where you spend the most time. Bedrooms and living rooms are a good start. Leave the bathroom door open after you shower, so the humidity fills the nearby rooms. Your skin will appreciate it. Water enters and leaves the body through the skin.

~ Oil your skin. Use different oils depending on your skin type.  Sesame oil for dry skin.  Almond or coconut oil for oily skin. You can find even lighter oils in health food stores. Oil will help water to stay in your body and not evaporate from the skin.

~ Add healthy oils to your foods, like in your soups. My “go to” healthy oils for flavor are olive oil and sesame oil, depending on what I am cooking.  

Try some of these hydration techniques this holiday season. Notice how you feel.

*These are suggestions and not meant to be a prescription for your unique individual needs.  Practice with awareness and agency. Seek a medical professional to discuss your options.    

Many of Gina’s suggestions can be found in her ebook Connection Post Pandemic, 2nd edition of Lighter: Living Tantra. Gina M. Barrett is an author, trauma informed yoga therapist, somatic eastern movement educator and equine therapist. 

In 2022, she won an international humanitarian award for her service providing trauma informed yoga to marginalized communities. Gina has a private practice in Crestone on her land called Wild Baca Ranch. She has been engaged in the wellness profession for over 40 years as an international holistic mental health practitioner and as an environmental and social justice change agent. 

To learn more about Gina and to receive her free ebook, visit www.ginambarrett.com.

Citations:

www.health.ny.gov/statistics/brfss/reports/docs/2021-11_brfss_sugar_sweetened_beverage.pdf

Rodegast, P. & Staton, J., Emmanuel’s Book:  A Manual for Living Comfortably in the Cosmos, Bantam New Age Books.

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