CBC Radio

Are You Dehydrated?


I wake up to CBC radio in the morning. On occasion Dr. Peter Lin joins the morning program for a brief comment on health. His segments are great.

In this mornings’ segment, Matt Galloway from CBC chatted about a new study with Dr. Peter Lin about recognizing the signs of dehydration and the steps to take to ensure staying well hydrated.

Click this Thirsty? link to listen to the audio segment in its entirety. A quick and informative listen at just over 3.5 minutes.

A brief outline of the segment:

  • even very mild dehydration can affect your mood, energy level, cognitive function and memory…
  • 1 – 1.5 pecrent dehydration is considered very mild dehydration
  • we begin to feel thirsty by 1 – 2 % dehydration
  • the body is 60 – 70% Water
  • the brain is 85% Water
  • the brain is our most sensitive organ, so it begins to feel the effects of dehydration first
  • both genders complained of headaches, feeling tired and having difficulty concentrating
  • both genders become cranky with even very mild dehydration
  • Gender differences – Women’s mood worsens; Men’s short term and working memory worsens
  • Researchers think that this ‘making you feel lousy’ symptom is our signal to get more water – This is not the thirst signal
  • The thirst signal kicks in later, by 2% once we become more dehydrated
  • We may be able to turn the thirst signal off, much like turning off our hunger feeling (so we must take care to be mindful of not becoming even mildly dehydrated)
  • One theory of why we begin to feel lousy is that this change in mood may encourage us to go look for water

How much water should we drink per day?

  • It is variable depending on individual activities
  • Generally – 8 cups (2 Litres) per day
  • Of course, the more active you are, the more water you will need
  • Men, average: 3 Litres, including all liquids per day
  • Women, average: 2.5 Litres, including all liquids per day
  • Experts suggest not to count the number of litres but rather:
  • Focus on going to the bathroom (urinating!) at least 4-6 times per day
  • Urine should be pale yellow colour NOT dark yellow
  • However, first urine of the morning will be darker in colour due to night-time/ sleep dehydration
  • Sipping 10 ounces of water first thing in the morning will help to rehydrate the body from the night

Drink some water with meals, because the water does help with digestion. But not too much. Everything in moderation. I tend to drink my 10 ounces of water at the end of my meal. Experiment for yourself and see what works for you. Try all the possible combinations and make your own assessment.

Dr. Peter Lin, also says that drinking hot water is a better choice at meals because the heat helps to cut the grease.

Coffee and tea are ok in small amounts, it counts as water, but when you get to six or seven cups you begin to lose more water than you are taking in, which is the same for alcohol – it causes dehydration.

The best approach is to sip water throughout the day. Gradually increase your water intake over a number of days rather than guzzling down 2 Litres if you’ve barely been drinking any. Go slowly, let your body adapt to the change. Analyze how you feel – some days you will need more water intake than other days.


YOU are an experiment of one!

What Is a “Wheat Belly”?

Wheat (Triticum aestivum) near Auvers-sur-Oise...

By chance I caught this audio segment from CBC Radio‘s The Current.  Dr. William Davis, a cardiologist from Wisconsin postulates that the wheat grain used in agriculture today is very different from the wheat grain grown from fifty years ago.  As a result of this difference, he believes (aside from the increase in sedentary lifestyles) that the consumption of this grain is actually addictive which not only leads to overeating but also to an increase in the “accumulation of deep visceral fat – that is fat that accumulates around the organs but is shown on the surface as a large belly…It is this visceral fat that is different – it is unique, metabolically different from the other fat, say, found on your back side or arm or leg – it is metabolically active, it produces inflammatory proteins, it causes diabetes, hypertension etc.”

He calls this large belly a Wheat Belly, which is also the title of his book.  You might imagine the controversy his theory is generating among grain farmers and others.  Of course, I find this most fascinating especially if you consider my latest post titled, Full But Empty?

He briefly talks about the fact that in an effort to be healthy we are encouraged to eat more whole grains or complex carbohydrates most often in the form of whole wheat…’because complex carbohydrates sounds healthier versus simple sugars,’ but in fact they (the whole wheat grain) may very well be the source of the problem.  He comments on how people or his patients who complain that since they’ve been eating ‘apparently healthier’ or exercising more they have strangely put on more weight and can’t seem to shake it.

Something we need to address is: what is a complex carbohydrate in the first place?  Do you know?  The first item that comes to mind for most people is GRAINS.  But in fact, complex carbohydrates abound.  Here is a list from Livestrong.com of some, not all complex carbohydrates:

GRAINS millet, oats, wheat germ, barley, wild rice, brown rice, buckwheat, oat bran, cornmeal and amaranth.

FRUIT apricots, oranges, plums, pears, grapefruits and prunes.

VEGETABLES Broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, turnip greens, eggplant, potatoes, yams, corn, carrots, onions, all types of lettuce, celery, cucumbers, cabbage, artichokes and aspragus

Soy milk made from soy beans is a complex carb and dairy products like low-fat yogurt and skim milk are also complex carbs.”

As you can see, complex carbohydrates are in abundance, we are not at a loss if we should eliminate wheat as an experiment.  In fact if you do, you may find that you end up eating more vegetables which is a better choice regardless.

Here is the link for the audio segment from CBC Radio’s, The Current featuring Dr. William Davis. It is 24 minutes long.  When you open the link, just below the title/ opening paragraph you will see a black bar which reads- Listen: (Pop-up). Turn up your volume.

Maybe whole grain wheat could be utilized for other things such as cleaning products? It must be useful for something other than food. I would LOVE to hear any comments or stories that are relevant to to this topic…please share your ideas below.

Related Articles:

Three Hidden Ways Wheat Makes You Fat, by Mark Hyman, MD