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This month, we will focus our attention on Water & Hydration! I am writing this blog post from Kamloops, BC, where it is 32 degrees at 9.37am, with an expected high of 46 today!!

What is interesting with thirst, dehydration and water consumption, our bodies don't have a brilliant mechanism to remind us to drink. When we do get that thirsty desire, our bodies are already in a position of dehydration, so it is important to put behaviours in place to create more consistent consumption.

Considering that coffee is probably one of the most consumed beverages in the world, I feel it appropriate to start with it.

Some interesting stats about coffee consumption:

  • The Finnish consume 12 kilos (26.4 lbs) of coffee yearly!

  • The consumption of gormet coffee has overtaken non-gormet.

  • And if you visit your local coffee house in the morning, you could spend 45 hours a year waiting for that morning hit!

As always, here at Truehope Canada, we are all about science. What does it say about coffee and dehydration? Well, that fact that coffee is dehydration is more of a myth than anything. There is no science to prove it is.

A 2014 study looked at 50 men who drank 3-6 cups of coffee a day. Researchers looked closely at food, fluid and coffee intake. The research concluded that there were no significant differences across various blood and urinary markers of hydration status between trials. It is important to note (as with all scientific research), that this study was funded by the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC). A non-profit organization dedicated to the study and disclosure of science related to coffee and health.

Some drinks offer more hydration than others, and the mechanism behind it is intriguing. The primary characteristic of a hydrating compound is its ability to slow the rate of stomach emptying. The slower a beverage empties the stomach, the more hydrating it is. Beverages low in sugar and high in protein offer the best hydration.

Similar research found sugary drinks do not increase hydration levels, but have negative health effects, they contribute to insulin resistance and dehydration.

Sufficient hydration is needed in all cells of the body for optimal function. This is important, because simply drinking more and more water doesn't necessarily mean it's getting into the cells. Imagine when your drink, water passes through the throat, the oesophagus, stomach, and intestines.

Most water absorption happens in the small intestine, but our ability to absorb nutrients must work well (that's a whole other blog) to get that water into our cells!

And to finish off, let's go over a few health benefits of coffee, because it is for sure a Super Food.

  • Swedish research showed that coffee drinkers had a lower risk of Type 2 Diabetes than non-coffee drinkers.

  • Simply 1 cup of coffee can stimulate brown fat activity, which burns more energy and improves insulin sensitivity.

  • Coffee can benefit athletes by increasing performance and assisting in recovery.

It is important to consume good quality coffee, because many farmers use harsh chemicals in the growing phase.

Simon Brazier. Dip HN, NNCP


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