Finding the energy to forge through the day and stick to a wellbeing plan is no mean feat when you have adrenal fatigue! In situations when you don’t have the time to cook a nutritious dinner or grab a few extra minutes of sleep, it can really help to have a few “life-hacks” up your sleeve to see you through.
Making sure that you’re adequately hydrated is one of the most important (and easiest) things you can do to give your adrenals that little helping hand.
What does water have to do with adrenal exhaustion?
Even on the busiest of days, drinking enough fluids can make a big difference to how you feel.
Dehydration presents many problems for people with adrenal fatigue. For example, without enough water the blood can’t do a proper job of carrying nutrients and oxygen to your cells, and the liver and kidneys have a hard time flushing toxic substances out of your system. Without water, your bowels soon become constipated, causing even more lethargy and sluggishness. Need I go on?
But there’s another reason why people with adrenal issues need to be aware of their fluid intake. That’s because the adrenal glands are responsible for secreting a number of important hormones that have a direct effect on your energy levels. One of these important hormones is aldosterone.
Aldosterone and adrenal fatigue
Aldosterone has the job of regulating water levels and the concentration of minerals (like sodium), in your body. If you’ve suffered with adrenal fatigue for some time, your production of aldosterone is likely to be reduced. This explains why many people with adrenal problems often have a craving for salt.
On a deeper level, vitamin, mineral and hormonal imbalances can cause a metabolic chain of events resulting in low blood pressure, headaches, weakness and lethargy.
Staying hydrated is therefore of paramount concern to anyone with adrenal issues. But how do you know what, when, and how much to drink?
Many people have no idea what adequate hydration is. It’s common for people to think that two cups of coffee in the morning and a few glasses of soda in the afternoon is enough to get them through the day. These beverages (along with alcohol) are called “diuretics.” They stimulate the kidneys to produce more urine, which depletes the body’s fluid reserves, and takes many essential soluble vitamins and minerals along with it.
It’s best to avoid diuretics when you’re trying to manage your energy levels. In general terms you should be aiming to drink at least one liter (8 glasses) of good quality water each day.
What should you drink?
People often comment on how hard it is to increase their fluid uptake, for the simple reason that they don’t like water. If this sounds like you – don’t be downhearted! There are so many delicious alternatives to try.
Here are a few of my favorites:
For this recipe you will need a good quality juicer that is able to process leaves. Wash, peel and chop the ingredients, and then throw them right in!
- 1 green apple
- 4 handfuls of spinach
- 4 handfuls of kale
- 1 cucumber
- 4 celery sticks
- 2 lemons
If you just can’t leave the house without your morning cup of coffee, try this alternative. You can buy pre-roasted dandelion root at most health stores. The resulting brew has a similar taste to regular coffee, but without the downside of the caffeine hit. Not only does it taste yummy, but dandelions are also believed to aid liver detoxification.
Cherry, mint and ginger flavoured water
Water doesn’t have to be boring! With the addition of juicy chunks of fruit and a dash of herbal goodness, an ordinary glass of water can be transformed into a surprisingly refreshing beverage. The list of possibilities is endless! Try adding chopped (and stoned) cherries, a sprig of fresh mint and a few slices of freshly chopped ginger to a glass of sparkling mineral water.
The range available is vast, and most taste great hot or cold. Try tulsi tea with ice on a hot summer day, or chamomile with honey before drifting off to sleep.
More great tips
- Try not to gulp water down in one go as this can cause the kidneys to want to excrete water more quickly. The best course of action is to take regular sips throughout the course of the day.
- Avoid drinking too much liquid with meals. Try to leave at least half an hour before and after food so as not to dilute the gastric juices which break down the nutrients.
- Try the paper clip trick! At the start of each day decide how many glasses of water you’ll drink and place the same number of paper clips in a jar. For every glass of water you drink, take one out, until you’ve emptied the jar! (This is also a fun way for children to track how much fluid they’re getting.)
- Remember that vegetable soups and stews also contain significant amounts of water. If your fluid intake hasn’t been great during the day, try a soup supper!
- Buy a good quality water filter. Many kitchen stores sell reasonably priced jugs that can easily be filled and left in the fridge. This ensures that your water is free from the chemicals, hormones and other nasties that are found in tap water in some areas.
Don’t let adrenal fatigue get the better of you just because you’re not getting the right amount of fluid. It only takes a small amount of effort to stay hydrated. Why not give these tips a try and see!