It’s HOT – Hydrate!
During these last few weeks, we saw some of the hottest weather of the summer—and it reminded me how important it is that we regularly hydrate.
Many studies indicate that most of us (up to 75 percent of us) do not drink enough water, and we often suffer from dehydration. This is a big deal! Dehydration can cause headaches, ulcers, high blood pressure and kidney disease.
Did you know that 60 percent of our body is composed of water, and that water makes up 75 percent of our muscles and 85 percent of our brains? In fact, water is often described as the oil that runs our engines – without it, we stop running.
Water is the biggest part of our bodies; it is necessary for us to digest and absorb nutrients, and to detoxify our livers and kidneys. And you should know, sugary drinks do not have the same impact as water does—not even close.
Last summer, I had the chance to judge for the Mendocino County Public Health’s Rethink Your Drink campaign. As a judge, I had the opportunity to taste test many different infused waters (water with slices of fruits, vegetables and/or herbs), and I have to say, they were really good.
The Rethink Your Drink campaign focused on replacing sugary sodas with healthier choices, like water and water-based drinks, including tea and even lemonade. Like most people, I knew sodas and sports drinks weren’t good for me, but last summer I learned just how damaging these drinks can be to our health—especially for kids.
Local health advocate Tarney Sheldon said, “America is in the middle of an unprecedented obesity crisis and obesity is associated with many serious illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and certain types of cancers. In Mendocino County, 43 percent of our children are overweight or obese. Just think about that for a second: close to half of our children are now at a higher risk for serious diseases like diabetes.”
Sheldon continued, “Sugary drinks are the largest single contributor to empty calories in an American’s diet.” We need to read beverage labels and think about the amount of sugar is in each drink. Sheldon said that people are always shocked to measure it out and see how much sugar there actually is in that drink.
If you read the labels of sodas or sports drinks, you won’t usually find “sugar,” instead you’ll see one of these other names for sugar:
Dextrose, Lactose, Sucrose, Fructose, Glucose, Levulose, Maltose, Corn Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Maple Sugar, Turbino, Mannitol, Molasses, Milk Sugar, Maltodextrin, Sorbitol, Honey, Xylitol, Invert Sugar, Maltitol, Evaporated Cane Juice, and Brown Rice Syrup.
As a parent, it’s hard to say no to our kids, but if it’s for their own good, we need to figure out a way. According to the Rethink Your Drink campaign, the average California adolescent drinks 39 pounds of sugar from sugary drinks every year!
And it’s not just kids, most of us don’t want to exercise any more than we must to maintain our weight (or lose a few pounds). Did you know that a 154-pound individual would have to walk for nearly an hour to burn off the calories in a 20-ounce cola? I’m thinking I’d rather have a glass of water.
As a police officer, I’m usually focused on keeping people safe by combating crime; however, another way to keep people safe is by helping them stay healthy – and hydrated.
Here at the police department, we think hydration is so important that we have installed a number of water stations to encourage our officers to stay hydrated.
Water truly is the oil in our engines; please consider rethinking your drinks. If you’d like to learn more, search “rethink your drink” online.
As always, our mission at UPD is simple: to make Ukiah as safe as possible. If you have suggestions on how we can improve please feel free to call me. If you would like to know more about crime in your neighborhood, you can sign up for telephone, cell phone and email notifications by clicking the Nixle button on our website: www.ukiahpolice.com.