Does caffeine cause dehydration?

Thinking & research conflicts on whether caffeine causes dehydration.

We discuss the issue, make recommendations & present a chart detailing the amount of caffeine in selected products at bottom of page.

One experiment showed that consuming caffeine did not lead to losing more urine and therefore doesn’t suggest a caffeine dehydration connection.

However, studies like this are examples of research that is not complete enough to draw conclusions. It simply leads to many other questions.

Do dehydration effects take longer than 4 – 6 hours?

What are dehydration effects for habitual coffee drinkers?

Maybe urine output remains stable but losing just a little, unmeasurable amount of water from cells, over time, may lead to chronic cell dehydration that cannot be measured in a short-term study.

Caffeine dehydration is worsened by adding chemicals, sugars, creamers.What’s the connection between tea & dehydration?

What if caffeinated drinks are combined with sweeteners and creamers? Etc.

Other studies do show caffeine dehydration link. They too do not definitively answer the question.

However, what scientists know about the role of caffeine on biological processes strongly suggests that cola, teas & coffee dehydrate, at least mildly.

Moreover, the lack of enough fluids in the body may make caffeine effects stronger.

This is not good as the following list on the effects of caffeine on the body suggests.

The effects of caffeine on the body

Caffeine has several harmful effects on the body. Some of those effects lead to health problems including dehydration. (In particular #s 3, 6 & 7 below may be cause or lead to dehydration.)

1)Caffeine reduces the hormone melatonin, needed for restful, deep sleep

2)Risk factor for low birth weight newborn

3)Decreases memory enzymes

4)Can damage DNA

5)May cause or worsen attention problems

6)May effect overall brain functioning

7)Caffeine stimulates central nervous system

8)Releases fatty acids that go into the blood system

9)Combined with artificial sweeteners, caffeinated drinks may combine bad effects of caffeine with bad effects of chemical sweeteners for a one – two wallop.

10)Constant, high caffeine intake may cause adrenal fatigue leading to chronic fatigue

Dr. Batmanghelidj suggested that cravings for caffeine signal a need for water. The cravings are learned behaviors where drinking is associated with drinking caffeinated drinks instead of water.

Try drinking primarily water with very few other beverages. You should soon notice that you start craving water like you used to crave coffee or cola. This is the craving that we should all feel but gets displaced onto other drinks. You might conclude that caffeine is bad, period. That’s not our conclusion.

Rather, respect the powerful effect that caffeine has on our bodies and use it strategically.

Examples, a few cups of coffee may break an asthma attack in a pinch. Caffeine may increase endurance if consumed in moderation an hour before exercise.

The problem is that if you are a heavy chronic user, are in poor shape & do not drink enough water, caffeine becomes an ever-present toxic rather than a useful supplement.

So drink a cup of Joe, or a few cups of tea high in antioxidants. Just make sure that your other lifestyle choices are healthy.

Caffeine Levels (in milligrams)

Coffee (10 oz.) brewed, drip, 230 mg

Coffee (10 oz.) instant, 130

Coffee (10 oz.) decaf, 5

Tea (10 oz, brewed), 80-120

Iced tea (12 oz), 70

Hot cocoa (8 oz), 5

Soft drink (12 oz) Coca Cola, 45

Pepsi Cola, 40

Dr. Pepper, 40

Diet Coca Cola/Pepsi Cola, 40-45

Mountain Dew, 55

This entry was posted in Health.

Alcohol & dehydration

Why they lead to serious illnesss

Prevent, treat symptoms of dehydration from alcohol

Add alcohol dehydration to the many symptoms of overuse of alcohol.

No need to list all of the effects of unhealthy consumption of alcohol. The physical & social tolls related to alcoholism is enormous.

We will outline the particular finding that alcohol causes dehydration and suggest easy ways to prevent, treat problem.

Alcoholics are dehydrated.

All of them.

Just a quick look and inventory of their health profile and symptoms suggest how alcoholism & dehydration are as connected as peanut butter & jelly.

Generally, alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it increases urination and flushes water from the body.

In part, alcohol dehydration results from increase in kidneys flushing water out of system.

Alcohol removes fluid from tissues it contacts.

Notice, for example, that cosmeticians use it to dry up pimples. It also dries up mucous membranes making respiration more difficult and leading to sore, raspy throat.

Alcohol also contains many toxins that require more water to help flush out

Alcohol also reduces our store of vitamins and minerals.

Dehydration caused by drinking drains potassium from the body, resulting in thirst, muscle cramps, dizziness and faintness.

Alcohol dehydration also leads to the body turning off its anti-dehydration processes in body.

This actually affects a basic, vital function of our bodies.

Finally, dehydration from alcohol, in particular dehydrates brains cells. This makes sense when we see how psychologically compromised alcoholics & drunks are.

Alcohol addiction

Alcohol addiction may come from dehydration of cells. This provokes more drinking of alcohol in a misguided attempt to hydrate.

But, of course hydrating with an alcoholic drink is impossible for 2 reasons: 1)It’s a diuretic & 2)You become drunk well before you can use even some of the water in the alcohol.

The felt need for alcohol resembles the hunger pangs of the failed dieter. They are both real needs for increased water that are misperceived.

Easy solution

Just drink more water.

Stay generally hydrated.

But especially, when having a few drinks, have a glass of water before starting & one glass of water per drink consumed.

At the end of a splurge, drink as much water as you can but be sure to add a multi-vitamin and multi-mineral to replace lost substances.

An electrolyte replacement drink may be helpful afterwards.

Finally, counter some of the toxins in alcohol by eliminating contaminants from your water. Purchase a good water filter locally or visit the Aquasana store through our link for a discount.

This entry was posted in Health.

Boys will be boys…

As a mother of only boys, this phrase is my life and has new found meaning daily. My two year old son would give the average person a heart attack every five minutes base on his dare devil attempt at everything. Like trying to sit upside down, pretending the ground is made of bouncing tiles, wrestling every and any one…etc. Then you add to that the high level of energy, a reluctance to hear and desire to find the game in everything and you have the recipe for the average boy!

But boys are suppose to make you want to draw out your hair and lose you voice (all of which have happened to me on multiple occasions) as anything less and they will be girls. Boys are suppose to be rough and tough while finding a way at all times to tug at her heart strings. So what do you do with boys? You let them be because you could shout all you want, beat all you want, punish all you want…boys will be boys. They will turn your world upside down, send you to the emergency rooms and get you old before you know it!

Here are some tips:

  1. Ensure for the most part that the home is child proof (not 100% guaranteed especially if you have a boy…lol)
  2. Get dark furniture ( this goes for all children…but boys will run outside in the mud and then run inside and jump up and down in your sofa!)
  3. Use a carpet in front of all sofa or beds (this will ease the fall because they will jump from the sofa and the beds, its just a matter of when!)
  4. Dress them in jeans or a long pants when outside playing (boys tend to run more and climb more, hence they fall more. This will reduce the amount of bo bo you will have to kiss later)
  5. Get a medical kit full of band aids (funny enough I have never had to use them because my child is made of steel!)
  6. Allow the fun, but observe from a comfortable distance (once no immediate harm will come to them don’t say “no”, “stop” it will only make them do it more! Just observe!)

They say God takes care of fools and children and this is so true! I once told a parent who was concerned for me raising Adam, that my silent wish is that he makes it to 5 without breaking a bone! so far so good!

The Delivery – C-Section

The best way to describe this experience is WOW! No article or video was going to prepare me for this horrific experience.

Being pregnant with twins I knew the issue of birth by C-Section was very possible. My doctor and I waited to the last minute to decide and eventually it came down to what was best for Twin B (So Daniel I did it for you). The course of action was to have elective surgery as oppose to going into labor. Hospital inefficiencies aside (a totally different blog), there was no mental gymnastics that was going to prepare me for this experience.

I was wheeled into the theater and suddenly it dawned on me that this was serious! My money was able to buy me the services of the best medical team but could not buy me the peace of mind that was very lacking. The situation was aggravated by the fact that the anesthesiologist just could not find the space to insert the spinal epidural and the thought of being put under delivered a fear I have never experienced before. Couple sticks later and we were ready to go, but so was I. I literally wanted to get off the table and run away but the numbness from my chest down meant I was going no where soon.

“Don’t go into the white light”, I told myself…lol! I felt like I wanted to sleep but I refused and as I listened to my doctor talk through the surgery, tears of unknown proportions fell from my eyes and I was just a nervous wreck and it was only the crying of Twin B that comforted me. I was relieved further when I could feel my legs and when I was wheeled to recovery with my twins beside me; it was worth it!

I was told that recovery with a C-Section is hard and I was determined to bounce back quickly. What was clear is that your abdominal muscles are some of the most important muscles in your body…because everything hurt. It hurt just to cough! The pain I knew would be there, but what I was not prepared for was the spinal headaches. It was day two and a headache unlike none I have experienced before literally hit me for six. The pain started in the front of the head and move to the back and down the spine and up again. The pain worsen when I sat…I swear I was going to die! The remedy….Pepsi; now who would have thought!

There is no doubt in my mind that vaginal delivery is ten times better. To date I still feel sticking in the area and there is a general numbness at the site. But when I look at Daniel in particular and the risk he was presented with…it was worth it.

Now I enjoy the thrills!

Finding the right OBGYN

Once I realized I was pregnant, I knew who my OBGYN would be. My friend when she had her first child used an OBGYN that she bragged about and I had no hesitation in using his service. He was warm and comforting, but most importantly he was detailed and made it his point of duty to explain everything to me. I had a lot of questions and he always had an answer for me. When I was pregnant the second time, there was no doubt he was to be my OBGYN again and both experiences were without complaints.

Now there are many qualified OBGYNs out there and there will be many recommendations from friends and family, but here are some things you should consider separate from qualification:

  1. The availability of your OBGYN for your delivery. Doctors go on vacation or have other commitments, so it is important from the first visit to have an idea of your due date and whether that is an available time for your doctor.
  2. The ability of your OBGYN to deliver at the hospital of your choice. Some doctors do not offer private delivery at some hospitals and this is an important factor to be considered.
  3. Ultra Sound facilities. Through out your pregnancy you will have to do one or more ultra sounds and it is far more convenient when your doctor has that facility in his office.
  4. Personality. No one wants to deal with a doctor they do not like, so find someone who is easy to talk to and with whom you feel comfortable.

During pregnancy your OBGYN will be your new best friend so select wisely. I love my OBGYN so much that even now I want to go to him for medical issues not even related to his field (lol). Sadly I will not have reason to see him again as my pregnant days are over (crossed fingers and legs…dwl)

The “Undilated” Labour

There is no greater oxymoron in obstetrics than that indicated in the title of this post. I want to make it clear that the content of this post represents my experience and while I appreciate others have had great experiences, theirs are not mine to own.

When I found out I was carrying twins, a lot of things ran through my mind. Paramount concern for me was the safe carrying to full term and safe delivery. I had a serious and frank discussion with my OBGYN and after serious consideration I decided to deliver at UHWI, as it is the ONLY hospital in Kingston with a labour and NICU unit. The latter was crucial as the delivery of twins is considered high risk under every and any condition and should there be a problem I wanted to be in the same hospital as my children. My previous delivery was at Nutall and I knew and did not expect the same royal treatment and service, but boy it was night and day!

Attending the UHWI private clinic was not bad at all. I was seeing my consultant who was going to deliver me and he had the greatest nurse I have ever had the chance to deal with. She was a gem. But that was the end of the pleasant experience.

Somewhere about two days short of 34 weeks, I started to experience tightening in my stomach and they came at intervals. Some how I was sure they were not contractions but since my pregnancy was considered high risk and my doctor did not want to take any chance I went to the labour ward. I later found out that because I was pre-term a nurse could not examine me. Somehow I had found comfort in that at the time, but that was a false sense of security. So I was stringed up to machine to check the heart rates and to see whether I was having contractions and then I had to wait on the doctor. I must say here that the nurses (all but one) on the labour ward are some of the best at the UHWI.

So in walks this young woman who introduces herself as a doctor and I proceeded with my 100 questions. Since she was only going to examine me to inform my consultant, I though oh well what the hell! She professionally examined me and informed me I was 2cm. My exact words to her was “2cm what?!” in shock and she informed I was 2m dilated and base on the reading on the machine I was having contractions. I saw no reason to question her assessment and my consultant ordered that I be admitted and be immediately medicated to stop the “contractions” and to develop the lungs of the babies. I went into frighten mood because it was not a safe time to deliver twins. However the contractions calmed down and I was released on Wednesday. And not a day too soon as I was not getting any sleep! Some time before being release I was examined a second them and the 2cm dilation was confirmed by another doctor.

I was now on labour watched and moved closer to the hospital. By Friday of the same week, I started to feel the same discomfort and once again went to the labour ward and was admitted for 24 hour watch. This time another doctor informed that I was not actually having contractions but that I was still 2cm dilated. On Saturday a very interesting personality in the form of a doctor attended to me. By this time I did not look like anybody in labour and I was sure my consultant was going to request that they release me. However upon examination I was found to be 4cm dilated!

My OGBYN was now on standby, family was praying and all the necessary staff was now on alert for the delivery of pre-term twins. Saturday night…nothing. Sunday I was examined by another doctor still 4cm and nothing. By Sunday evening I was sufficiently depressed, pregnant women came in and out of the labour ward and I was not even feeling anything near to a contraction.

Monday morning I demanded answers and my OBGYN, because protocol did not permit him, requested of the attending consultant to check me. He was quite a pleasant fellow who agreed with me that something was wrong. There was no way I was 4cm dilated and was not progressing into active labour. The man had not even finish the examination when he hissed his teeth and told me I could get dress and go home! I was like WHAT? Apparently I was not even 1cm dilated and was only having some abdominal tightness because of limited space.

How then did four different doctors got it wrong? There are two openings to the uterus and it is the inner opening that determines dilation…obstetrics basics. But none of these doctors was paying attending in class and so I spent close to a week in the hospital for no good reason! It was not until Thursday of that week that I was 3cm dilated and I opt to deliver by C-section at week 36.

I continue to marvel at the sheer incompetence but praise God that it did not lead to any harm to me or the babies!

This entry was posted in Babies.

benefits of krill oil

The older I get, the more I start to think about what I should be doing to take care of myself. I should probably drink less Coke, I should probably spend less nights on the couch watching TV, and I should probably be taking at least a multi-vitamin and possible some supplements daily to ensure I can keep my cholesterol down, maintain a healthy heart, and keep my energy level up. Of the things I SHOULD be doing, adding a vitamin and supplements seems to be the easiest way to give my health a boost in 2011 – but

where to start? I was in Publix last night looking at all of the vitamins and supplements available and my head started spinning just thinking about all of the options. I noticed several brands of fish oil, which is recommended by the American Heart Association to reduce cardiovascular problems. What I didn’t realize is that some fish oils are mass produced by fish farms, resulting in fish being injected or subjected to chemicals or dyes. Even when fish oil is obtained from “wild” fish, the fish sometimes have a high level of mercury and metals. Worse yet…these versions of fish oil can result in an upset stomach and fishy burps, or a bad taste in your mouth. I’m definitely not interested in any of that! As I did a little more digging into my options, I learned about Krill Oil. Krill are tiny little crustaceans that are at the bottom of the food chain – they’re mostly whale food, with a seals

and penguins enjoying them as a tasty snack as well. Krill Oil contains all of the good stuff contained in fish oil, and none of the bad! Even better, Krill Oil has more antioxidants than Vitamin A, E or Lycopene, eliminating the need for extra supplements for the purpose of ingesting extra antioxidants. Krill are metal and mercury free and found in the wild naturally, meaning no chemicals or dyes make their way into the Krill Oil. It’s 11 times more effective than fish oil at lowering bad cholesterol and 6 times more effective for reducing wrinkles – YES!! Learn more about the benefits of Krill Oil online and discover how you can improve your memory, eliminate aches and pains and avoid the fish burps!

This entry was posted in Health.

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