Water, water everywhere…but is there enough to keep us healthy?


Water is the one thing our bodies cannot do without. We can go awhile without eating, but water…we just need it.

Every cell, tissue and organ requires hydration to work efficiently. Water makes up more than half our body’s weight. We’re constantly losing water—when we sweat, expire, urinate—so we need to replenish water constantly during the day, or we become dehydrated.

How do we know when we’re getting low on hydration? Here are some symptoms to monitor:

• Little or no urine, or urine that is darker than usual
• Dry mouth
• Sleepiness or fatigue
• Extreme thirst
• Headache
• Confusion
• Dizziness or lightheaded feeling
• No tears when crying

Pay more attention to your hydration if you’re exercising heavily in the sun; if you’re a senior; if you’re ill; if you notice you haven’t had anything to drink in awhile, even if you have no craving for water.

A GreenAcres customer—a senior–shared her experience. She hadn’t had anything but her morning coffee to drink all day, and later that evening noticed she didn’t feel quite right. She decided to take a bath to revive her energy, but soon found she couldn’t get out of the bathtub.

She thought vaguely about calling her daughter for help, but couldn’t remember her daughter’s phone number. She sat exhausted in the tub for three hours, feeling confused and listless. Finally, she realized she had to get help and summoned all her strength to get out of the tub. Her daughter came to her rescue and thought she’d had a stroke. Off to the emergency room they went, only to have the doctors tell them dehydration was the culprit.

You can see how serious not drinking enough can be. Today, that same customer doesn’t go anywhere without a bottle of water.

While water is usually the best option for staying hydrated, there are other drinks which might work better in certain instances. For example, if you’re diabetic and your blood sugar drops, drinking a fruit juice will raise the blood sugar level immediately until you can access your situation.

Iced tea can help replenish hydration when you’re tired of drinking water. And how about pure coconut water!

Coconut water is refreshing to some, not nearly sweet enough to others, but no matter, GreenAcres customers buy our coconut water as if it were going out of style.

Two summers ago, during a particularly long, hot Kansas summer, we noticed an increase in our senior population stocking up on coconut water. Eighty-year-olds were getting dehydrated in prolonged, scorching hot weather and they didn’t know it until they began to have symptoms of slurring speech and disorientation.

Rather than reach for day-glo-colored sports drinks (that are often infused with preservatives and other extraneous ingredients not always good for you), our senior customers came looking for coconut water as a quick way to replenish electrolytes. Some even said their doctors recommended it (!) Music to our ears.

Nutritionally speaking, coconut water is instant hydration. Naturally fat free and low in sugar, a cup of coconut water contains about 10 grams of natural sugar at only 45 calories. It’s also replete with potassium, calcium and magnesium, and low in sodium—only 40-60 mg. per 16 oz. can–great for a population that often has blood pressure problems and needs to limit sodium.

In Africa, India and South America, water from the tender, immature coconut is a natural alternative to tap water. After the coconut vendor splits the coconut for its water content, the delicate, sweet coconut meat is given to children who are big fans and beg for their favorite treat.

Alas, here in the Midwest, we rely on our coconut water vendors and our produce vendors to supply us with this nutritious liquid and fruit. Judging from our customers, it looks like runners and bikers are the coconut’s biggest fans. “Don’t forget tennis players,” says one coconut water lover, “I used to get so dehydrated during a long game, I’d literally have to make a trip to the emergency room to get an IV to re-hydrate. Once I discovered coconut water, I never had to make that trip again!”

So what are the health benefits of coconut water? This is what one blogger on the Internet has to say:

• Research studies suggest that cytokinins in coconut water showed significant anti-ageing, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-thrombotic effects.
• Coconut water has been offered to patients with diarrhea in many tropical regions to replace fluid loss from the gastrointestinal tract and reduce the need for intravenous therapy (just what our tennis customer had to say!)
• Coconut water is composed of many naturally-occurring bioactive enzymes such as acid phosphatase, catalase, dehydrogenase, diastase, peroxidase, RNA-polymerases etc. In effect, these enzymes help in digestion and metabolism.

In this month’s GreenAcres newsletter, we offer these suggestions for staying hydrated:

• New Zealand Artesian Water is 4/$5 and double points
• C20 Pure Coconut Water is $3.89 for a liter and double points
• Guayaki Organic Yerba Mate tea is $1.99 for 16 oz and double points
• R.W. Knudsen Natural Simply Nutritious Juice is $2.99 for 32 oz

Keep these in mind when you’re buying for hydration and save!