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Archives | Hands for Life

How to Stay Hydrated the Right Way

Have you ever heard the theory that you need to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day to avoid dehydration? How about the theory that only water can hydrate you, and that other fluids don’t count towards that 8 glasses? Well, those water myths have gone belly up in recent years. The CDC has done away with that 8 glasses of water myth and now recommends drinking water when thirsty to avoid dehydration. Additionally, they have determined that any fluid or food that is high in water content adds to hydration. This means that you no longer need to drink large quantities of water, but can instead focus on listening to your body’s signals and drinking when it tells you to drink.   If one of the traditional, long standing arguments for water consumption has been debunked, does that mean other former facts may be considered myths as well? The answer is yes, but also no. Let’s go through some of the more common myths on drinking water to determine fact from myth.   Common Water Concepts: Eight glasses of water a day False! Doctors now recommend drinking when thirsty and count any food or beverage with a high liquid content towards hydration. If you are involved in strenuous activity, especially in hot weather, it doesn’t hurt to drink more often. A sister-myth, that by the time you are thirsty you are already dehydrated, has also been proven false. When thirsty, it’s time to get a drink, but you aren’t already into the stages of dehydration. Water  flushes toxins from the body True! The kidneys use water...

What do fireworks and medicine have in common?

Fireworks and medicine have more in common than you may think. As we celebrate American independence, take a moment to think about the variety of ways humanity has learned to use the chemicals and substances around us. We’re pretty innovative, and also fairly certain we haven’t even come close to discovering everything this world has to offer us. Check out the chemicals and substances that give fireworks their color, and how they compare in the medical world: Red Fireworks: A red firework gets its color from either Lithium or Strontium. Lithium gives the medium red tones, while Strontium produces a stronger, more intense red. Lithium, in the medical world is primarily used as a psychiatric medication and is used to treat major depressive disorders like Bipolar Disorder. Strontium, on the other hand, is used in advanced cases of prostate cancer and bone cancer. Blue Fireworks: Blue fireworks get their color from Copper. Powdered copper is placed inside the firework shell and, when it ignites, we see beautiful blue colors. In medicine, doctors are studying the use of copper to target and destroy cancer cells. Green Fireworks: A green firework comes from Barium, which is also used to coath the throat, esophagus, stomach, and intestines so that they more clearly show in CT scans and other X-rays. Yellow Fireworks: Yellow fireworks come from sodium, also known as… Salt. Sodium bicarbonate, in particular, is used to treat hearburn, indigestion, and upset stomach. It’s fantastic for toning down stomach juices! White Fireworks: White fireworks get their color from Aluminum and Magnesium. Aluminum hydroxide reduces phosphate levels in certain kidney conditions. Magnesium is...