CTCC thanks Cawood Fitzhugh for this article. Ms. Cawood is a T’ai Chi participant who recently retired as a Nurse Practitioner in Primary Care.
Please note: Any dizziness should always be checked out by your medical provider. The facts on hydration are the same for all, unless there is someone who is medically on a fluid restriction.
In the morning, drinking a warm cup of water before coffee or tea can be quite beneficial for our bodies. This can provide a nice start for some good hydration, giving our bodies water that is needed early in the day. Sleeping during the night is dehydrating, and sometimes we are already behind already in our hydration. We wake up, go to the bathroom – which dehydrates us – then drink a cup of coffee in which the caffeine dehydrates us more, constricting the blood vessels. Additional caffeine is added sometimes to coffees and the lighter the roast, the greater the caffeine. All of this contributes to causes of dehydration which can result in lightheadedness, especially when we exercise early in the morning.
Sometime coffee drinkers can be attached to the smell of coffee brewing and the stimulating good feeling. This is especially true as a younger adult — coffee can make you feel happy to drink it. However, as we age, coffee may actually exacerbate jitters, increase anxiety, increase our blood pressures and cumulative effects may interfere with sleep. Switching over to a good organic tea brand is beneficial because of the antioxidants in the tea which decrease inflammation in the body and may help to minimize blood pressure as well as anxiety. If you are attached to coffee and it brings you joy, try making a cup with 1/2 decaf and 1/2 regular coffee decreasing the total amount of caffeine while still enjoying the same amount of cups.
If you want to try a tea, many coffee drinkers seem to enjoy Masala Chai for the “kick” of flavor, being a little pungent and spicy for the dark roast coffee drinkers. The “Rishi” tea company makes a Masala chai that people seem to enjoy. It is found online through Amazon, locally at Whole Foods and Wegmans and is organic. Green tea is even better, but Americans have traditionally only had bad teas growing up and tend to shy away from tea. Black tea is a way to transition over from coffee and then move into the other wonderful world of teas with their anti-inflammatory effects.
For early morning exercise, it is important for all of us to enjoy a large glass of warm water when we first awake. This hydrates the body, will get the digestive system moving and makes us feel better overall for the rest of the day and enables our bodies to perform our intention by paying attention to what is needed.
Hydration is accumulative. So sipping water or an herbal tea throughout the day, provides flavor, vitamins, minerals and an overall sense of well-being. Of course if you are under any medical care, please follow the seasoned advice of your health care provider. And always remember, there are many reasons for some lightheadedness when standing for long periods or with any exercise. This always needs to be further evaluated by your healthcare provider in an expedient manner.