Are you at Station Dehydration

Hi all, Tim here. I wanted to take the reins and get a little more candid about this month’s topic, dehydration.

In my head, I’m still 28, but in real life, I’m …well… we’ll just go with tickling the top of the hill. After a recent workout with a friend of mine, I noticed she was downing a quenchable looking liquid from a mason jar (so you know it was legit). Anyway, I asked her what she was drinking, and she told me it was cucumber and watermelon juice. Of course, I thought to myself, after all she has been involved with some pretty big juice companies – even before they were big – like when they were still making juice in their garage. Now juice is not the point here, but let me continue. She went on to tell me that sometimes she just needs something other than water and she is working on hydrating better because whether we know it or not we all suffer from some sort of chronic dehydration for one reason or another. CHRONIC DEHYDRATION, that stuck with me.

How Dry Are You?

Sometimes you’re dehydrated, and you just know it. You can feel it in your body, literally. Other times you don’t realize it until you’re thirsty and by that point, it’s too late because you’re already quite dehydrated. Have you thought about how much water you’ve had today? Alternatively, what you’ve consumed in terms of food and beverage? You can get some alternative forms of water through diet though usually not enough to fully hydrate you.. Does your day sound something like this?

Breakfast –coffee, coffee, shake or bar, coffee, coffee

Maybe you drink a glass of water between breakfast and lunch, but maybe not.

Lunch – Iced tea, diet coke… Sandwich, burger, salad…

Afternoon caffeine or maybe you have water between lunch and dinner, but again most are not.

Dinner – Iced tea, water, diet coke, wine, beer… food

Did you get a workout in today? If you sweat like the average person, you lose .8 to 1.4 liters, or 27-43 ounces, of sweat per hour of exercise. Think of it this way, in just one hour of workout you could lose about one Big Gulp (30oz) from 7-Eleven. Yes, I went there. Not to mention, we are born with 2-4 million sweat glands, so we are primed for sweating. I mean we’re just talking about diet and exercise here, but many factors can cause dehydration:

  • Stress
  • Hormones
  • Travel
  • Work
  • Illness
  • Weather

The list goes on.

So back to my story, I took the recommendation of my workout buddy and got to work hydrating. While holding my insistently curious 15-month-old daughter, I juiced cucumbers and watermelon that night. Full disclosure: holding a toddler is not recommended when juicing, but what can I say I’m a sucker for the “dadda” chants. Anyway, I thought about the sugar intake, but knew that the fresh fruit benefits outweigh the bad. I’ve stuck with it for a few months now. Not really making any other changes to my diet, and guess what? It works. I notice the difference. My energy is up, my sleep is better, and I have more flexibility… I could go on. All these things I’m noticing are considered anecdotal, but thirst is real. Sometimes it’s even hidden as hunger.

Imagine what the benefits of proper hydration are internally? What is chronic dehydration doing to our insides? Let’s take a quick look from head to toe.

Brain Drain

Did you know that the brain is made of 60% water?  Also, it’s one of the most important things to keep hydrated because it sends signals to the rest of your body for basic movement and processes. Once dehydrated there is fatigue, delayed reaction time, memory loss, coordination issues, headaches, fogginess, dizziness, and confusion. Then there is dry eye, eyestrain, and many other cognitive problems.

Matters of the Heart

When it comes to the heart things get pretty serious. Your heart rate increases by trying to overcompensate for the lower volume of blood running through your vessels. So even though your heart rate is increased, the amount of blood your heart is circulating is smaller which means your heart is running less efficiently than it would if it was hydrated – it’s not pumping as much blood as it could to help the body run at full steam. Finally, your body is retaining more sodium in the bloodstream. High sodium in the blood causes smaller blood vessels to close putting more pressure on the main blood vessels causing your blood pressure to rise.

The Main Frame

On the inside, dehydration leaves you prone to muscle cramps and intense pain. Think of it like this, your body is like a machine without lubricants – rusty and stiff, not running smoothly. Your muscles are like beef jerky and less like a fresh juicy cut of steak. On the outside, your skin is dull, flaky and itchy. Your lips are chapped, and your hair is lifeless and split. While these things mentioned above are just a fraction of what dehydration causes it’s important to know that it runs the full gambit on your body from a mild headache to full on vomiting, kidney stones, and even hypothermia. Dehydration is no joke, even at the milder stages actions should be taken immediately to get your body back on track.

Replenish This

So how do you get yourself straightened out? Well, depending on the severity of symptoms anything from water and a snack with sodium to sports drinks or fresh fruit juice could be the answer. These beverages are stocked with electrolytes – all the nutrients, vitamins, minerals and things your body needs to recover properly. Why are electrolytes so important? Well, a recent Medical News Today article I read says it best, “an electrolyte is a substance that conducts electricity when dissolved in water. They are essential for  a number of bodily functions.”


The piece goes on to say that “many of the automatic processes in the body rely on a small electric current to function and electrolytes provide this charge.” In short, electrolytes regulate many things in the body from nerve and muscle function to hydration, blood acidity and pressure, and the regeneration of damaged tissues. Muscles and neurons rely on movement of electrolytes all around cells for proper function. This report also shares a great example of how these electrolytes work to help a muscle function saying, “a muscle needs calcium, sodium, and potassium to contract. When these substances become imbalanced, it can lead to either muscle weakness or excessive contraction.” Thinking about that and bringing it back to exercise fatigue drives it home and makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?


Formulate YOUR Hydration Own Hydration!

Hydration is key to virtually every bodily function and what I’ve discussed above are some pretty valid points in understanding how we all are suffering a various level of dehydration. We aren’t consuming enough water or electrolytes ensuring mild dehydration, and on top of that regular exertion on our body is compounding and guaranteeing a state of chronic dehydration. Getting a glass of water is easy enough, but why not get a glass of electrolytes just as easily? You can formulate your own hydration and that’s why we are so excited to announce the launch of our Super Fruit Line at Infield Market – all organic freeze-dried products:

And, one we’ve really been blown away with, Deep Ocean Minerals™. Deep Ocean Minerals™ is a mineral-derived raw material innovation manufactured from deep ocean water using a sustainable-patented process, which features a synergistic profile of over 70 essential minerals and trace elements. Deep Ocean Minerals™ are drawn from water from a minimum of 600 meters below sea level in a geographically protected location off the east coast of Taiwan. There are no sunlight or pathogens just seawater rich naturally occurring minerals that are essential to the body and are comparable to the ion profile in human blood. Several studies and published clinical research has proven that DOM provides accelerated recovery, energy and rejuvenation of the human body upon receiving the mineral-rich ocean water before, during and after physical activity.

Waste Not, Want Not – Ingredient and Food Waste Along the Supply Chain

According to a report done by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), getting food from farm to table uses 10% of the total U.S. energy budget, takes up 50% of U.S. land, and guzzles 80% of all freshwater consumed in the United States. On top of that, they say that 40% of food in the U.S. goes uneaten meaning we’re casually tossing $165 billion of uneaten food each year in the can. We’re letting it pile up in landfills, causing copious amounts of methane emissions, and not even batting an eyelash. The worst part is it’s happening at every stage of the food supply chain, and it continues to cause an epidemic that should be answered for.

Loss Through The Food Chain

The average person, more than likely, thinks of food waste as the stuff that’s left over on their plate when they finish a meal or the spoiled product in the pantry or fridge. That is a part of the whole problem, but that’s only one aspect. Many don’t think of what happens during harvest or, as it relates to us, during the processing and manufacturing phase. In fact, 44% of the world’s food waste occurs during production, post-harvest, handling and storing, while 46% happens during processing, distribution, and consumption, according to the FAO.

When a product finally hits the plant to be processed and packaged, there is already an estimated 20% loss from production including things like pests, insects, birds, diseases, weather changes, etc. And, that’s not including the loss occurring during harvest and transportation.

Before facilities begin processing, they once again assess for things like size, weight, color, blemishes, and appearance. This weeding out or culling stage has been estimated to remove another 10%-40% of a product before it moves on to the next phase. Then you reach the cleaning, cutting, cooking, grinding, and packaging which, you guessed, causes even more food loss. Grain product is at the top of the list when it comes to food loss during the processing and packaging because of steps like culling, seafood and meat aren’t far behind.

Think about the trimming and byproduct from livestock slaughter, some of it may be inedible, sure, but it may have other possible uses. Alternatively, look at imported products that have to wait at ports before being admitted into the U.S., which substantially reduces the shelf life of perishable goods. Then you have the nitty gritty – residue from whatever container the product sat in or was processed in. You have the peelings, trimmings, a product that spilled or fell to the ground. Even an incorrect label can be cause for an unnecessary waste of perfectly good product. A very eye-opening example from the same NRDC report mentioned above shares how “Heinz redesigned their sauce packing process to directly fill machines from intermediate holding tanks instead of using lining bags to hold the sauce. This switch saved an estimated 3,000 plastic lining bags which used to have residual sauce inside, amounting to 40 metric tons of combined sauce and plastic waste annually.” I’ll say it again 40 metric TONS – this is just one example from one recognized company, there are how many manufacturing companies in the United States?

Many manufacturers waste raw ingredients because of things like overstocking or having too much inventory on hand caused by pricing, fluctuation in demand, a shift in trend, bulk buying, etc. Sure, KPIs help drive business, but do they account for food waste? No. A study commissioned by the Food Waste Reduction Alliance (FWRA) cited how transportation constraints and liability concerns were top obstacles when it came to product recycling. Regardless of the cause, businesses are sitting on extra product, and there is a lack of visibility to reallocate those raw materials, and they go to waste. Food manufacturers lack the real-time responsiveness and communications needed to move unsold inventory.

A Closer Look at Our Industry

In the nutraceutical world, the impacts of food waste are even more substantial. Pound for pound, kilogram for kilogram the amount of energy required to make a standardized ingredient like a vitamin or a botanical extract is huge. Let’s look at vitamin E for example. Soy-derived vitamin E relies on the production of soybean oil. Soybeans are crushed and then refined into its edible state. However, taking it back to the fields, it takes 20 acres of soybeans to generate just one kilogram or 2.2 pounds of vitamin E oil. To gain an even bigger picture, it costs about $449 per acre put into the land just to grow the soybean – soil, fertilizer, chemical, machinery, maintenance, real estate, etc. The approximate margin per acre is about $16 for the producer. Then, they get processed down to the soybean oil phase, and from there the vitamin E is extracted the prices are $10’s to $100’s per kilogram. Financially it’s a big hit. This impact is felt by all of the prominent ingredients in the market – Turmeric/Curcumin, Coconut Farms, Plant Proteins, Whey Proteins Vitamins, Minerals, Organics & Non-GMO ingredients, Fish oils, Algal oils and the list goes on.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

The uses for food waste are endless. In fact, it shouldn’t even be a thing because the practical applications for food waste are readily achievable. Excess food can help feed the homeless and entire populations of developing countries. Food waste can go towards feeding livestock to help reduce farming costs further contributing to sustainable food production. Even more, it can be converted into renewable energy packing our soil with rich nutrients.

Various studies have revealed that food waste from fruit, vegetables, and cereal among other food processing industries can be used as a potential source of bioactive compounds and nutraceuticals. In addition, different vitamins and minerals have been successfully extracted from food waste and have proven as an innovative approach to increase the production of specific compounds for use in both nutraceuticals and/or as ingredients in functional foods.

Our goal at Infield Market is to bring visibility to the tons of product sitting in those warehouses not being put to use. We are an online business-to-business platform that connects vendors and suppliers, allowing businesses to quickly find ways to move their excess ingredient or raw materials. What’s more, we offer real-time responsiveness and communication that so many companies lack as we discussed above. I always like to describe Infield Market like an Airbnb for an excess product. It’s an open forum platform that shows you on a map and in a marketplace type set up what’s out there and what’s available in real-time. Simply put, a company with a leftover ingredient can log on to the platform and list what they have to sell, how much of it is on hand, input all the ingredient specifications – including supply chain traceability information – at what price it’s available for and publish that information to the marketplace right away.

It’s not hard to see how far-reaching and severe the consequences of food waste are – environmentally, financially, socially, morally, and the list goes on. As organizations, businesses, and our industry is becoming increasingly aware of the food waste devastation; innovations are happening to increase food supply chain process, procedures, efficiency, and sustainability.

Think of it this way, if over 800 million people are suffering from malnutrition, and just one-quarter of all food waste could feed 795 million people around the world, what would happen if we all did our part, and then some?