9 Ways to Stay Hydrated and Healthy
A whopping 70% of our bodies are made up of water, so it should surprise no one that staying hydrated is essential to overall health. Drinking water throughout the day is the easiest way for us to stay hydrated but there are other habits that can contribute to our hydration. Whatever your preference, it’s important that you take in sufficient quantities of water on a daily basis.
Hydration and Health
Correct hydration is critical to overall health as well as your mental performance and productivity, your mood, cognition, and quality sleep time. Common symptoms of dehydration may include:
- Bad Breath
- Chills Or Fever
- Craving For Sweets
- Dark Colored Urine
- Dry Mouth Or Skin
- Increased Heartbeat
- Low Blood Pressure
- Low Urine Output
- Muscle Cramps
This may be especially so during the summer or for those living in warm climates, fitness buffs, athletes, or manual laborers that perspire more. How much water you should drink will depend on a combination of factors including age, physical exertion, and of course the environmental temperature. Your urine is a good indicator. If it is light yellow or clear, you are most likely drinking adequately. If urination is reduced throughout the day and dark in color, it’s certain that you need more liquids.
Here are several methods to integrate into your daily schedule to guarantee you stay hydrated and healthy.
1. Drink Sufficient Water for Your Physical Needs
Every person is different and will have individual needs as to what constitutes enough water. For professional athletes or those involved in manual labor, it will most likely be more than professionals sitting at a desk. A good rule of thumb is to divide your weight in half, then try to consume that number of ounces of water daily. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink.
Keep in mind that if you have any specific health conditions such as heart failure, you need to consult your cardiologist about how much water you should be drinking.
2. Not Everyone Likes Water: Try Flavored or Infused Water
Not everyone likes the taste of water, which will vary depending on the minerals in the water or chemical additives. A great alternative for those who don’t really enjoy the taste of water, is to consume “detox” water, fruit-infused or fruit-flavored water. Producers will immerse a combination of herbs, vegetables, and/or fruits in cold water.
Infused water is an excellent alternative to carry with you or keep at your desk to sip throughout your daily routine. What‘s more, it may aid in increasing your overall water intake because it helps to increase your body’s metabolism and boost energy levels causing you to feel the need to drink more often.
3. Carry a Water Bottle with You
Carrying a bottle of water in your purse, backpack, or briefcase is always a good idea. Often people do not consume sufficient water because they simply get caught up in what they are doing and forget to drink. Keeping a water bottle within reach will help remind you to drink and perhaps even finish it.
4. Use a Smart Water Bottle
If you need or want to keep track of your water intake, consider using a smart water bottle. You won’t be required to remember how often and how much you drink because the smart bottle will automatically track water intake. They are connected to an app that will update you at regular intervals regarding your levels of hydration. This allows you to monitor your progress throughout the day. Thanks to technology, you can get alerts, notifications, and reminders as needed.
5. Avoid Carbonated Sugary Drinks
These drinks usually have little or no nutritional value and do very little in terms of hydration. Excessive sugar intake will do more harm than good to your health and may influence insulin resistance, contribute to diabetes, and even pave the way for dementia. Carbonated water alone is fine and will aid hydration as long as it does not contain flavors, sugars, or citric acid. When purchasing drinks, read the list of ingredients so you know what you are consuming before you drink.
6. Beware of Diuretic Beverages
The opposite of hydration is dehydration, and many beverages may be dehydrating as opposed to hydrating. Alcohol, for instance, exercises a dehydrating effect on the body. If you enjoy a glass of wine, nightcap, or beer, consider non-alcoholic beers or a nightcap with lots of ice to contrast the dehydrating effect. Alcohol is not a substitute for water or juice.
If you are a heavy coffee or tea drinker, these beverages are natural diuretics. So if you drink coffee or tea all day long, but do not supplement your water intake, you involuntarily contribute to dehydration. For every cup of coffee, drink a glass of water.
7. Try Homemade Alternatives
Homemade decaffeinated herbal tea or fruit tea is a tasty option for those who prefer a flavored beverage. In warmer weather, you can opt to make frozen fruit popsicles, frozen fruit bits, or frozen smoothies and coolers.
8. Eat Fruits and Vegetables with High Water Content
Many fruits and vegetables contain high amounts of water. Cantaloupes, pineapples, peaches, strawberries, and watermelons all contain lots of water. Vegetables with high water content include celery, cucumbers, radishes, leafy greens, tomatoes, and zucchini. They are not a substitute for a glass of water, but they most certainly can supplement your water intake.
9. Be Aware of the Weather
If it is extremely hot, avoid going outside if possible. Avoid excessive sun exposure and look for an air-conditioned location. If you don’t have air conditioning at home, go to a shopping center, public library, or theater to stay cool. Dress properly for the season. Light, loose clothing made from natural fibers will allow your skin to breathe. Opt for lighter colors that do not absorb heat and wear a hat in the sun. Also use sunscreen outdoors to prevent sunburn, which increases body temperature and impedes staying cool.
Remember to drink in locations that have air conditioning or heating as these environments will contribute to dehydration.