The Ultimate Guide to Hydration
Learn About Strategies and Best Practices That May Save Your Life
Optimal water intake is without a doubt one of the most vital factors in good health. In essence, we need the proper amount of water in our bodies for every cellular function.
Did you know that even mild dehydration can lead to fatigue, brain fog, constipation, muscle pain, skin problems, headaches and dizziness?
Here’s the thing though, staying hydrated involves more than just drinking a lot of water. Many people drink more than enough water, yet their bodies are starved for water. How can this be?
A few of the factors that affect hydration are stress, sodium intake, intense exercise, individual metabolic rate, overall physical activity, pregnancy and even the temperature and humidity of the air.
Considering the roles water plays in digestion, metabolism, immunity, and detoxification it is vital to know how to stay hydrated properly.
10 Best Ways To Stay Hydrated Throughout the Day
Choose Your Water Wisely
Not all water is created equally; some water contains harmful toxins, others simply lack the precious minerals or electrolytes needed for the proper cellular utilization of water. With this in mind, the water you choose to drink can play a large role in how well your body is hydrated. Some good options are; sparkling mineral water, distilled water and spring water. No matter which type you choose, keep a Hydroflask full of water with you at all times during the day.
Sip on sports drinks and coconut water.
When we sweat, we lose electrolytes, which are minerals found in the blood that helps to regulate (among other things) the amount of water in the body. Natural Sports drinks like Berri Fit or Coconut water naturally contain electrolytes. You can also use electrolyte replacement powders such as Ultima or Trace Mineral Power Paks, that can be added to your water to help prolong exercise and rehydrate our bodies because they contain electrolytes, which plain old water does not.
Add Supplemental Support
You can go with powdered supplements, fruit, veggies or just a little bit of salt and add them directly to your water. The sodium chloride in salt is a major hydration booster (that’s why hospitals often use a sodium solution for people who are dehydrated instead of pure water). Cucumber, strawberries and/or citrus such as lemon or lime in your water will add extra flavor and nutrition.
Eat Plenty of Fruits and Veggies
Cucumbers, lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower, bell peppers, tomatoes, celery and zucchini, watermelon, peaches, oranges, strawberries and cantaloupe all contain over 90% water. Eating these throughout the day will naturally increase hydration.
Don’t forget Broths and Soups (it’s easy to during the summer)
Broths and soups contain over 90% water and usually have salt in them as well. So you get the benefits of hydration and sodium chloride all in one. Many people overlook these in the summer but they can be even more important now than when it’s cold out.
Enjoy other Hydrating Foods Daily
Plain yogurt, grapefruit applesauce and cottage cheese all have over 80% water. Mix these foods into your daily diet and add an extra amount of water to regular meals.
Drink Alcohol, Coffee, and Soda in Moderation
All of these can cause dehydration if they are not balanced with plenty of water and other foods containing water. These drinks don’t replace the fluids in the body, and the caffeine in these drinks is also actually a diuretic. For every one of these drinks, try to drink an equal amount of plain water.
Pre-Hydrate Before You Go Out
Long days in the sun, physical activity and other summer activities require extra hydration beyond what is needed for being inside. Plan ahead for this extra hydration at least 24 hours before heading out as well as staying hydrated throughout the day. Make sure you also consume plenty of foods that have higher levels of salt to replenish any electrolytes you lose through sweating.
Try to Limit Your Sun Exposure
During the hottest part of the day, it’s important to limit your sun exposure and try to stay in the shade. Out in the bright sun, your body could lose up to a quart of fluid per hour.
Pay Attention To Your Body
It’s easy to ignore the early warning signs of dehydration and many people don’t notice them until it’s too late. The best way to know if you are dehydrated is a headache. Other symptoms to pay attention to are lack of appetite due to dizziness and nausea, dark urine (or lack of urine) disorientation and confusion. If you start to experience severe dehydration or heat stroke, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Just in case you do end up dehydrated, keep in mind that the more severe the dehydration is, the longer it will take to rehydrate. Drinking a glass of water might help you feel better fairly quickly, the body requires more time before it recovers internally.
The human body can survive for three weeks without food, but only one week of no water could potentially end a person’s life!
Running low on energy? You could be simply dehydrated!
In addition to cleansing our bodies, supporting our bones and joints, reducing headaches, keeping skin looking healthy, regulating body temperature and promoting weight loss, water also helps us boost daily energy levels!
Water is important for every cell, tissue and organ in your body to work normally and staying properly hydrated is also beneficial for every single cellular process in your body including keeping your brain sharp, energy levels high and body strong.
In other words, one of the best ways to stay healthy is to stay hydrated!
P.S. Now that you know our strategies, what are your secrets to staying hydrated?
What do you do to maintain optimal water and electrolyte intake?
Leave us a comment below!