Your body requires water for survival and to maintain the functions of bodily systems. Your organs, tissues and cells all depend on this vital liquid to regulate temperature, lubricate joints and extract waste.
Drink water daily to keep up your whole health. Many are told to drink at least eight 8-oz servings of water per day, but your body may require a little more or less. One of the keys is to look at your urine: if it’s light yellow or colorless, your body takes in enough water. If you see an amber or dark yellow, you need to up your water intake. Use these tips to keep you and your family hydrated.
Caffeinated Drinks in Moderation
Your best source for staying hydrated is water itself, but it’s a myth that you can’t count caffeinated drinks in your water intake.
Teas and coffee can contribute, but the key is moderation. Two cups of coffee or about 200 or 300 milligrams of caffeine won’t harm you. Excess caffeine can cause jitters and extra urination in some people. The high sugar content in soda doesn’t help your body absorb water. That’s why moderation is important.
Fruits and Veggies Count
Snacking on fruits throughout the day and including more vegetables as your sides will help increase your water intake. Dip cucumbers and carrots in hummus. Eat more salads with lettuce and cherry tomatoes. Make your plate colorful to get an added hydration and nutrition boost.
Broths are wonderfully soothing way to get your water in, warm up and comfort yourself on long days. When you prep your meats or vegetables, save the juices for soups for later, or add in spices to your broth as you’re cooking.
Bone broths provide an excellent health source for your bones, blood and water intake. Many grocery stores provide kits, but you can also save the bones from your Thanksgiving turkey or chicken dinner to make your own broth.
Drink Sports Drinks
Exercise regularly, heavily and for over an hour? Experts recommend liquid consumption of at least half a cup every 15 to 30 minutes. Sports drinks keep your energy levels via electrolytes and carbohydrates and help your body to absorb water.
Unfortunately, sports drinks also have high calories due to added sugar, and they also hold increased levels of caffeine and salt. Always check the labels and monitor your calorie, caffeine and salt levels when including sports drinks in your diet. Be careful of over-stimulation from stimulants such as taurine or ginseng. Teens and children aren’t advised to drink sports drinks.
Carry a Reusable Bottle
Take your water with you on the go and save money. A reusable water bottle with regular tap water will satisfy your hydration needs, especially during the summer when dehydration is an increased risk. Extreme heat increases the rate of dehydration, so re-hydrate slowly and carefully if you forget to drink water.
Make hydration fun by using a container you like. Large or small — it doesn’t matter. Carry what you can tow through the day.
Infuse Your Water
Is plain water boring for your tastebuds? Infuse your water with a slice of lemon or cucumber. Leave a pitcher of strawberries and water in the fridge overnight.
Guilty of eating every time you get a craving? You may confuse your hunger craving with thirst since real hunger isn’t satiated with water intake. As a good rule of thumb, drink water first when you experience a craving and wait 15 minutes. If you’re still hungry, eat a light snack.
Match Water Intake to Meals & More
Stick with an easy water intake schedule by always drinking a glass of water with your meals throughout the day. Always ask for water when you eat out at restaurants — it’s free!
Start and end your day with a glass of water to be a pro-level water drinker. Also, drink water regularly during workouts, including before and after to stay hydrated.
Make a Hydrate Thyself Sign
You should be drinking water while sitting, too. You need water at all times of the day.
Place a sign at your desk or on your bathroom mirror to remind you to drink water more frequently throughout the day.
Keep Checking the Toilet
Remember, your urine color can tell you much about your hydration levels. When you use the restroom, keep the color of your urine in mind. If it looks more like apple juice, focus on hydration stat.
No Soda During Flights
As warm weather sets in, you’ll travel more solo and with family. Waiting for your flight and taking long flights can be dehydrating since you don’t typically consume as much water as normal. Low-humidity environments also contribute to decreased hydration levels. So, opt for water over soda and alcoholic drinks during travel by air.
This is the perfect opportunity take a reusable water bottle with you in your carry-on, and when you pass through security refill it with water at the fountain. Take Pedialyte with you to ensure you’re replenishing electrolytes.
Check your body weight after physical activity. Drink an extra 16 ounces for every pound you lose on the scale after a workout. With a weight shift of three percent or more, your body experiences dehydration, and you should replace your fluids.
Muscle cramps, fatigue and dizziness are signs your body is strained and needs hydration. Don’t sweat away your water intake. Hydrate regularly before and after physical activity, too.
Don’t let the symptoms of dehydration add up. Prevention is always best. Stay hydrated throughout the day.
Ideas for staying on top of your water intake include consuming fruits and vegetables and drinking water with meals. It’s important to replenish water as you workout, too — including before and after. Pay attention to your environment, and drink more water when around low-humidity conditions. Medical conditions can also affect how you hydrate, so check with your doctor for advice.
Water makes up most of the body, and its important for functioning on a daily basis. Start now — go pour yourself a tall glass of water. Your health matters.