I do not know why but from time to time I struggle with staying hydrated. This is less so during the week where I have a fairly set routine but more so when I am stressed or breaking away from my regular routine. I find weekends (perhaps because it has a different rhythm to the day) particularly hard. And so, for this post, I thought I would remind us all why it makes sense to drink enough water and my top tips for hydration. I have combined the scientific with some simple tips that I have come to realize help me most. Let’s dive in!
Why Do We Need to Hydrate?
Let us start with the why. Because I truly believe if you understand the “why” it will make it so much easier to actually do something… like, for example, drinking more water 😉. Water is mighty important for all of our bodily functions by delivering nutrients to our cells. Proper hydration also allows our body temperature to be regulated optimally. Water also helps with our joints by keeping them lubricant. People who deal with osteoporosis and/or arthritis usually can already tell a difference in their well-being when drinking more water. In general, we tend to sleep better, digest better, be more regular on the toilet (due to better digestion) and are more alert and awake during the day when we are properly hydrated.
How Can You Tell When You are Not Hydrated?
This is an interesting one and quite a difficult one at that… I do find it pretty difficult to understand when I am dehydrated. It kind of is one of these things that you almost do not notice but when you are drinking again enough water you are feeling a lot better and you realize something was missing. Does that make sense 🤷🏼♀️? A dry mouth, feeling nauseous, getting a headache, and muscle cramps can be some of the more immediate signs. Even vomiting and mild confusion can be signs of severe hydration.
Top Tips for Hydration
So…. how do we ensure that we stay on top of our water intake? Here are some top tips that I have come to realize work really well for me. Perhaps you can take some inspiration from it 🤗? As always, take what serves you and leave what does not 💕.
Do Not Wait Until You are Thirsty
This one may be obvious, but sometimes… it just is not. Try to drink all throughout the day, rather than waiting until you feel thirsty. Usually a dry mouth (the sign that you are already mildly dehydreated) kind of means that it is “too late” and that you have not drunk enough throughout the day.
Use a Drinking Bottle
This one helps me immense. Whether I use a drinking bottle, or a large pitcher – this one truly helps with keeping track of my water intake. This is also my top tip for when you are stepping away from your “regular” routine. Carry a bottle with you whereever you go. I, especially, do this on the weekends and it ensures that I am so much better off with sticking with my water intake.
Switch it Up a Bit
I totally get it, sometimes plain old water just feels ‘boring’. I go through these phases from time to time. Luckily, there are some easy, cheap, and inexpensive ways to switch up how you consume water:
- Go sparkling. I am not sure why, but sometimes sparkling water already “tastes” different than plain water. In the end, you consume the same (if you are not prone to feeling gassy from it).
- Drink some fruit tea. Some people ‘count’ fruit tea as part of their water intake and some do not. I am personally in the bucket of: “I do not really see why not”. You are infusing a tea bag into a liter of water. In my book that counts 😉. Plus, tea is usually warm and so it provides a sensory change to cold water as well.
- Add some flavor. You will not believe how quickly lemon, mint, cucumber, or raspberries (for example) jazz up your water. If you are in a pinch, a small splash of fruit juice may also do the trick 😍. Simply add to your water bottle or pitcher and enjoy!
Eat Water-Rich Fruit and Veggies
Water is not the only way how you can stay hydrated. You can also consume fruits and veggies that are high in water content. Both watermelon, strawberries, peaches, and pineapple are examples of fruit. Water-rich veggies include, for example, cucumber, tomatoes, leafy greens, and courgette. Why not try my Gazpacho, which contains a lot of these veggies 😅?
Stay in the Shade When It Is Super Hot Outside
When it is super hot outside, try to avoid being in direct sunlight and/or exposure. This is not only good for our skin health (learn more in Why do we need protection from the sun), but it also ensures that we may dehydrate less. Keeping in mind that the process of sweating and cooling our body’s temperature also requires us to be hydrated.
How Much Water Should You Drink?
All fair and square you are saying, but how much water should I be drinking? There is not a one rule fits all approach here. A general rule of thumb is half your body weight in ounces. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, half your body weight would be 75 pounds. 75 ounces would be about, which equals 2.2 liters a day. However, this does not factor in how active you are and/or how hot the area is that you live in. I still find the “pee” rule best. Your pee should become gradually lighter in color as the day goes on. There should also be no smell. If that is not the case it is usually a sign of mild dehydration.
I cannot leave the Top Tips of Hydration post without spending a few minutes on the topic of water quality. Depending on where you live, the water quality may differ from place to place. And in a lot of our places, tab water is not what it used to be any longer. In fact, it may contain traces of pharmaceuticals that cannot be filtered out any longer. There are now options for home filtration systems. You could also use a manual water filter. Bottled water should best be bought in glass. I know a lot of people who also make a day trip in order to harvest spring water. Findaspring.com , for example, shows you springs in your area.
Do you have any other top tips for hydration you want to share? Feel free to leave a comment below and we can continue the conversation 💕.