We recently wrote about all the reasons that being properly hydrated helps your body function correctly. But even knowing those health benefits, many people still aren’t taking in the requisite amount of water each day.
There are many different opinions on how much water you should be drinking every day. Some health authorities commonly recommend eight 8-ounce glasses, which equals about 2 liters, or half a gallon per day. The Mayo Clinic says “It depends on your size and weight, and also on your activity level and where you live. In general, you should try to drink between half an ounce and an ounce of water for each pound you weigh, every day.”
Here are some tips and strategies to help keep you hydrated:
Start with H2O - Water is the best form of hydration for your body. Kick each day off with a glass of water before your reach for that morning cup of coffee, tea or juice. Water helps replace fluids lost overnight. And while all liquids count towards your fluid intake goal, it’s best to avoid drinks containing caffeine, which acts as a diuretic and causes you to lose more fluids.
Have a plan - If water is readily available you probably drink more. So, fill a water bottle to take with you (in the car and at work) and you can refill it throughout the day. It will prevent you from forgetting about drinking more or reaching for a sugary soda. You can also establish regular water breaks to coincide with getting up from your desk to take a brief walk and get circulation moving.
Fruit = water - Eat two to three servings of fruits and vegetables at every meal. Produce is packed with water and typically include the minerals that help your body absorb and use water properly. Skip the processed foods (those that are packed with sugars, flours, salt and chemical) as they can lower your body’s water levels, as they require much of the body’s digestive resources to digest and process through your system.
Make easy substitutions - While it’s true that all beverages count toward your daily liquid intake tally, the sugar in soda and fruit juice, can trigger negative results including blood-sugar spikes. Instead, if you’re not overly fond of plain water, you can switch it out for sparkling water or flavor water with natural flavors like cucumbers or strawberries or mangos.
Thirst is dehydration - Even if you’re not feeling totally parched, mild thirst is still a sign of impending dehydration.Sip water all day to ensure that you never get to that thirsty feeling.
Check the toilet - When properly hydrated, urine should be pale yellow in color. Dark yellow urine may indicate dehydration.
Pay attention to your muscles - Lean muscle tissue contains more than 75 percent water, so when the body is short on H2O, muscles are more easily fatigued. When your muscles feel tired try drinking some water. Additionally, not sweating during vigorous physical activity can be a red flag that you’re dehydrated.