How To Stay Hydrated

Water

Water is important.  Not to be Captain Obvious here, but without water you and your body do not function.  Your body needs an adequate supply of water to carry out it’s everyday normal functions.  Water helps move your blood through your system, which in turn helps your organs function, which then make you function.  Water helps you perform at your best, not just with normal things like breathing but also with tougher things such as exercising.  Being dehydrated even just 1% decreases your performance by 5%.  Water also helps to keep your metabolism going, your skin glowing, your hair shiny, and your appetite in check.  Just to make things even tougher, you’re constantly losing water.  Not just through sweat, but even things like exhaling cause you to lose water.  So you NEED to make sure you’re replacing all that water loss.

Summer time is usually when we really keep tabs on our hydration.  Nothing like 90 degree weather to help remind you to drink water.  But as we start to enter into fall and the colder months you still need to keep tabs on your hydration, maybe even more so than in the summer.  During the winter (I know, I know, you don’t want to even be thinking about winter, but it’s coming) it is so easy to forget to drink water throughout the day.  You’re not sweating profusely, the sun isn’t blazing down on you, and let’s face it, snuggling in front of the fireplace with a big glass of water doesn’t sound too cozy.  But the colder months tend to be drier which can suck moisture out of your body.  And because your body needs all that water, you have to make sure you replace it.

If you find it hard to get enough water into your day, or you need some ideas on how to make water a little more fun (it can be a little boring sometimes), here are a few tips to help keep you hydrated and healthy!

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  • Carry a refillable water bottle with you all the time.  If you have water with you at all times it makes it easier to remember to drink water throughout the day
  • Find a fun water bottle.  It might sound silly, but having a cool or new water bottle might make you drink more water.  A while back I bought this camelbak water bottle and the straw was so cool that I found myself downing about three full bottles a day.  While I didn’t enjoy running to the bathroom every 2 minutes, I did get adequate water intake!
  • Add fruit.  If you’re one of those people who hates the taste of water or thinks it’s so boring, try adding some fruit.  Think beyond lemon or lime and try fresh berries, watermelon, or even things like mint leaves.  Having a little natural flavor can help you to drink more water
  • Try some ice.  For me, the idea of a room temperature glass of water is not appealing.  Adding ice cubes to your water can help make it more palatable, plus ice cold water may rev up your metabolism and help burn more calories.
  • Eat high water content foods.  While you still need to make sure you are drinking water, you can also eat your water.  Foods that have a high water content can help to contribute to your overall water intake.  Eat things like celery, lettuce, leafy greens, or melons (especially watermelon!) to help your water.
  • Set a schedule.  If you’re really busy throughout the day and just forget to drink water, set a reminder on your phone to have a glass or so every hour.  Or you could do this and make sure that you’re drinking a certain amount by certain times during the day.

Making sure that you get enough water is a really important part of being healthy.  The rule for a long time has been eight 8 oz glasses a day, but don’t focus on a certain number of glasses or ounces.  As long as you drink water throughout the day, you should be properly hydrated.  If you workout, make sure you replace the extra water lost through sweating.  Unless you’re an Olympic athlete, just stick with plain water.  You don’t need any fancy rehydration drink full of vitamins and electrolytes.  A healthy and balanced diet along with enough regular water will help you function just fine!  Long story short, go drink some water!

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