Although hydration sounds pretty simple, it’s so much easier said than done. We’ve all had those days where it’s the middle of the afternoon and you realize that you’ve barely had any water all day.
Yet, staying hydrated is so important for our health and well-being. Busy lives can make it challenging to maintain optimal hydration.
This article will explain why hydration is so important, what can happen if we’re not adequately hydrated, and five tips to help you stay optimally hydrated.
Why is Hydration Important?
Our body is made up of about 60% water, and it’s required for essentially every function in the human body. Water helps to break down and absorb nutrients from our food, and can help motility in our digestive tract.
The body also needs water to lubricate joints and muscles, control body temperature, and transport nutrients throughout the body.
What Happens with Poor Hydration?
If we are not adequately hydrated, we can experience fatigue, dizziness, headaches, or even muscle soreness.
If we fall short on our fluid intake, we can notice a drop in energy levels and even a change in digestive and immune function.
Five Tips to Maintain Optimal Hydration
1. Take an Electrolyte Supplement After Heavy Sweating
After intense exercise, or just from simply being in hot weather, it’s important to replenish your body’s fluids with more than just water. When we sweat we lose electrolytes including potassium, sodium, and calcium, and replenishing these is important to keep you feeling your best.
To quickly restore the body’s hydration status, taking an electrolyte supplement is an efficient and effective way to do so. Plus, you can take a supplement with you on-the-go, making it a convenient way to keep your body optimally hydrated.
Plus, electrolyte supplements have been linked to improved athletic performance and quicker recovery times.
When choosing an electrolyte supplement choose one that is free of added sugars and artificial ingredients such as Nakedade.
2. Drink Water First Thing in the Morning
To start your day off right and awaken your digestive system, start your day with a large glass of water. Before you drink coffee or eat breakfast be sure to consume at least 10 ounces or so of water.
When you’re sleeping, you’re not able to continue drinking water as you were throughout the night, yet your body is continuing to lose fluids through perhaps sweat and even breathing. When you first wake up, this is a great time to introduce fluids as it’s probably been several hours since your last sip of water.
3. Add Flavor to Make Your Water More Fun
If you’re someone who has a difficult time meeting your daily fluid goals, try making your water more exciting by adding some flavor.
You may choose to infuse your water with fruits such as pineapple, berries, peaches, oranges, lemons, or limes, to name a few. Adding herbs such as mint or basil can also enhance the flavor of your water.
Experiment with different flavor combinations to see which ones you like best. If you enjoy the taste, you’re probably more likely to drink more of it, helping you to stay on top of your hydration.
4. Set Daily Goals and Keep Track of Your Fluid Intake
Simply setting a daily goal for how much water you want to drink can help you stay motivated and can help you build the habit.
You might be wondering how much fluid you should be aiming to drink each day. As a general rule of thumb, men should aim for 3,000 ml daily and women 2,200 ml daily (1). Research shows that exceeding this fluid amount does not have major health benefits except for those with certain medical conditions such as kidney stones.
However, it’s important to pay attention to your own body’s needs at the end of the day. If you’re exercising intensely and sweating a lot, your body might need more than the recommended daily amount. Pay attention to your thirst level and the color of your urine to better understand how hydrated you may or may not be .
5. Eat a Diet Rich in Hydrating Foods
We can get our body’s fluid needs met from more than just water alone. In fact, there are many foods that are quite hydrating and can help us maintain optimal hydration.
Some foods that are high in water include certain fruits and vegetables such as melons, berries, peaches, plums, bell peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Dairy products like milk and yogurt are also a good way to get fluids as well as electrolytes like potassium, calcium, sodium, and phosphorus.