If you’ve ever had an experience with dehydration, it is surely something you wish you could forget.You might remember feeling dizzy, almost foggy-headed, and may have had some other unwanted side effects like stomach pain, nausea, and even tremors.
The problem with dehydration is, it can come on so suddenly that before you know it you are begging for an ice cold glass of water but may feel too sick to even drink it! Proper hydration can prevent these uncomfortable symptoms and have positive effects on your overall health, especially when you make it part of your everyday routine.
Your body is primarily composed of water, and the proper balance between water and electrolytes in your body determines how some of your major systems function. Besides maintaining the health of your heart, brain, and other organs, water can help transport nutrients to your cells.
Drinking water on a daily basis can serve other purposes, such as controlling your body temperature; boosting skin health; and flushing out body waste. Not convinced you should step up your hydration game? Here are Fifteen Benefits of Drinking Water from Medical News Today.
Dehydration can occur by not drinking enough water, excessive sweating, exercising or even after you experience bowel issues like diarrhea or vomiting. When dehydrating hits, your mouth may start to feel dry and you will begin to experience fatigue, headache, confusion, and dizziness.
To combat dehydration, the Institute of Medicine recommends that women consume about 2 liters per day, and men consume about 3 liters. Some people like to follow the 8x8 rule, which means eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day, even when you are not thirsty. You should increase these levels if you are planning to exercise or sweat more than usual. Improving hydration always seems to be on our to-do lists, but it often gets lost in the busyness of day-to-day life.
Here are ten tips that can get you started:
Add some flavor.
Adding fruits or veggies into your water will add a little excitement to every sip.
Consider adding fresh fruit like oranges, veggie slices such as celery, or herbs like mint for extra flavor. Play around with different combinations and figure out what works best for you!
Use an app to track your water intake.
There are plenty of smartphone apps that can help you stay on top of your hydration by reminding you when you need to drink water or allowing you to log the water you have already consumed. Whether you need to hold yourself accountable or are tracking your water intake for other health-related reasons, these apps can be a great start.
Find a water bottle that you love.
Having a great water bottle can make you more inclined to use it. There are plenty of options out there to help you with your hydration goals. Style Caster shares 23 Cute Water Bottles You’ll Want to Carry Everywhere if you need some inspiration.
Fill up your water bottle immediately after you finish it.
We will often drink a bottle of water at our desk, but then wait hours to fill it back up. We mean to get around to it, but never actually do and before you know it, the workday is over. When you finish your bottle of water, make it a habit to get up and fill it right away. Not only will it improve your hydration, but it will make sure you are moving around throughout your day instead of sitting at your desk.
Keep a reusable water bottle on your desk and in your home.
Having a water bottle near you at all times will help you stay on track with your hydration goals. Make sure you always have one at your desk when you are working or near you when you are home. Having one in your sight makes it easier to remember to take a sip!
Finish at least one bottle of water every time you workout.
Ensure that you drink before, during, and after your workout. When exercising, you need to drink extra water so your body can perform at its highest level. Consider factors such as your sweat rate, the heat and humidity, and the duration of your exercise when determining how much water to drink. You should always aim to drink one bottle of water during your workout.
Drink on a schedule.
Whether you choose to drink every time you get up to go to the bathroom, every half hour, or when you change tasks, creating a schedule can keep you on track. This can be especially helpful if you are just beginning to change your hydration habits. Determine what your schedule is going to be and stick to it. You can write reminders or set yourself alarms if you need to be held more accountable.
Find alternatives for when you are craving soda.
When you feel yourself craving a soda, consider other options like sparkling or mineral water. It is a healthier option than sugary soda and will help you stay hydrated more than the soda would. When you’re eating out at restaurants, order water or sparkling water to help further your habit of staying away from soda.
Eat water-rich foods.
Drinking water is the most effective way to stay hydrated, but there are also healthy foods that will contribute a substantial amount of water to your diet. Strawberries, lettuce, tomatoes, and plain yogurt are a few suggestions, but this article from Healthline discusses more water-rich foods that can assist with your hydration.
Use the one-to-one rule when consuming alcohol.
For every cocktail you drink, you should have a glass of water. It’s a great way to stay hydrated while you are drinking and may also reduce that next-day hangover. It will help you continue to build your habit of drinking water no matter where you are.