Staying hydrated is one of the single most effective things you can do to support your health. Proper hydration – every hour of every day, all year long. It sounds like a tall order but it’s deceptively easy and it’s absolutely essential to look and feel your best. If you’re not hydrated, you’re dehydrated. And if you’re even a little dehydrated, your body is already strained and in the red zone.
Unfortunately, that’s the norm for most – chronic mild dehydration. The deleterious effects it has on physical health are many and varied. Dehydration will affect everything from cardiovascular health to weight loss to brain function, and even just how you feel. Because of this, it’s extremely important to make staying hydrated a priority in your day-to-day life.
How is that done? Well, a combination of engaging in actions that hydrate, which is drinking fluids. Specifically, plain water. And minimizing actions that result in unnecessary dehydration. In this article, we’re going to look at several strategies you can put into action in your own life so as not to leave this critical component of your health and well-being to chance.
1. Drink A Lot of Water Often
Drinking a lot of water is the foundation for staying hydrated. You can drink other liquids, and we’ll talk about those later, but first and foremost, a solid and sizable daily fluid intake is an absolute must. Water supports your immune system, it keeps your joints lubricated, it supports the function of every single cell in your body, and it even helps with sleep quality and many neurological functions.
So how much water do you need? Well, the old saying of eight glasses per day (64 ounces) is a good place to start. Make sure that you’re getting at least that much, and if you’re exercising or physically active, or the weather is hot, or you’re feeling ill or fatigued, then drink more. Get yourself a refillable water bottle and keep it by your side. You can also have a glass of water with your meal instead of any other beverage. These are easy ways to establish the habit.
2. Avoid Things That Dehydrate You
As part of your normal metabolism, your body will use water. It’s a necessary component of the countless chemical reactions and processes that happen within your body. Fueling that proper hydration is the reason why it’s important to stay hydrated. With that, make it a point to avoid the things that unnecessarily dehydrate you.
There are two major ones — salt and alcohol. Many people simply consume too much sodium in their diet, and though the two groups don’t always overlap, alcohol is another primary cause of dehydration. These substances drain your cells and tax your entire body. And both of them have other toxic effects besides dehydration. Keep your intake managed and at a minimum.
3. Stay Cool
If you live in a climate that is subject to extreme heat spikes, then you need to pay special attention to maintaining adequate hydration when you’re out in the elements. Being outside on a hot day will dehydrate you quickly. On top of your body’s normal requirements, you can use up another half liter per hour if you’re at rest, and substantially more if you’re being active or exercising.
Unless you need to be out, stay inside when the daily temperatures are at their highest. Don’t put added strain on your body by running or exercising in extreme heat. Not only does dehydration happen faster, but you’re also at risk for exhaustion or heat stroke. Stay inside until things cool down and take care of your outside business when the weather is comfortable. Let the exercise tax you, not the heat.
4. Drink Other Liquids
Although nothing is better than water when it comes to quenching your body’s thirst, it’s not the only liquid that’s capable of doing the job. Heard that other liquids such as coffee, soda, or tea, because of their caffeine, only serve to dehydrate? While it is true that caffeine has a diuretic effect, it’s generally not so much to cancel out the water content of these other liquids.
There’s no question that water needs to be number one on your list of beverages, but you can enjoy others smartly, as well. Coffee, tea, juice, and sports drinks can all play an important role in making sure that your hydration levels maintain a topped-off status. Just make sure that you’re watching your sugar, caffeine, and overall caloric intake as a whole.
5. Eat Fruits and Vegetables
Did you know that not only can you consume water by drinking it, but also by eating it? It’s true. Most foods have a sizable water content. And, in that respect, the best foods are fruits and vegetables, which have an extremely high water content. Apples are over 80% water, leafy greens hover somewhere around 90%, and some superstars like a cucumber can be as high as 96% water.
Make a deliberate effort to consume at least four or five servings of fruit and vegetables every day. Have some berries or a banana for breakfast. Enjoy an apple for your afternoon snack. Make sure that your dinner includes a leafy green salad and a few vegetables on the side. It’s very easy for the servings to add up when you make a habit out of it.
Watch for Signs of Dehydration
Dehydration happens when your water intake is less than what your body needs and its effects vary depending on the severity. Feeling a little sluggish is a common symptom of mild dehydration. More serious things like kidney failure can happen if it escalates. Many medical conditions worsen when dehydration is present.
Common signs that you might be dehydrated include dark colored urine, muscle cramps, tiredness, constipation, kidney stones, dry mouth, and even confusion or mental fog. Of course, these can all be signs of other conditions as well, but if you’re experiencing any of these and realize your recent water intake has been low, then drink some water.
Boost Your Hydration with Bounce Hydration
Other causes of dehydration are being sick, exhaustion from marathons and other extreme physical events, and even drinking too much alcohol. In these situations, getting back to feeling your best fast might require a more robust approach than simply drinking a glass of water. When you find yourself in those situations — or you just want a feel-good pick-me-up, give us a call.
Bounce Hydration is a mobile spa that can bring a super-hydrating IV drip loaded with nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants right to your door. Our trained nurses will provide you an invigorating drip that not only hydrates but will also give you more energy and better mental clarity. Stay where you’re at, we’ll bring the hydration to you.