Making up more than 60% of our total body weight, water is clearly a critical component to our health and well being. With peak Summer heat right around the corner, we thought we’d take a moment to share some water related tips and benefits to help you stay hydrated in the heat.
Dehydration is the number one cause of day time fatigue, but how do you know when you’re dehydrated? By the time you feel thirsty, you’ve already lost between 1-2% of your body’s total water content!
Signs and symptoms of dehydration include dry mouth, dry eyes, muscle cramping, constipation, fatigue, and headaches, to name just a few. However, there are steps you can take to make sure you don’t become dehydrated.
Tips for Staying Hydrated:
- Use Helpful Tricks/Rules to Keep Hydration Top of Mind - it is recommended that women intake between 2-2.7 liters of water a day, while men should consume between 3-3.7 liters per day. Not all of us think in liters so a good way to remember is by following the 8×8 or 10×10 rule, i.e. women should drink at least eight 8oz glasses of water per day, and men should try aiming for ten 10oz glasses.
- Know Your Lifestyle - If you workout heavily and/or often, live in a hot climate or are out in the heat frequently, or even if you’re pregnant and/or breast feeding, all of these circumstances require a larger water intake each day.
- Eat More Fruits and Veggies – You may not realize it, but many fruits and vegetables are packed with h2O. Furthermore, many of them include key nutrients that allow your body to better absorb and use the water you’re drinking.
- Keep a water bottle (or mug, canteen, etc) within reach – The more you make drinking water something that requires extra effort (i.e. getting up to grab cup after cup), the less likely you are to drink enough of it. Keep a large sized water bottle or container of some sort nearby and within reach at all times. If it’s in front of you and easy to grab, you’re much more likely to drink it!
- Put Down the Soda – They do contain water and there isn’t hard evidence to suggest they dehydrate you, caffeinated or otherwise, but when you consume sodas, you are drinking fluid, and therefore, feel like your thirst is being quenched. Because of this, many Americans end up unintentionally substituting soda for water, and not consuming enough water as a result.
- Mix it Up – If you reduce your soda intake and don’t feel like you have enough fun in your beverage repertoire, mix it up! You can incorporate flavored waters or sparkling water, or try adding a slice of lemon, lime, or even orange to your standard purified water.
Health Benefits of Staying Hydrated:
We hope the tips above give you a few new ways to keep h2O top of mind. There are countless reasons to make hydration, and staying hydrated, a priority. To name a few…
- Lose Weight – up your water weight and lose weight? Yes, you read right. Water is vital in flushing the by products of the fat breakdown process from your system. Staying hydrated aids in the weight loss process in this way, and by helping you feel fuller without the calories.
- Fresh, Younger Looking Skin – Without water, your skin can become dry, wrinkled, and lose lots of elasticity.
- Mental Energy – The brain is approximately 80% water. Staying hydrated helps you maintain mental energy while avoiding fatigue and headaches.
- Physical Energy – Water plays a vital role in the body’s ability to flush toxins. Organs have to work harder when you don’t have enough water, thus, causing fatigue. Water also helps regulate your internal temperature, which means when working out, if you’re hydrated, you won’t put as much of a burden on the rest of your body to help in this process.
- Prevent Sickness…& Cancer? Proper hydration helps reduce the risk for catching ailments such as the flu, arthritis, and even cancer. From a digestive perspective, for example, studies have shown that proper hydration reduces the risk for colon and bladder cancer.
If you have additional tips or ideas for staying hydrated that you want to share with our readers, please do so in the comments below!