Whether you are an athlete, exercise occasionally, or are a couch potato, staying hydrated is necessary for your body to stay healthy and run like a well-oiled machine. As simple as the task of hydration seems, you would be surprised at the number of people that walk around on a day to day basis that are completely unaware of the fact that they are suffering from dehydration. Rest assured though – while they may not know, their bodies do. And your body will as well. To nip this problem in the bud, we have some great tips for staying hydrated in this week’s blog post.
Why Staying Hydrated Is Important
There are so many reasons why staying hydrated is important for your health. For starters, your body is made up mostly of H20 – up to 75% in fact, depending upon your age. And with good reason. Water helps the body in many areas, such as moderating your temperature. As we work or exercise, our organs begin to collect heat, which can eventually lead to damage. To prevent this from happening, the body uses water to transport heat away from these organs to the surface of the skin, where it gets excreted via sweat.
Water also helps to transport and remove waste from the body, lubricate joints, and maintain a healthy metabolism, heart rate, and blood pressure.
Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration
Depending upon the level of dehydration, a person can suffer mild to life threatening symptoms. The majority of people in the world are already dehydrated and those that are not are an estimated 2% away from experiencing dehydration on a minor level and 4% away from suffering from serious issues.
Symptoms of hydration include the following:
- Small amount of urine when you urinate
- Dark colored urine (dark yellow to brown)
- Dry mouth and cracked lips
- Thirst (the more thirst the more dehydrated your are)
- Confusion or disorientation
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Lack of tears when you cry
How to Stay Hydrated
Below are some tips that should help you stay hydrated throughout the day and keep your body in top working order – no matter what your level of activity is.
Keep a ready supply of water on hand. Try leaving a bottle of spring water in your car and one at your desk while at work. Keeping a bottle next to your bed at night is also a great way to ensure you always have water on hand.
Drink water even when you are not thirsty. Remember, one of the signs of dehydration is thirst. Setting a reminder on your phone to alert you to drink every so often is a tip we highly recommend. There are a ton of mobile apps created just for such a purpose.
If you find yourself bored with water, try adding a slice of fruit such as an orange, lemon, lime, or grapefruit. Watermelon works well too in a big jug, providing some great flavor without adding sugar and calories.
Drink a glass of water when you first wake up and when you fall asleep at night. Be sure to drink one during each meal as well.
When exercising, drink a glass of water before and after your workout. We also recommend drinking during as well, to replenish the water you sweat out. Also, if you find yourself getting hungry, before you sit down to eat, drink a glass of water. It will help you feel more full and less likely to gorge, helping you to slim down your waistline.
Fruits and vegetables (especially melons) are mostly made of water and contribute to your daily hydration needs. Even coffee (both decaf and caffeinated) help keep you hydrated – don’t by into the long debunked myth that coffee dehydrates you – it isn’t true!