How to Hydrate
By: Bonny Osterhage
It’s not just athletes or those who spend a lot of time outdoors who need to worry about staying hydrated. Not consuming enough fluids can wreck havoc on anyone, resulting in headaches, constipation, kidney problems, sore muscles and joints, lack of energy, dull skin, and more. So how much water should you drink?
A recent article on healthline.com states that, “health authorities commonly recommend eight 8-ounce glasses [of water per day].” While this is a useful guideline, it is important to note that number can fluctuate depending on activity level, climate and other factors. How do you know if you are getting enough water? Check your urine. The clearer, the better.
One of the most common excuses people give for not consuming enough water is that they dislike the taste (or lack thereof). The good news is you don’t have to rely solely on plain water to meet your hydration needs. Sure, it is an easy, calorie free option, but there are other, more flavorful ways to increase your fluid intake and keep your body looking and feeling great—even on the hottest of days.
With electrolytes and potassium, coconut water is an excellent way to hydrate, especially in the heat or after a heavy sweating session at the gym. An added plus is the variety of flavors available, but check the sugar content, as some flavors are higher in the sweet stuff than others.
Make your own “spa water” at home by adding slices of lemon, cucumber, orange, or any other fruit to a pitcher of water and let the flavors mingle. The result is a light, thirst-quenching treat that feels a little more indulgent than just your plain old H20.
A summertime staple, watermelon is cool, refreshing, and made up of 91% water—hence the name. It shouldn’t be an alternative to your liquids in the heat, but it makes a nice snack with benefits.
Whether you want to add electrolytes or just tantalize your taste buds, there are as many flavor enhancers on the market, as there are brands of bottled water. Again, check the sugar, caffeine, and calorie content, as not all brands are created equal.
Regardless of what type of beverage or enhancer you choose, don’t wait until you are thirsty or sweating it out in the gym to drink up. You should be sipping all day long including before you get thirsty. Invest in a cute, insulated, portable water bottle and keep it with you as a reminder to stay healthy and hydrated.