Are you thirsty?
Did you know if you feel thirsty you’re already dehydrated? Yup, it’s true.
Since it’s August. And it’s hot. And it’s humid. I mean it’s really hot and humid! So I thought it would be appropriate to talk a little about hydration. Lately I’ve noticed that there are some real misconceptions about staying hydrated.
Well, I may have mentioned that it’s hot. And humid. Well there’s an important reason why I did. With increased temperatures and humidity, we tend to sweat more while doing activities and at rest. It’s important to make sure your body’s getting the fluids it needs to maintain hydration. Okay, sounds logical right?
So how do you know you’re properly hydrated? Maybe you’ve heard the general “8 glasses of water per day”. But guess what? That’s not necessarily true. Your individual needs depend on things like weather, gender, size, medical conditions, and physical activity. Rule of thumb – um, well – check your pee. Yup, you heard me. If it’s clear or pale yellow, then you’re good to go. If not – keeping drinking!
Okay, with all the endless beverage options out there nowadays, what should you be drinking? Water. Water. Water. Hands down, water’s the best choice. Why? It helps hydrate without any unnecessary calories. And guess what? Consuming high water foods counts towards your hydration! And other beverages such as milk, coffee and tea also contribute to your fluid intake.
I know what you’re thinking – what about all those sports drinks? Well, are you an athlete? Then go right ahead. These drinks are designed for people who engage in high intensity physical activity for more than an hour. They contain water for hydration, sugar (aka carbohydrate) for fuel and electrolytes (sodium and potassium) to replace those lost via sweat. But they also contain calories. So if you’re trying to lose weight these calories may be unwanted and unnecessary.
Maybe you’re wondering why staying hydrated is so important. Is it really that big a deal? Yup. Fluids are essential for our bodies to function properly. Being properly hydrated helps maintain body temperature, regulate blood pressure, and move nutrients and waste through the body. And you know what else? You’ll have more energy and your skin will glow. So staying hydrated is important all the time, not just during the summer months. So bottom line, staying hydrated is an important to stay healthy. And if feel like you need a little help when it comes to drinking more water here are a couple ideas to help you along:
- Add some flavor to your water! Try fresh slices lemon or cucumber or herbs such as basil or mint.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables! Check out this guide to the water content in common fruits and vegetable.
- Have some bubbles! Sparkling water comes in plain and other assorted flavors.
- Drink with a straw! This may help increase the amount you drink because you tend to take in a larger amount at one time.
How do you stay hydrated?
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