Our bodies are made up of 60% water – in order for it to function properly, fluids must be constantly replenished. Proper hydration helps regulate our body temperature, lubricate our joints, assist in flushing waste, transport and metabolize proteins and carbohydrates for our bloodstream, and more.
In this article, we give you a few helpful tips on how you can stay properly hydrated.
Know the symptoms of dehydration
Fatigue is a common cause of dehydration. Next time you’re feeling exhausted, try drinking a big glass of water instead of a cup of coffee.
Besides fatigue, there are several other signs that your body needs water. One of the earliest signs of dehydration is obviously thirst, but did you know that hunger pangs are also our body’s way of asking for water? Other signs include loss of concentration, dry mouth, constipation, light headedness, and muscle cramps.
Know how much water you need to drink
To find out how much water your body requires daily, divide your body weight in half. Half your body weight is the approximate amount of water in ounces, which you need to drink daily. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, then you need to consume 80 ounces of water each day, which is equivalent to about 10 cups of water.
Keep in mind that this may vary depending on certain factors, including climate, physical activity, the environment, and others, so it’s best to consult a health care professional.
Turn drinking water into a habit
It’s easy to make drinking water a habit – most people simply have a water bottle with them at all times, so they have a constant reminder to drink water frequently. Some water bottles also have measurement markings, so you know how many ounces of water you’re consuming every day.
Our bodies are also able to absorb fluids from different foods, such as celery, melons, tomatoes, or broth soups.
Add a bit of flavor
You can also opt for some flavored water, in case you find it too bland. It’s not difficult to create flavored water – all you need are a few fresh ingredients. Add a burst of flavor by infusing your water with fresh ingredients such as:
- Vegetables: Celery, cucumber, or jalapeno
- Sweet fruits: Strawberries, watermelon, melon, kiwi
- Citrus fruits: Lime, lemon, orange
- Herbs: Mint, basil, rosemary
Make sure you wash your ingredients beforehand. Cut them into several slices or chunks, and add them to a pitcher, Mason jar, or your water bottle, and fill it up with water. Leave the container overnight or for several hours in your refrigerator.
Make sure you don’t overdo it
While it’s important for us to stay hydrated, be careful not to drink too much. Consuming large amounts of water can cause a condition known as Hyponatremia, wherein sodium levels in the blood plummet, causing nausea, seizures, confusion, coma, and sometimes even death. While this condition is rare, it’s best to keep this in mind, so you don’t drink excessive amounts of water.
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