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The Secret to Staying Hydrated

The Secret to Staying Hydrated

Have you ever wondered if you’re drinking enough water throughout the day? Can’t figure out why you keep getting headaches? Well, you might be dehydrated and need to up your intake of water. Many people are surprised by how much water you actually need to consume in order to stay properly hydrated. But if you are feeling daunted by the task, there are some easy tips and tricks you can try to make drinking water feel less like a chore.

How Much Water Do I Actually Need?

Although this is a fairly simple question, the answer is a bit more complicated. Your water intake depends on many factors such as how much you exercise, what sort of environment you live in, your diet and your overall health. One of the biggest ways the body loses water is through sweat, therefore, you need to ensure you rehydrate when exercising and are in certain environments that make you sweat. Water intake also varies from person to person, making a general recommendation a little tricky. According to the Australian Government guidelines, the recommended daily water consumption for an adult female is 2.1 litres which equates to around eight cups. For an adult male it is 2.6 litres, around ten cups. By understanding why your body needs water, it is easier to decide how much you should be consuming.

Why You Should Drink Water

Water does a lot for the body, much more than simply quenching a dry throat. It is essential to humans as it makes up 60% of the body. Some of the benefits of staying hydrated are:

  • Improves energy levels and brain function
  • Maximises physical performance
  • Helps to treat and prevent headaches
  • Protects your joints
  • Fights off illness

By making sure you are well hydrated, your body can perform at its peak.

How To Drink More Water?

Getting in your recommended water intake can sometimes be a challenge. Trying to force down eight glasses of water right before bed because you’ve forgotten to do it throughout the day, can feel like torture. But there are some fun and easy ways to help you get in your fluids.

Try cutting up fresh fruits and adding them to an iced glass of water for a refreshing and flavoured drink. Strawberries and lemon are a perfect addition or try some slices of cucumber for something more subtle.

Setting a goal is a great way to motivate yourself to drink more water. Use your favourite drink bottle; calculate how many refills you need to complete your goal and get drinking. This way you don’t have to remember how many glasses you’ve had throughout the day.

You can also use a marked water bottle. It can be extremely satisfying to watch the water hit each goal and can motivate you to finish it. You can even go a step further and buy a smart drink bottle. These devices can track your water intake all by itself and syncs via Bluetooth to an app on your phone, it’s that easy.

If you find yourself constantly forgetting to drink water, then you should try setting an alarm on your phone or download an app that will send you alerts. Also, most smart watches have the ability to remind you to drink throughout the day. Simply set the intervals and forget about it.

Try creating good habits involving water to train your body into doing it unconsciously. Anytime you drain your glass or bottle, fill it back up. Bookend your meals with a glass of water. Start and end your day with more fluids. In no time you’ll be meeting your goals with ease.

What Hydrates?

While drinking water is a great way to stay hydrated, it is not the only option. There are other drinks and foods you can consume if you are bored of water.

Milk is a perfect alternative as it contains protein, calcium and electrolytes which are ideal for the body. Don’t want to drink plain milk all day, no worries. If you want to fit milk into your diet, there are many delicious things you can make. You can begin your day with a smoothie, add some fruit, milk and you’re off. Or you could make oatmeal where you can use milk or water in the recipe. These benefits are not limited to regular milk. Plant-based milks are also a great substitute with one of their main ingredients being water.

Fruits and vegetable are another way to keep your hydration up and are an easy addition to nearly every meal. Containing 80–99% water, fruits and veggies are the perfect hydrating snack.

What Dehydrates?

Now that you know what foods to seek out to stay hydrated, you should also be aware of what you shouldn’t consume to avoid dehydration. Unfortunately, salt and sugar are both ingredients that effect the body’s hydration. When they reach the kidneys, your body will overcompensate for the fact that salt and sugar do not belong and will pull water from elsewhere in the body, therefore, leaving you less hydrated.

Alcohol is an extremely dehydrating substance as it is a diuretic which causes you to go to the bathroom frequently and lose more water. This occurs because alcohol affects the part of the brain which regulates the water in our bodies. But by drinking a glass of water for every drink of alcohol you have; you can work to lessen the effects of a painful hangover.

Caffeine is also a diuretic, although it is mild, which means the fluids you lose from frequent bathroom trips is less than the amount you absorb through a cup of tea or coffee. Not sure if you’re getting enough fluids? Here are some symptoms to look out for that are a sign of dehydration.

  • Increased thirst
  • Dry mouth and skin
  • Tiredness
  • Headache

It’s not always easy to determine whether what you’re feeling is dehydration, but it’s always good to try and drink more water if you’re feeling any of these symptoms as they could be easily treated.

You Can Do It!

There are some days when drinking another glass of water can feel like torture. But with some of these helpful tips and habits, getting in your daily recommendation has never been simpler. Staying hydrated is not limited to drinking water, experiment with fresh fruits and alternative fluids and make hydration less boring.

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