How to Stay Hydrated

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What Exactly Is Hydration?

 What Exactly Is Hydration?

Hydration is defined as "the process of causing your body to absorb water or another liquid."
We are all aware that drinking water is beneficial to our health and that we must drink enough to stay hydrated. However, staying hydrated can be difficult for many people.
In this article, we discuss some of the health benefits of staying hydrated as well as the five best hydration tips.


The Advantages of Staying Hydrated

Before we get into the hydration tips, let's talk about why it's important to stay hydrated in the first place. Staying hydrated is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Our bodies are made up of roughly 60% water, and keeping the proper balance of water and electrolytes (such as sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium) allows our various systems to function properly. Water is required for the proper operation of every system in our body. Water is essential for regulating body temperature, moisturizing skin and tissues, transporting nutrients to cells, cushioning joints, flushing out toxins, and preventing constipation.


Suggestions for Staying Hydrated


1. Increase your water consumption.

Most of us have heard that we should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. Although this is a good place to start, there is no research to back up this exact amount.


So, how much water should you drink per day to stay hydrated?

Individual fluid requirements differ. There is no one-size-fits-all amount. Age, body size, health status, pregnancy or breastfeeding, sweat lost during physical activity, environment, and even altitude all influence fluid requirements.

The Institute of Medicine has issued general guidelines for healthy adults. Their recommendations for women are 91 fluid ounces (11-12 cups per day) and 125 fluid ounces for men (15-16 cups per day). This may appear to be a large amount, but it includes fluid from all beverages (water, juice, milk, soda, coffee, tea, and even beer and wine) as well as water found naturally in our foods.

Paying attention to how frequently you urinate is a simple way for most people to determine whether they are drinking enough fluid. You're probably drinking enough to stay hydrated if you urinate every 2-4 hours. If you are not urinating as frequently as you should, here are some suggestions to help you increase your water intake:

  • Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning every day.This is a good practice.
  • Keep a pitcher or a large bottle of water on your desk at work or on your kitchen counter at home and drink from it throughout the day. Your objective should be to have the pitcher or bottle empty by the end of the day.
  • Fill a large reusable water bottle with water and carry it with you throughout the day so you can sip it as you go about your busy day!


2. Consume the appropriate amount of water for your body.

The amount of fluid you require is affected by your health, lifestyle, and environment. Here are a few examples:

  • Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers require more fluids. Staying hydrated is essential during pregnancy because dehydration can cause a number of complications for both mother and baby. Breastfeeding mothers must stay hydrated in order to maintain their milk supply.
  • People who have had kidney stones should drink more fluids to reduce the risk of recurrence. Many experts recommend drinking at least 2 liters (68 ounces) of fluid per day.
  • Certain medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure or kidney failure, may necessitate a reduction in fluid intake. Always consult with your healthcare provider and follow their recommendations.
  • Athletes and anyone exercising in hot and humid conditions require extra fluid to replace what is lost through sweat. Even a small (2%) decrease in body water can cause dehydration and impair performance. Additional water loss can result in potentially harmful changes such as increased heart rate and body temperature, dizziness, fatigue, and heat illness.
  • To determine how much fluid you require, weigh yourself before beginning your exercise and again after you have completed it. For every pound lost during exercise, drink at least two cups (16-20 ounces) of fluid.


3. If necessary, drink other beverages.

If you get tired of drinking plain water, experiment with different types of fluids throughout the day. For those of you who struggle to drink enough water throughout the day, here are some healthy hydration tips:


To water or seltzer, add a splash of juice.

Add slices of citrus fruit (lemon, lime, orange) to water, or try one of Real Mom Nutrition's fruit-infused water recipes.

Most of us can get by with just drinking plain water while exercising. Some people, on the other hand, are curious about when sports drinks are appropriate for hydration. A sports drink is recommended for those who engage in moderate to intense exercise for 60 to 90 minutes or more, particularly in hot or humid conditions. Sports drinks contain carbohydrates, sodium, and potassium to aid in rehydration, refueling, and electrolyte replenishment.

A recent Outside magazine article discusses the "new rules" of hydration for athletes, including how to make your own sports drink at home.


4. Consume a wide range of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables is an excellent way to stay hydrated. Food accounts for approximately 20% of our daily water intake, according to estimates.

Water is present in all foods. Fruits and vegetables are the most water-rich foods, containing 80-98 percent of their weight in water. Watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, cucumber, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach are among the fruits and vegetables with the highest water content. Each of these fruits and vegetables contains at least 90% water.

Take advantage of all the delicious options and make sure to include a variety of foods in your diet on a daily basis.


5. Recognize the symptoms of dehydration.

If you are dehydrated, your body will usually let you know. If you notice any of the following signs of dehydration, you should try to rehydrate as soon as possible.


Urine that is yellow or dark-colored.

Pay attention to the color of your urine if you're having trouble determining whether you're properly hydrated. Yellow or dark-colored urine usually indicates that you are dehydrated as a result of not drinking enough water. The goal is to drink enough fluids so that your urine remains pale in color and you need to urinate every 2-4 hours. Urinating significantly less frequently than usual is also a sign of dehydration.

Match the color of your urine to one of the colors on this hydration status chart to determine your hydration level.


Thirst

Thirst is often the first indication that you need to drink more water. Drinking to quench thirst is an effective way for most people to stay hydrated. This is not always the case. Because our sense of thirst diminishes with age, older people may be dehydrated but not feel thirsty. Also, if we sweat a lot while exercising or working in the heat, we may need to drink more than just enough to quench our thirst.


Headache

Dehydration headaches can be as mild as a migraine or as severe as a migraine. When you are dehydrated, your brain can shrink and pull away from your skull. This causes pain, which leads to a headache. Once hydrated, the brain returns to normal size, and the headache goes away.


Fatigue

Dehydration has been linked to fatigue and decreased performance during exercise, according to research. Dehydration does not have to occur while you are exercising for it to sap your energy. Mild dehydration has also been linked to fatigue and drowsiness during routine daily activities.


Cramps in the muscles

Sweating causes a loss of fluid and sodium, which can cause muscles to contract or spasm. Drink plenty of fluids to keep your muscles from cramping. In general, the sodium in our food is sufficient, but if you know you will be active during the day in the heat, a sports drink may be beneficial.


Blood pressure is low.

Dehydration can cause a drop in blood pressure, making you dizzy or light-headed. Dehydration reduces blood volume, which reduces pressure on the artery walls. As a result, low blood pressure may develop.


Skin modifications

Water is required for your skin cells to function properly. The ability of the skin to change shape and return to normal is referred to as skin turgor. Dehydration causes your skin's turgor or elasticity to deteriorate. When well-hydrated skin is pinched, it should immediately return to its normal shape. If it doesn't, it's a sign you're dehydrated.


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