Let’s talk about hydration!
We all know how important it is to drink the appropriate amount of water. But what is the appropriate amount and how can we do it easily? I mean, we are all busy; who has time to waste tracking our fluid intake?
Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be difficult. Simply follow these 5 guidelines and you should be all set!
5 Tips to Stay Hydrated
1) Take water to bed with you. Every night I take a 16 oz glass or thermos of water to bed with me and then drink it first thing in the morning before I ever even leave the bedroom.
Ayurveda Note: Drinking warm water is always better than cold as it is soothing to your digestive tract. Also, drinking 16 oz of water first thing in the morning not only hydrates you after a long night with no water, but it also wakes up your digestion!
2) Make this one simple rule. Grab a 16oz (or larger) water bottle. Fill it up after breakfast and finish it at least 30 minutes before lunch. Then fill it up again and finish it at least 30 minutes before dinner.
Tip: If plain water makes you sad, just jazz it up a bit. It doesn’t take much. Just a lemon wedge, some cucumber slices or a few mint leaves can make all the difference!
3) Hydrate with herbal tea. Enjoy a cup or two of non-caffeinated herbal tea as an afternoon break or after dinner.
4) Hydration comes from our food too! Enjoy a brothy soup for lunch or dinner and eat lots of fruits and vegetables, they are filled with moisture.
5) If you exert yourself with intense exercise or by working outside in the heat, treat yourself to an electrolyte replacement beverage like unflavored Pedialyte and add in an extra couple servings of water. (This is also a good idea if you have been dealing with a stomach bug, as vomiting and diarrhea cause dehydration.)
If you follow these 5 rules, in addition to sipping on water with your meals, you should be well on your way to staying hydrated.
Signs of Mild Dehydration
Your body is probably trying to tell you it needs more water. Are you listening to these signs of mild dehydration?
- Thirst. If we are thirsty, we are already dehydrated. Try to sip on liquids throughout the day so you never really get thirsty.
- Bad breath. When we are mildly dehydrated, our mouths lack the appropriate amount of saliva. You might think your moisture level is normal, but are you just used to living slightly dried out?
- Dry skin, hair, nails or lips. If you are chronically dry, look at your fluid intake. You can put on tons of lotion and lip balm, but if you aren’t hydrated from the inside, it won’t help.
- Headaches. We often walk around with a mild headache and blame stress, screens and bad posture. It could be those things, but dehydration could also be a contributing factor.
- Fatigue and poor sleep. Being dehydrated can cause us to feel tired and run down. On top of that, it can also interfere with a good night’s sleep. Double whammy.
- Going all day without peeing. Most people need to pee every 3-4 hours. If you are regularly going longer between trips to the bathroom, you might want to find a drinking fountain.
How Much Water Do We Need?
Eight glasses a day, right? Well, it depends.
As a kid, I was taught 8 glasses a day (64 oz) was the goal. However, recently I read this article that said women need 11.5 cups of fluid and men need 15.5 cups. Keep in mind that this is just fluid intake, which would include fluids in foods too (which is almost impossible for us to measure). So, what do we do? I would suggest that the 8 cups a day is a good place to start. Then, watch your pee to learn more.
One Easy Way to Know if You’re Hydrated
The P-test. When you go to the bathroom, look at your urine before you flush. If your urine is dark in color, you probably need more water. The goal is for our urine to be close to the appearance of lemonade. Keep in mind that medicines and vitamins can affect the color of your urine. If that is the case for you, lemonade pee is not going to happen for you, sorry.
The Bottom Line
Hydration does not have to be complicated. Follow my 5 Tips to Stay Hydrated and you should be good to go!