How to Hydrate for Optimum Health
From the first moment you arrive into the world you were, like most newborns, probably given water to drink. Our bodies need water to survive and most people don’t drink enough of it. Every cell, tissue and organ in the body needs water to function correctly. Water removes waste and lubricates our joints. It helps us maintain and regulate our temperature. And it helps our organs and brain stay healthy.
Why should I stay hydrated?
We lose water daily, especially when it’s hot outside, when physically active, sick or simply just breathing. And it’s important that we focus our attention on replacing the water we lose so we don’t become dehydrated. If you experience some of these symptoms often, you risk the chance of being dehydrated and the sad thing is, water is always at our fingertips, but so many people don’t take advantage of its healing properties.
Symptoms of dehydration are:
- Little or no urine
- Fatigue or sleepiness
- Feelings of dizziness or lightheadedness
- Constant thirst
- Unexplained confusion
- Dry mouth
- Cracking skin and lips
- Lack of tears when crying
- Dark colored urine
How much water do I need for optimum health?
I’m sure you’ve been given different recommendations over the years as to how much water you should drink, but different people require different amounts of water. It depends upon your age, activity level, gender and diet. There are no magic number of glasses or ounces, just common sense. Basically, if you notice that your urine is cloudy and dark yellow, you are not getting enough water. If you’re taking supplements, then the color of the water will be a brighter yellow. Take notice and make it a habit to “chug” a glass of water in less than a minute.
I am always telling my clients to assess themselves often throughout each day. This means doing a body check for physical signs, a mental check and an emotional check. To be sure you’re hydrated enough, look at the list above. Have you been experiencing headaches lately? Is your urine dark yellow in color? Is your mouth often dry? Do you feel sluggish or unable to think clearly? If these signs are present, then grab a water bottle and start filling it up!
How do I stay hydrated?
I have struggled with staying hydrated all my life. I’m not a “thirsty person” so I’ve had to force myself to remember to chug down water throughout each and every day. But once I changed how and what I ate, I began to realize that I can also hydrate through the foods I eat. I just have to make sure I get enough of those foods into my diet AND drink plenty of water throughout the day and early evening.
Here are a few tips I use to stay hydrated:
- Start every morning by drinking 12 ounces of water right after you get out bed.
- Dilute all fruit juices 50% with water and drink more herbal teas, and vegetable juices.
- If you have trouble remembering to drink water, set a reminder on your phone to drink water on the hour.
- Eat whole fruit with breakfast, lunch and with a snack each day.
- Make and eat more soups made from meat or vegetable stocks.
- Pre-fill a couple of reusable water bottles to grab whenever you leave the house and bring them back empty.
- Add lemon, lime, cucumber or berries to water for variety.
- Figure out how you like your water best–on ice or at room temperature.
- Leave a large container of water out on the counter or desk and empty it before 5:00 each day.
- When you feel hungry, drink a large glass of water and wait 20 minutes. Hunger may be your body’s way of signaling you to hydrate, not fill up with food.
- Remember that salads, soups, and whole fruits and vegetables can also help you stay hydrated.
- Stay clear of all artificially sweetened and vitamin enhanced waters, caffeine, energy and sports drinks, and know the difference between all of them. Your body doesn’t need the extra calories, chemicals, sugar, sodium and caffeine that these drinks contain.
- Drink only pure water or filtered water! If possible, invest in a quality filtering system for your tap or house. If you use a filter and pitcher, keep the filter in the fridge to avoid bacterial build up. Your health is worth it.
- Find a natural spring near you. Check out FindASpring and to fill up your large glass or PBA-free plastic water bottle. Spring water contains minerals that have been taken out of filtered water. It is also more alkaline, which your body needs to help regulate ph balance.
Keep your body hydrated so your organs continue to work properly. Every cell in your body will thank you for it. Tell us what your favorite method for staying hydrated is.
Hydration is one of the important steps toward making changes in your health. You’ll learn about eating hydrophilic foods in our 15-day Clean Eats Mindset Challenge. In this Challenge, we’ll send you daily tips to help you gradually make better food choices. Little by little you’ll learn how to change your way of thinking about the foods you eat so you can feel better and live longer. Contact us for more information.