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Staying Hydrated - Why & How?

September 08, 2020

Staying Hydrated - Why & How?

Our body needs water to survive. But, aside from drinking the bare minimum just to stay alive, we need to stay hydrated so that we can dispose of waste in our body and to maintain our overall health. We often hear that drinking about 8 cups of water (one cup being about 8 oz.) is essential to staying hydrated. For some, less than 8 cups may be sufficient, but for others, their body may require more than 8 cups a day. So, is there a way to tell if our body needs more water? And are there any other options to stay hydrated besides drinking water? Let's take a look!

 

Am I Dehydrated?

When we don't drink enough water, we may become dehydrated - meaning that our body does not have enough fluid to function properly. Aside from the indicator of "feeling thirsty" there are also other signs we can consider.

They include:

  • Dark Yellow/Amber Colored Urine
  • Dry Mouth
  • Sleepiness/Fatigue
  • Headaches Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness


Who May Need More Hydration?

Those who live in hotter climates may have higher risk of dehydration. When the weather is hot and we sweat, our body loses a lot of water. Those who often exercise in these hot conditions may need to hydrate more often than others as well.

In addition, those who have certain medical conditions or are sick, pregnant, or breastfeeding, may also have a higher risk of dehydration if they don't drink water regularly. When we are sick and have a fever, are vomiting, or have constant diarrhea, these conditions can also cause our body to rapidly lose water.

As we get older, our brain may not be as quick to sensing if we are dehydrated and may not send a signal that we are thirsty. That is why it is good to consciously set a time and procedure to ensure that we are actively replenishing the liquid in our body to prevent dehydration.


5 Ways To Stay Hydrated Aside from Water

Of course, the best way to stay hydrated is drinking water. However, there are other drinks and foods that can also help:


1. Oatmeal

Starting our breakfast with oatmeal is not only filling and delicious, it is also very hydrating! The oats absorb and soak up a lot of the water or milk that we cook it in. Too hot to eat during the summer? You can opt to make them the night before and serve it cold in the morning topped with fruits or chia seeds.

2. Milk

Aside from being a great source of protein, calcium, and electrolytes, apparently milk can be more hydrating for our body than water or sports drinks!

3. Smoothies

Don't like drinking just water? Why not whip up a quick smoothie? Strawberries, blueberries, cucumbers, etc. are all great fruits and vegetables to use in your smoothie. Not only do smoothies help keep you hydrated, but they also taste super delicious!

4. Soups

Include soups in your daily meal plan! There are tons of delicious soup recipes on the web, from heavy and hearty to light and refreshing. So, if you have a hard time remembering to drink water regularly, include soups in your daily meal plans to stay hydrated!

5. Popsicles

Yup! This is especially great for those hot summer months! You can freeze different types of fruits (such as strawberries, blueberries, watermelon, kiwi, etc.) in fruit juices or water.

 

Tips to Stay Hydrated With Water

  • You can add lemon or infuse it with fruits if you don't really enjoy drinking plain water.
  • When you feel hungry and want to reach for a snack, take a few gulps of water instead. Oftentimes, thirst is confused with hunger. This is also a great way to help with weight loss.
  • When order meals at a restaurant, drink water instead of ordering tea or soda. It's also light on the wallet as it's free!


Hope these tips and suggestions help!