It is incredibly important to stay hydrated during the day. Not only does staying hydrated replenish the water we lose throughout the day, but drinking water can aid in weight loss, improve exercise performance, reduce the risk of bladder infections, and more. It’s easy to become dehydrated if you don’t stay on top of your water consumption throughout the day. Before we share our tips and tricks to drink more water, let’s explain dehydration a bit further.
Dehydration in the body occurs when you lose more fluid than you take in, and your body doesn’t contain enough water to carry out its normal functions. Dehydration levels can vary, depending on how much fluid your body is missing.
Children are the most susceptible to dehydration, especially babies and young children who cannot tell you when they’re thirsty or get water on their own. In fact, NPR reports that up to 25 percent of kids ages 6 to 19 “don’t drink any water as part of their fluid intake.” Older adults, people who are sick, or have a chronic disease are also at high risk. Additionally, those who are active outside in hot and humid weather can become dehydrated quickly because their sweat does not evaporate because the humid air can’t hold very many more water molecules. Your body uses a lot of its water to make and release all the sweat it takes to cool you down. So, if your sweat isn’t evaporating, you’re not cooling off and becoming more dehydrated. Knowing the causes and signs of dehydration is the first step in staying on top of your water intake.
Causes and Signs of Dehydration
Your body loses fluids throughout the day, and that’s very normal. We sweat, go to the bathroom, breathe, and all these things cause us to lose liquids. If you don’t replace these liquids, either through drinking water or eating foods that contain water, you will become dehydrated very quickly. Some signs of dehydration include:
- Dry mouth
- Decreased or discolored urination
- Dry skin
- Muscle cramps
Out of Date Fact: Drink 8 Glasses of Water per Day
For years, health professionals have advised that we should drink eight cups of water a day to stay adequately hydrated. However, according to a study done by Harvard Medical School, you don’t need to drink the recommended eight cups. Your daily water intake is dependent upon your diet, weather, and level of physical activity. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding, people who are consistently active, and anyone who is feeling sick should drink more water.
We break down exactly how much water you should drink daily here.
easy ways to drink more water
Although most people in the U.S. have regular access to water throughout the day, few actually drink the amount of water they should. Whether it’s because you forget to drink water, don’t like the taste of the water you have, or other reasons – we’ve put together a list of east ways to drink more water to help you stay hydrated through the day.
1. Fruit-infused water: Sometimes drinking plain ole water is boring. Treating yourself to refreshing fruit-infused water is a great way to stay healthy and on top of your water consumption. Not only are you getting the benefits from water, but the fruit is antioxidant rich and help flush toxins from your body, aid in muscle fatigue, help fill your stomach so you’re less likely to snack, and can boost your metabolism.
You can add just about any fruit into water. Check out some of our favorite fruit infused recipes and more added benefits.
2. Keep a water bottle handy: Keeping a reusable water bottle handy throughout your day is a must, especially if you’re constantly on the go. Not only are you more likely to drink water when it’s right next to you, but using a reusable water bottle reduces plastic waste and lowers your environmental impact.
Reusable water bottles typically come in plastic, glass, or stainless steel. So, which one should you choose? We weigh all your options in this handy article explaining the differences in materials.
3. Skip the soda or juice: While you may be thinking that drinking soda or juice is still drinking a liquid, so you’re staying hydrated, you’re unfortunately wrong. Sodas and juices that are high in sugar, like fructose and glucose, can contribute to tooth decay and actually inhibit the body from absorbing the water it needs. Furthermore, the high sugar levels in these drinks also cause your blood sugar level to spike, which causes your body to release hormones to lower it. However, the body often overcompensates which can lead to crashes that make you feel tired, irritable, and hungry.
If you need that flavored or fizzy liquid, try drinking flavored sparkling water or mineral water. If it’s the caffeine you’re after, make the healthy switch to tea!
4. Invest in a water filter: When staying hydrated, it’s ideal to be drinking the best tap water you can. Investing in a water filter, like our OptimH2O® Reverse Osmosis + Claryum® provides your home with healthy, great-tasting water that you can also bottle for on-the-go use.
A reverse osmosis system removes all the unwanted impurities in drinking water like fluoride, mercury, and chlorine, leaving you with clean, healthy water. As the RO system filters out contaminants, the Aquasana’s remineralizer membrane adds the healthy, good minerals back into your water, like calcium, magnesium, and potassium. The OptimH2O® Reverse Osmosis + Claryum® delivers superior drinking water for optimal hydration.
To learn more about what water filter best fits your needs, see our tips here.
5. Track your water goals or set a routine: Keeping track of every ounce of water you drink throughout the day can be challenging, but will ensure you’re drinking enough liquids. Planning on when you’ll drink water, like two glasses at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, is an easy way to know you’re getting enough water. Other ways to drink more water include setting a reminder or alarm on your phone, posting sticky note reminders on your desk, or drawing lines on your water bottle with hours throughout the day to drink that much water by!
6. Eat foods rich in water: Fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of water to help you stay on top of your water intake. In fact, around a fifth of your daily fluid intake comes from the foods you eat. Cucumbers, tomatoes, spinach, and mushrooms, melon, and broccoli are foods that are all made up of more than 90 percent of water.
Before eating or cooking any of these delicious, and healthy, foods, we strongly recommend using filtered water when cleaning and cooking. If you’re on city water, your water may contain chlorine and chloramines – compounds used to disinfect your water before it even gets to your kitchen tap. These compounds have a range of health effects and can even alter the taste of the food you cook. To help prevent negative health effects and flavor alteration from the chemicals in tap water, many chefs and restaurants prefer to use filtered water when cleaning produce, preparing food, or making mixed drinks. Read more about washing and cooking with filtered water here.
7. Reward yourself: Once you’ve set your water intake goal, tracked it, and finally hit it, reward yourself! The good feeling of hitting that goal is great, and your body will thank you, but rewarding yourself for reaching that goal can be one of the most effective motivation tools. The reward doesn’t have to be big, but make sure you’re taking the time to thank yourself and your body for drinking more water.
It’s one thing to know you need to drink enough water, but it’s another thing to ensure you’re consistently consuming enough liquids throughout the day. So, don’t wait till your thirsty, stay on top of your hydration.