Everyone knows that is it important to drink water and stay hydrated, but just how important is it, and what can the consequences of dehydration be? In this article, you will learn why staying hydrated is imperative to your health and how to stay hydrated, even on the hottest of days.
Are you dehydrated right now? Here are a few signs to tell if you are dehydrated: dry mouth, headache, dizziness or fatigue and little to no urine. If you have experienced any of those symptoms, go grab yourself a glass of water! For most people, drinking water when they are thirsty is enough to keep them hydrated, but most have learned that the average person should drink 6-8 8 ounce glasses of water a day.
There will always be the question if drinking sports drinks like Gatorade or energy drinks like Red Bull will keep you hydrated. For the record, those are two totally different drinks that have different effects on your body. Sports drinks can be very beneficial to those who exercise regularly because of their electrolyte and carbohydrate content, but if you are not exercising, sports drinks are just additional sugar and carbs that are unnecessary to your diet. Personally, I prefer coconut water when I am exercising. It’s low sugar, carb and calorie and naturally replenishes lost electrolytes.
Energy drinks, on the other hand, are not at all good for you. Sure, they may give you a boost when you need it, but the negative effects they can have on your body far outweigh the benefit of a boost of energy. Most energy drinks contain massive amounts of caffeine and added sugar that are just flat out not good for you.
Here are some of my tips to stay hydrated in a healthy way throughout the day:
- Bring a reusable steel or aluminum water bottle with you during the day. It will be a constant reminder to hydrate and helps to avoid the negative effects of plastic water bottles.
- Drink a large cup of water before any meal. It is not rare for our bodies to confuse thirst with hunger. If you down a glass before a meal, you will eat a smaller, more appropriate portions.
- Drink one or two glasses of water when you wake up and when you go to sleep. This helps you start and end your day with hydration and creates a routine.