Hydration: It’s one of those things we know we “should be doing,” but we often forget to drink enough water throughout the day. (I can be SO guilty of this!!) Whether we’re just not thirsty or we’re so busy that we forget to take a sip, there are many reasons why nearly 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated…and that’s a BIG deal:
Water makes up 60% of the human body and is needed to help maintain a healthy weight, flush toxins from the body, and produce bodily fluids like saliva. Water also contributes to regular bowel function, optimal muscle performance, and clear, healthy skin. However, failing to drink enough water can cause dehydration and adverse symptoms, including fatigue, headache, weakened immunity, dry and dull skin, and more.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Thirst isn’t always a reliable early indicator of the body’s need for water. Many people, particularly older adults, don’t feel thirsty until they’re already dehydrated.”
Other symptoms of dehydration (besides thirst!) include:
- dry mouth/dry eyes
- bad breath
- infrequent/dark urine
- fatigue, brain fog, headaches, and irritability
- hunger pains
- dry skin that’s itchy or breaking out
- muscle or joint pain
Staying hydrated isn’t always easy, but it’s vital to keep our brain and body functioning optimally. When we’re well hydrated, our brain is happy! Our memory, concentration, and reaction time are improved. We’re also able to regulate our emotions and combat feelings of anxiety with a hydrated brain. We have more energy, fewer headaches, and our digestive and detoxification processes stay on track. Even more, our hearts are healthier and we are better equipped to fight off illnesses when we are hydrated!
Tips for Staying Hydrated:
- Keep a water bottle (preferably in reusable glass or stainless steel) close by throughout the day. This keeps us from succumbing to the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality.
- Don’t love sipping on water? Eat more fruits and vegetables! Foods like cantaloupe, strawberries, cucumbers, squash, and broccoli are almost 90% water, so eating these will not only increase your nutrition, but also your hydration.
- Add salt to your water. Salt actually allows your cells to absorb more water. Add a Himalayan or sea salt rather than a typical table salt.
- Add an electrolyte powder to your water. There are also tons of great electrolyte powders available now, too! Just be sure to take a peek at the ingredients and opt for versions that contain good, clean ingredients and that have minimal (if any) added sugars.
- Increase the flavor of your water by infusing it with different flavors! You can try adding fresh fruit (like the discarded strawberry tops from breakfast), vegetables (cucumber slices), or herbs (fresh basil or ginger).
- Set reminders throughout the day! Try using the alarm on your phone, download a free app on your phone, or use a hydration-tracking water bottle as a helpful tool to keep your hydration top of mind all day long.
- Apps to try:
- Water Reminder (free on Google Play)
- Drink Water Reminder N Tracker (free on the App Store)
- Water Drink Reminder (free on Google Play)
- Apps to try: