Did you know that thirst is one of the worst indicators of dehydration? It’s true for a couple of reasons. First, many people have unknowingly conditioned themselves to ignore the sensation of thirst, so they just keep pushing through the dehydration. Second, by the time you feel thirsty – you’ve already been dehydrated for a long time. Using a Berkey water filter in your home or office is a great way to promote healthy hydration by always having clean, filtered, uncontaminated drinking water available. And there are tons of other ways to stay hydrated too – here are six of them.
1. Your Body Loses Water During Exercise
The muscles and other tissues in your body are composed primarily of water, as are your blood, sweat, saliva and other bodily fluids. And your body evaporates and eliminates fluids as you go.
You can actually measure the amount of water loss during a workout by weighing in immediately before and immediately after your workout at the gym. A loss of one pound will take about 16 ounces to replenish. A loss of two pounds would require 32 ounces or one quart of fluid.
But you don’t have to wait until after your workout is finished to begin rehydrating, especially during longer workouts that exceed 20 minutes or during outdoor or warm-weather exercise. Keep yourself hydrated and prevent loss of athletic performance in your active lifestyle by sipping water every few minutes during your workout.
2. You Are Already Dehydrated Upon Waking
Most people don’t know this, but you’re actually dehydrated the moment you get out of bed in the morning because your body is steadily losing fluids through evaporation at night while you sleep. The effect is multiplied if you breathe with your mouth open rather than just through your nose.
And reaching for a cup of coffee upon rising isn’t the best solution, since coffee and other caffeinated beverages actually pull more water out of your system than they replace. Instead, drink a full glass of water – at least 8-12 ounces – first thing in the morning. Then add in other beverages on top of that with breakfast and when you get to work.
3. Symptoms of Dehydration Aren’t Always Obvious
Many people are dehydrated daily without even realizing it. When you don’t drink enough water, you can experience a variety of symptoms beside thirst and dry mouth:
- Unclear thinking
- Mood changes
- Kidney stones
So don’t just wait until you feel thirsty to begin looking for something to drink. Get in the habit of drinking fluids at regular times throughout the day, such as with every meal, when you first arrive at work and when you first arrive at home. And keep in mind that alcoholic beverages have a diuretic effect and promote dehydration, so you’ll still need additional beverages besides these to stay hydrated at the end of a long day.
4. Bad-Tasting Water Can Contribute to Dehydration
While tap water in most communities around the U.S. is safe to drink, many people still just don’t like the taste of their local tap. If your tap has an annoying aftertaste, then this can actually contribute to dehydration if you don’t have better-tasting options at hand.
Be sure to always keep your fridge and pantry stocked with beverages that you enjoy drinking such as sports drinks, flavored waters, juice blends or even sodas. And if you do enjoy straight water – just not from your kitchen sink – then use a high-quality water filter and drink away!
5. You Don’t Have to Just Drink Water
While clean drinking water is your best bet for staying well-hydrated all day, there are lots of other ways to keep your fluid levels up. Non-caffeinated beverages and non-alcoholic beverages are also good choices, as are dairy drinks, shakes and smoothies.
And you can even get a good amount of water into your body by eating juicy meats and fruits with high water content such as melons, citrus fruits, cucumbers and tomatoes. Soups, stews, sauces and condiments can also help replenish water levels in your body.
6. Tracking Your Water Intake Can Help
There are tons of simple ways that you can track your water intake to fight off dehydration. Some smart water bottles come with built-in technology to track how many times you refill your water bottle. You can also use apps on your smartphone to track how often you drink water and other beverages. And of course, the good old rubber band method still works too.
Staying hydrated during the summer – or even year-round – can be a challenge. A lot of people are dehydrated every day without even knowing it. But by following some or all of these six hydration tips you can easily keep your body well-hydrated to keep you going all day.
INSTRUCTIONS (via forkintheroad.com)
Strawberry Mint Puree
- Combine strawberries, mint, and sweetener (if using) in a small saucepan. Heat slowly over medium-low heat until strawberries turn into a puree and mint releases its oils and becomes fragrant, about 10 minutes.
- Remove puree from heat and let cool five minutes, then add to a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth.
Strawberry Mint Spritzer
- Pour 8 ounces sparkling water into glass. Add 1-2 tablespoon strawberry mint puree to glass and stir slowly with a spoon.
- Add ice, top with mint as a garnish, and enjoy!