Drinking water is important for maintaining optimal health. In fact, 55-70% of your body is made up of water!
Experts recommend that the average male drink around 16 glasses of water a day and that the average female drink around 11 glasses of water a day, but age, biological sex, and weight are all additional factors that determine the amount of water you should be drinking in a day. Athletes may also need to drink more water, as they lose more fluids during physical activity.
Related: Overhydration: Important Minerals for Hydration
It's important to be aware of your daily fluid needs, as no single person is the same. A good way to stay hydrated is to pay attention to how thirsty you get and the color and amount of your urine.
Why should you stay hydrated?
Dehydration is when your body loses more fluids than it takes in. When you lose too much water from your body, your cells, tissues, and organs cease to function as they should, which can lead to undesirable outcomes. If you don’t drink enough water, you may feel fatigued, have a dry mouth, feel more thirsty, urinate less, have dry skin, get constipated, or get a headache.
Hydration is essential for both your physical health and your mental health. By staying hydrated, you can ensure better physical performance, better cognitive performance, improved weight loss, better mood, and improved working memory. Staying hydrated also prevents fatigue, any decline in your physical or mental performance, a decrease in stamina, confusion, constipation, and headaches.
How can you stay hydrated?
Like food, water is necessary for human survival. But unlike food, water is tasteless, and many people get bored because of the lack of taste.
If you don't like the taste of water or are bored of it, it’s even more important that you are conscious of staying hydrated. There are some things you can do if you're having trouble drinking enough water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Here are some ideas:
Eat vegetables and fruits rich in water
Research shows that approximately 22% of the daily water intake of the US population comes from food.
Except for corn, peas, and potatoes, almost all fruits and vegetables are made up mostly of water. Cucumbers have the highest water content of any solid food, with 95% of cucumbers consisting of water. Other hydrating vegetables include cauliflower, broccoli, dark leafy greens, celery, spinach, and tomatoes. You can never go wrong with any fruit if you’re trying to stay hydrated, especially kiwis, oranges, cantaloupe, strawberries, and watermelon. While fruits and vegetables cannot be relied upon completely as an alternative to water, they can certainly help increase your intake of fluids.
Drink more soups
Soups contain a large amount of water, which nourishes the cells in your body and keeps your skin fresh. It is an excellent way to get more fluids in your body to stay hydrated. You can also significantly increase the nutritional content of soups by adding lots of vegetables like broccoli, onions, mushrooms, carrots, and tomatoes.
Eat lots of yogurts
Plain yogurt is an excellent source of water, protein, vitamins, and minerals. It has moisturizing effects, along with many other health benefits. A one-cup (245-gram) serving of plain yogurt is made up of more than 75% water. Yogurt also contains several vitamins and minerals, including calcium, potassium, and phosphorus, which are known to help improve your bone health.
Flavor your water
You can add flavor to your water with fresh fruit or a splash of fruit juice if you’re bored of the bland taste of water. You can also try filling your water with berries, lemon, cucumber slices, and more to liven it up and ensure you drink enough water throughout the day. Ice water is much more delicious to start with than regular water, but if you want to make it more exciting, try making flavored ice cubes.
Drink coconut water
Coconut water is the liquid found in fresh coconuts and is a natural source of numerous vital minerals.
Coconut water can be an excellent beverage, especially for replenishing electrolytes lost during exercise and restoring your hydration level. It is a delicious and natural beverage that keeps you cool and hydrated after a workout. You can also use coconut water for preparing smoothies, chia seed pudding, and salad dressings if you want to include some natural sweetness.
Make smoothies at home
Smoothies are a great and delicious way to stay hydrated. All you have to do to make smoothies is blend all the ingredients together. Here are some hydrating smoothie recipes:
1/2 cup coconut water
1 cup orange juice
10 ozs. frozen strawberries
1 tablespoon fresh ginger (peeled and diced)
1/4 cup fresh mint (minced)
1-2 cups fresh pineapple
1 teaspoon flax seeds
Morning hydrating smoothie
240 grams cantaloupe (cored)
1 apple (peeled and diced)
1 carrot (finely grated)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
Vitamin C hydration smoothie
1 cup kale
1 medium apple (with skin)
1 cup frozen mangoes
1 cup cucumber
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ tablespoon ginger
¾ cup water
3-4 ice cubes
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 medium banana
1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon chia seeds
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