So, it’s hard for many people to remember to stay hydrated.
But really. How important is it to keep the liquids coming all day long?
It’s pretty important
Dehydration is associated with decreased blood flow, memory and focus, poor concentration, irritability, and sleepiness. And did you know that even very mild dehydration (2%) can directly affect brain functioning? In the U.S., dehydration is one of the 10 most frequent reasons that hospitalizes older folks. None of that, please. 🙂 A hydrated body is especially important during hot weather spells or when you’re sick. Or, with the start of a new medication or health condition, your fluid needs can change.
The human brain is 80% water
Over three quarters of our brain is water, and it thrives that way. One study showed that improving hydration correlated with better working memory and recalled words. Drinking water flushes out toxins that cause inflammation and increases communication between nerve cells. It aids digestion and kidney functioning. So, why not hydrate!
Make it easy on yourself
- Stick with water. There are lots of ways to hydrate but the easies way is to simply stick with water. Consider drinking a glass of water when you wake up in the morning and before every meal. Or, you could grab a cupful after every bathroom break.
- Keep it close by. Some people find a favorite reusable water bottle works for them. Or, they keep a glass nearby and refill it as soon as they finish it. What might work for you?
- Sip it. Drink small amounts throughout the day, not all at once.</li?
- Mix it up. If you need variety, add a slice of citrus fruit to a glass of water, drink noncaffeinated herbal teas, coconut water, or plain sparkling water. Experiment with different temperatures. With ice? Personally, I like warm liquids like soups.
- Choose hydrating foods. Keep in mind that beverages aren’t the only source of fluids. Raw fruits and vegetables can pack a hydrating punch as well. Cucumbers, tomatoes, watermelon, bell peppers, grapes, cantaloupe, and oranges are all comprised of more than 90 percent water.
How much should you drink?
In general, an adult should drink half of their body weight in ounces per day. But life stage, activity level, and diet quality all play a role.
If you’re not sure where you stand, this Hydration Calculator will help you figure out your individual liquid needs
A good rule of thumb is to try balancing fluid intake with output. If you’re sweating or urinating more frequently, then your fluid intake should become more frequent as well.
Reasons not to
There are lots of barriers to drinking liquids that we inflict upon ourselves. Say, we know we won’t be near a bathroom, it’s just too much to remember, or we just don’t like drinking water or any liquid.
Take a minute to weigh the pros and cons. Do the reasons for hydrating outweigh the reasons not to? Consider setting a hydration goal for the next 7 days. One baby step. See how you do. 😊