Why is hydration so important?
With summer in full swing, one of the most important things you can do for your body is stay hydrated. Dehydration, both short and long term, can pose serious risks. These include urinary and kidney complications, light-headedness and dizziness, low blood volume, and in severe cases heat stroke or seizures (1). While moderate dehydration can be fixed through water and electrolyte consumption, severe dehydration can be life threatening and requires medical attention. Your water intake should equal your water output, so drinking more water is necessary on hotter and more humid days to equal the water lost through sweat. The average adult needs approximately 48-64 ounces of water a day, with variances in needs due to things like chronic health conditions or medications.
5 Steps to Stay Hydrated:
- DRINK WATER. The easiest and most effective way to stay hydrated is simple, consistently drink 48-64 ounces of water a day. Bring a reusable water bottle with you when you leave the house and drink even when you don’t feel a dying thirst. Once you are thirsty, you are dehydrated.
- Eat foods high in water content, these are things like watermelon, strawberries, cucumbers, celery, pineapple, peaches, and bell peppers. Approximately 20% of your water intake should come from foods. Skip drinks with high sugar contents or alcohol as these cause dehydration.
- Start your day off with a glass of hot lemon water right after you wake up. Not only is this tasty to drink but allows you a head start on your daily water intake and begins your day hydrated. It is also possible that drinking water in the morning can help your skin moisture levels through out the day by keeping the skin hydrated.
- Drink other liquids containing electrolytes with high water contents, like coconut or watermelon water. These mix up the taste of your drink so you don’t get bored of plain water, and they aid in hydration through their electrolytes. These drinks can also be made with electrolyte powders mixed into water. Electrolytes, or minerals found in your body with an electrical charge, are crucial in hydration because they help maintain proper fluid balances through osmosis and help nutrients move into the cells.
- Know the signs of dehydration. These include dry mouth, extreme thirst, dark colored urine, dizziness, fatigue, confusion, and irritability (1). Once you experience these symptoms, immediate hydration is needed.
Linked here are great electrolyte options that you can find at the Mustard Seed in-store!
(1) “Dehydration.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 19 Sept. 2019, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dehydration/symptoms-causes/syc-20354086.