Wednesday, March 2, 2016

5 Ways To Stay Hydrated


Winter is the worst time of year for hydration. Our skin dries out, we don't feel as thirsty, and we often neglect hydration. This sucks because hydration is one of the most important things for our bodies! Here are five easy ways to stay hydrated! The more you do these things, the better you'll feel, and soon they'll become a habit!

1) Start Strong
The first thing that a lot of people do in the morning is make a cup of coffee and drink that. This is not the best thing for you because coffee is considered a diuretic, which means that it'll force you to lose liquid and can easily dehydrate you. Instead of reaching for the coffee first thing, try starting with water instead! I try to drink 16 ounces of water within fifteen minutes of waking up to jump start my body and to help replenish the fluids that I lost while sleeping. Try to have at least two cups (but the more, the better!) first thing in the morning so you aren't starting the day off dehydrated!

2) Check Your Pee
This one is kind of gross, but try to notice the color of your urine the next time you go to the bathroom. It should be pale yellow or clear because that means you're adequately hydrated. If it's bright or dark yellow, you need to drink more because your body is dehydrated. This doesn't make you more hydrated, but by staying aware of your hydration you know when to drink more! The only exception to this is if you're taking vitamins or something similar because excess vitamins can be excreted through urine, which would lead to a darker color even if you're adequately hydrated. 

3) Bring It With You
You are hopefully bringing a water bottle with you to work or school already, but if you aren't, then start! It is so handy to be able to drink when you need to without having to leave the room to go to a water fountain. I use a Hydro Flask because it's vacuum insulated so it keeps my hot drinks hot and my cold drinks really cold! 

4) Drink What You Like
I 100% believe that you should be drinking water as much as possible, but if you will drink more if the water is flavored or if it's tea, then I'm all for that! Try to stay away from things with chemicals and flavor your water yourself with fruits and herbs! If you're drinking tea, know that tea can have slight diuretic effects depending on the caffeine content of it. If you're drinking water along with your tea, that shouldn't be a problem and the diuretic effect of tea is no where near the one of coffee! Also, if you're drinking juice, try to get it fresh so you retain the nutrients, but any juice is better than a diet coke!

*Side Note: A quick word on juices here! I like juices and I think that they can be beneficial for a quick jolt of energy. I would recommend drinking a juice instead of an energy drink because juice can help replenish your glycogen stores instead of just drugging your brain like caffeine does. They shouldn't be drunk all the time, especially if you are trying to lose weight just because they have calories that are easy to overlook if you're drinking them instead of eating them!

5) Educate Yourself
The things that dehydration does to you is downright scary! It can impair body function, it can make you less sharp mentally, and can lead to fatigue. By learning what it does to you, you can start to realize when your body is telling you that you're dehydrated or you can scare yourself in to drinking more often. 

Before we go, I want to say that there is something as too much water. You would need to drink a lot of water in a relatively short period for something like that to happen, but don't go overboard. Drink when you're thirsty, when you wake up, at meals, and after exercise. Listen to your body and you'll soon find the point where your body is the happiest! Let me know in the comments how you stay hydrated throughout the day! One of my friends has an app on her phone so she doesn't forget to drink throughout the day!
-Sisi

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