Keeping your body hydrated is crucial for good health and well-being. Research has concluded that hydration is key to cognition maintenance, managing weight, and reducing the risk of kidney stones.
We rely on water for crucial functions, including regulating body temperature, preventing infections, and more. The performance of almost every bodily function you can imagine depends on how hydrated we are in some form.
Our bodies are made up of around 60% water, which we constantly lose through sweating, breathing, and urinating. According to The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, men drink 3.7 liters of water per day and women around 2.7 liters per day.
Although it should be one of our top daily priorities, many of us do not consume enough fluids each day. This article will discuss identifying when you’re dehydrated and four ways to stay hydrated.
Causes of Dehydration
Here are some of the common ways your body can lose more fluids than you consume:
- Profuse sweating during exercise or other vigorous activity
- Not drinking enough water
Symptoms of Dehydration
Common signs of dehydration in adults include:
- Dry mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle cramps
- Dark urine
- Dizziness, weakness, and light-headedness
- Swollen feet
4 Ways to Stay Hydrated
Keep Drinking Water
Don’t just wait until you feel thirsty; drink water regularly throughout the day, especially on hot days or when engaging in vigorous physical activity. Many of us forget about drinking water. Luckily, many apps are available to send you “drink water” reminders. Or you could set up several daily alarms on your phone.
Drink Electrolyte Beverages
Crucial minerals such as potassium, chloride, and magnesium (“electrolytes”) are usually lost when you sweat. To help compensate, you can drink beverages with enhanced electrolyte content like sports drinks.
Eat Hydrating Food
You can also obtain fluids through the food you eat. Fruits and vegetables have especially high-water content and contribute to your hydration goals. Try eating fruits with the most water content, like watermelon, strawberries, and cantaloupe.
Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol
Alcoholic or caffeinated beverages can dehydrate you. If you do choose to consume them, drink plenty of water alongside them, especially with alcohol. It’s a diuretic, meaning that it causes your body to lose fluids from the blood. Therefore, it’s essential to replace what’s lost.
Water is essential to support our bodily functions. If you’re not drinking enough water on any given day, you’ll likely lose more fluids than you consume, leaving your body dehydrated. Ways to stay hydrated include drinking plenty of water throughout your day and eating fruits and vegetables to top up your intake.
Your body will always let you know when you’re not hydrated enough. Dark urine is an easy way to tell, so keep an eye out for that and any other common signs.