Hydration is the single most important thing you can do to keep your energy level up, flush toxins from your body, stay clear headed, and maintain a healthy weight. Proper hydration is an easy and inexpensive habit and you can control it!
Stay hydrated as a simple form of self care with big benefits.
- A properly hydrated body needs between 70 and 130 ounces of water a day. Most of us don’t drink that much.
If you have ever been dehydrated, you know one of the major signs are dragging energy levels and lethargy. Even being a little dehydrated can give you a headache and make it hard to deal with stress. The amount of water your body needs depends on the weather, how much you sweat, and the foods you eat. People who eat lots of fruits and vegetables get a good amount of water in their diet; people who eat a lot of processed foods get almost no water in their diet. If it’s hot out and you perspire more, you need to increase your water intake. Your body depends on water to function, and you will look, feel, and think better if you are adequately hydrated.
- Measure it!
If you are not measuring the amount of water you are drinking in a day you are probably not drinking enough. Once you actually see how much water you are consuming, you can adjust your intake appropriately. Keep a glass jar handy with the ounces marked on it so you always know how much you are drinking. Often times we confuse thirst for hunger so knowing how much water you are drinking is a great way to recognize actual thirst and keep overeating in check.
- Sip It!
To reap all the benefits of being hydrated, sip water throughout the day —don’t wait until you’re thirsty which means you are already dehydrated! I like to try to drink half of my water before noon and finish the rest before 5pm. A good rule of thumb is to drink 8-10 ounces of water every hour. Buy a water pitcher with a filter and keep it your office or kitchen with a clear glass jar or glass that is 8-10oz. You can even keep cut lemons in a small container to make it taste better. Having tasty, filtered water available at all times will help you drink more water and measuring it will keep you on track.
- Don’t drink with meals!
You should be well hydrated before you eat for two reasons: You are more likely to overeat if you are dehydrated at meal time; additionally, the digestive process begins in the mouth with chewing, saliva production, and the breaking down of food. If you are washing down your food with liquids, you will be interfering with that process, making it harder for the body to digest food and creating heartburn and acid reflux.
- Don’t be a thirsty drinker!
Alcohol, caffeine and stress can be a bad combination. Be sure you are well hydrated before you add caffeine and alcohol to the mix. Caffeine is dehydrating. Thirsty drinkers tend to drink too much, too fast. Drinking too much alcohol at once, because we’re thirsty and stressed, causes blood sugar levels to spike and then drop which makes us feel bad and hungry. Have a glass of water for every alcoholic or caffeinated beverage you consume, thereby minimizing dehydration and managing alcohol and caffeine.
- Eat your water!
Enjoy more nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables as a great way to load up on fiber, enzymes, vitamins and water. Watermelon, cucumbers, celery, lettuce, berries, juicy peaches, are great options. Plant-based foods are the perfect hydrators, providing both water and micronutrients — a double benefit. Start your day with a glass of water and add the juice of half a lemon. It will get your metabolism fired up and add a hefty dose of vitamin C which fights colds, illness, inflammation, and helps keep you healthy during stressful times.
- Boost your water!
If drinking water doesn’t excite you because it’s too,… well, too watery; add some flavor. No excuses, there are lots of ways to make your water more delicious —add cut lemon or orange slices, just be sure avoid artificial additives of any kind. Avoid carbonated water because it can cause bloating, digestive upset, and dehydration as a result of the added carbon dehydrating to the body. Add a pinch of Himalayan sea salt to your water to boost hydration on hot sweaty days.
Drinking the right amount of water can benefit you in multiple ways. It can increase your energy level, clear your mind, and keep cravings in check. Good hydration helps maintain a healthy weight and supply much needed energy to deal with everyday stress. Get a water filter pitcher, grab a glass jar and a big, reusable water bottle for on-the-go drinking, and get hydrated. Many things my feel out of your control, but drinking water isn’t. Cheers!
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