Dry summer heat drives us to think more about staying hydrated, but so many people still want to grab one of those over-sized, super thirst quenchers over a glass of “sky juice”. Even then, many of us aren’t prompted to grab a drink until we are already extremely thirsty. As the winter months run their course, we become dehydrated without realizing it. The cooler temperatures tend to be deceitful as we are not as likely to pay as much attention to thirst.
If you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated!
There are all kinds of “designer” drinks available that are supposed to quench your thirst, but nothing can truly replace that life-giving liquid gold we call water. Granted, drinks such as coconut water have the benefit of re-upping magnesium and potassium that you so desperately need, especially if you work outdoors or are athletic, but most of the time we need just pure water.
Proper hydration plays a major role in good health because our bodies depend on it for functioning. We lose an estimated 10 cups of fluid per day a day through bodily functions such as urination and bowel movements, breathing, and sweating. Water literally evaporates from our bodies into thin air! We need about a ½ ounce of fluid for every pound of body weight, and even more in active people or pregnant women.
Here are some tips for staying properly hydrated not only during the summer, but year-round:
1. Routinize your water habit
When you do something at a certain time every day, it’s easier to turn it into a habit. When you wake up, drink a glass of water with no ice to rehydrate. During the course of the night as we sleep, we lose an average of ½ cup of sweat, but we don’t see this because it gets soaked up by our bedding. Have your water even before you sip that customary first cup of joe because coffee is dehydrating. Who wants to dehydrate an already dehydrated body?
2. Attraction goes a long way
Get a pretty or otherwise attention-grabbing drinking bottle to keep at your work area during the day. If you have a container that is appealing or stands out, you are more likely to see it throughout the day while you are busy.
3. Eat hydrating foods
Have fruit that is high in water content or some cut veggies every two hours between each meal. If you eat a protein-laden diet, you will need even more water because your body uses more water to process protein.
4. Water break!
Establish mini breaks during work and have a drink of water during that break.
5. Remember to not forget
Stick a Post It note in a conspicuous area, like your computer monitor, to remind yourself to drink water. If you can use a reminder alarm on your phone where you work, set it to a special tone or buzz to remind you to grab a sip of water every hour.
6. Lakes, streams and waterfalls
Hang a picture over your work station that has water in it, or if you have space for one of those tiny, babbling fountains, they can remind you to drink and they create a peaceful work space.
Be wary of sports drinks and make sure they are not loaded with sugar because that will make you thirstier. If you like sports drinks, try diluting the concentration by half with water, and you will still get all the salts you need.
Keep these ideas in mind and choose what suits your situation to help you stay hydrated throughout the entire year.