Remember how you used to be told that if you were feeling thirsty, you were already dehydrated? Well, that isn’t true. Your body isn’t designed to tell you when you’re too late, it’s designed to trigger the thirst mechanism when it is time to drink something – BEFORE you are dehydrated!
But here’s the tricky part. Your body is after hydration and nourishment. You get a lot of your hydration needs from your food. Ever juice a cucumber? It’s mostly liquid! Sometimes, your body will kick out “I’m hungry!” signals when you’re actually thirsty and craving hydration!
This “You must drink 8 glasses of water a day” doctrine only became the fashionable when we stopped eating our veggies and started eating more processed food. Yes! Your body needs to be hydrated, you can’t live without water. There are studies out there nowadays that are showing that we’re already getting a lot of water in our daily diets, especially if we’re eating healthy with lots and lots of vegetables and fruit. And let’s face it – water can get pretty boring.
There are lots of great ways to get the amount of water your body needs to keep you hydrated. I drink a 20oz. smoothie every morning, go through a 20oz. water bottle that I carry around with me all day long and I drink at least one or two probiotic Kevita drinks a day. That alone is almost 64oz. of liquid! And that’s not even counting all the vegetables I eat daily.
Here are some tips to help you get the water your body needs to keep up with your busy life:
1. Eat your Fruits and Veggies
Cucumber, celery and radishes are more than 95% water! Throw some in your salad or keep some spears handy for snacking (add some hummus for also important protein). Tomatoes, green peppers, cauliflower, spinach, broccoli, baby carrots, are also great vegetables for their water content. Watermelon, star fruit, strawberries, grapefruit, cantaloupe are sweet treats that are all more than 90% water.
2. Don’t Overdo it
You CAN drink too much water. You can actually flood your system with water, producing low sodium levels, flushing out minerals and vitamins that your body actually needs to perform at peak condition and do a number on your kidneys. If you’re eating lots of clean veggies, you’re getting LOTS of water. But when you do drink water, don’t chug it, you’ll just wind up peeing it out without doing much to hydrate you. Sip it throughout the day instead. And speaking of pee, THAT is the real sign of your state of hydration. It should be a pale yellow color. If it’s almost clear, you’re drinking too much. If it’s dark yellow, go drink something!
3. Make Your Water More Interesting
Filter your water whenever you can. Infuse it with calorie and sugar-free flavors, a slice of lemon or a chunk of cantaloupe. Figure out if you prefer glass, plastic or stainless steel containers and then get a bunch and keep them filled and handy. It sounds silly, but having a glass or bottle you enjoy drinking out of can make a difference in how you feel about drinking! Drinking champagne out of a juice glass isn’t nearly as fun as drinking it from a champagne glass, right?
Everything you drink contributes to your daily water consumption. Just remember that caffeinated drinks will dehydrate you, so you should replace them with something to hydrate.
Water is not the goal, hydration is. Keep your water consumption interesting, listen to your body, and you will always be hydrated.
I’ve just given you really important information about water and helpful hints on how to keep hydrated. What fun ways do you have to stay hydrated? Share them with me!