1) Know When You're DehydratedDehydration is detrimental to your health, so understanding the signs is vital to avoiding the damaging affect it has on your body. What exactly are the best ways to determine dehydration? First and foremost, pay attention and listen to what your body is trying to tell you. Your body will give you subtle signs letting you know it needs to be replenished. Feeling thirsty is the most obvious symptom, but often times that means you’re already slightly dehydrated. There are several other signs you can look for that will further help you determine the necessity of an increased water intake. One of the easiest signs to check for is the color of your urine. If your urine is darker in color, that usually signifies dehydration, while lighter urine generally means your water consumption levels are just fine. Aside from urine color, other symptoms may include fatigue/sluggishness, dry skin, dry mouth, headaches, constipation, or joint aches. **Please Note: If you ever reach the point of severe dehydration where you're experiencing faintness, dizziness, shriveled skin, or confusion then you need to seek medical attention immediately because such extreme situations can be very harmful and potentially even deadly.
2) Consume Fruits and VeggiesDid you know drinking water is not the only way to keep your body refreshed and hydrated? You can actually eat your water too. That is by consuming fruits and veggies concentrated in high amounts of water. Such fruits and veggies can include cucumbers, celery, iceberg lettuce, spinach, bell peppers, cauliflower, watermelon, strawberries, blueberries, grapefruit, cantaloupe and many more.
3) Drink Clean WaterIn order to reap the benefits of proper hydration, it's important to drink water from a quality source. Tap water is generally not your best bet. Often times, tap water contains harmful and unhealthy substances such as fluoride, various chemicals, metals, and an array of other items that can do harm to your body especially if consumed frequently over long periods of time. If you’re interested to look at what’s in your TN water, you can view it on the EPA’s site here, http://water.epa.gov/drink/local/tn.cfm. Next, take caution with bottled water. Not all bottled water is created equal. Not only are the bottles harmful to the environment, but some bottled water contains just as many harmful substances and sometimes is actually just tap water. Research has shown that 25% or more of bottled water is tap water in a bottle that may or may not have been treated further. Also, aside from the questionable water quality, the plastic bottle itself can leach unhealthy substances into the water such as phthalates, bisphenol-A, and bisphenol-S (BPA/BPS). The best option that’s convenient for most people would be to have a high quality water filter system for your household and to use your own refillable water bottle.
4) For Added Flavor, Use Natural FlavoringFor many, it may be tempting to grab a sports drink, soda, or enhanced water beverage to rehydrate instead of plain water. As you’re all hopefully aware, there is no nutritional value to soda, so it should be avoided at all costs. As for sports drinks and enhanced waters, these items are often marketed as beverages that will replenish and refuel your body with vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes. But, have you ever looked at the ingredients? These drinks are all often loaded with sugar, fructose, and artificial ingredients. All of which are not healthy, especially when consumed regularly. If you get bored of water and want to spice it up a bit with more flavor, try creating your own natural flavoring by adding items such as fresh fruit, lemon, or cucumber. You may even find that your own additions are much more refreshing than the artificial additives!
5) Drink the Amount Right for Your BodyEveryone’s body is different, so to say you should drink 8 glasses of water a day is not an accurate statement. There really isn’t a perfect formula for everyone to follow each day because it depends on a variety of factors. Such factors can include your physical activity levels, weather conditions, etc.. If you're exercising frequently, than you need to consume more water than you would on days where you're more inactive because you lose more water when you sweat and exercise. The same goes for being outside in the heat vs. indoors. A general guideline you can use is to take your body weight and divide it by 2. The resulting amount is what you can aim to drink in ounces. For example, if you weigh 100 lbs, then your target water consumption can be 50 oz. However, it’s best to simply pay attention to your body’s thirst signals as we mentioned previously.
Make note of these recommendations and be smart this summer by staying hydrated. Dehydration affects many of us, but can be avoided if the necessary steps are taken. If you have any questions regarding proper hydration, please don't hesitate to ask! Feel free to give us a call at 615-915-1255.Website Sources: http://www.nrdc.org/water/drinking/qbw.asp http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/12/15/drinking-enough-water.aspx http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000982.htm http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20709014_16,00.html http://water.epa.gov/drink/local/tn.cfm