Summer is well and truly in full swing, for many of us, we’re already experiencing the heat! Especially this weekend, looking at the weather, looks like it’s going to be a scorcher. I hope you all have some lovely activities planned. I plan to sunbathe and make it to the beach at some point. With that, there’s a strong chance that some of you are going to suffer from dehydration so let’s chat Hydration and h20.
Did you know the body is made up of about 55-60% water? If you’re not drinking enough water you may not be giving your body enough fuel to combat everyday stresses, fight fatigue, keep your digestion moving, your metabolism efficient, supple skin, along with many others. Water is key to keeping our bodies healthy on a cellular level. It’s especially important to drink enough water during the hot summer months when we’re sweating more than usual, i.e. losing more water through our skin and when we workout.
Before I give you my Top 5 ways of drinking more water, first let me tell you about the signs that signal dehydration.
Your Mouth is Dry
Okay, this one might be an obvious right? Any time you feel that sticky, nasty feeling in your mouth, you’d obviously reach for some sort of liquid. And while some of you might reach for water, others might reach for a sugary drink instead. But sugary drinks are only a temporary solution to a larger problem. Drinking water lubricates the mucus membranes in your mouth and throat, which will continue to keep your mouth moist with saliva long after that first sip.
Your Skin is Dry
Did you know that your skin is your body’s largest organ (I didn’t until now), so of course it needs to stay hydrated. In fact, dry skin is one of the earliest signs of full-on dehydration, which can lead to much larger problems. A lack of water means a lack of sweat, which leads to a body’s inability to wash away excess dirt and oil accumulated throughout the day. If you want to stave off breakouts, your first recourse should be to drink more water.
You Experience Joint Pain
Our cartilage and spinal discs are made up of about 80% water. This is an absolute necessity to keep our bones from grinding against each other with every step we take. By keeping your body hydrated, you ensure that your joints can absorb the shock of sudden movements, such as running, jumping, or falling awkwardly.
Not drinking enough water can also cause you to cramp while working out, so make sure you’re hydrating well before you start your warm-up. Drink an ounce of water for every 10 pounds of body weight about one to two hours before you exercise, but make sure you don’t gulp too much water right before the start of a workout.
You Feel Fatigued and Lethargic
As I mentioned, when a body is dehydrated it “borrows” water from your blood. A lack of properly hydrated blood leads to a lack of oxygen being brought throughout the body. Of course, a lack of oxygen leads to sleepiness and outright fatigue. A lack of stamina means you”ll start to experience that 2PM crash earlier and earlier in your day (and remember, coffee won’t help in the long run).
Feeling sluggish and tired when you start a workout can also be a sure sign that you haven’t fueled the body correctly either. Make sure you drink enough before or after your workout, and if you’re doing a longer workout, make sure to sip throughout.
You Experience Hunger Pangs
When you’re dehydrated, your body might start to think it needs some food. I know this often happens me throughout the day, and overnight when i wake up craving that midnight snack. However, don’t be fooled. Eating food creates more work for your body, whereas drinking water purifies your organs and supplies it with the fuel it needs to go through the other processes a body goes through.
You Experience Constipation – Poop LOL
Staying hydrated helps lubricate the digestive system. During the process of dehydration, the colon uses up the water that would have been used by the intestines in the next step of the digestive process. Without going into too much detail, I’ll let you figure out what a lack of lubricant in the intestines leads to.
You Experience Reduced Urination
Believe it or not, if you’re not taking a trip to the restroom 4-7 times a day, you’re probably not drinking enough water. And when you do go #1, it should be a light yellow or clear color. If it’s a darker yellow, your body is telling you it’s lacking proper hydration. In extreme cases, dehydration can lead to urinary tract infections, in which case you should consult a doctor right away.
Okay, now you’ve identified that you might be dehydrated, let’s look at determining how much water you should be drinking. That does depend on many factors, but to get you started aim for 2-3 liters a day (i.e. about 8-12 cups). You’ll need the higher amounts if you exercise and sweat, if you’re active throughout the day, if you’re not eating enough water containing foods, or if you eat a high fiber diet. Also, pay attention to the color of your urine – ideally it should be pale yellow/clear, and if it’s dark yellow this a good indicator you may need much more water!
Next, let’s explore 5 ways you can get that Water intake up ☺️
#1: Infused waters
My favourite of them all! If plain water is “boring” to you, or if you prefer to mix it up every now and then, try infused (or flavoured) water. Just like with packaged teas, be mindful of any flavoured waters you buy. I recommend staying away from bottled flavoured drinks, unless you’re familiar with the ingredients (i.e., no added sugar, syrups, artificial sweeteners, flavours, colours or preservatives, etc.). My favourite way to boost flavour in water is adding Lemon and Limes, Mint Leaves, Cucumber Pieces, or Berries.
Not only do they taste great, but they also look kinda cute.
#2: Hot tea (or iced!)
You don’t have to only drink plain water for it to count towards your water intake. Try starting your day with a hot tea instead of coffee or cool down with an iced. Just be mindful of bottled teas, many of them are filled with sugar and artificial preservatives, so brewing your own is always best! Bonus idea – add a Green Tea bag to your water.
#3: DIY water tracker
Measure your water as you go so you know how much more you made need. You can use your favourite water bottle to track how much you’ve had by noting the measurements. Some water bottles have them on the side, or use the rubber band trick! Most water bottles are about 20 ounces, so keep that in mind, but use 4 rubber bands to represent about 8 cups of water, each rubber band represents 2 cups of water. Take off 1 rubber band for each bottle of water you drink (i.e. 2 cups of water) and use that as a DIY water intake tracker!
Smoothies are a great way to add extra water into your day. Instead of using a nut milk for your liquid, use filtered water or coconut water. Use the same amount that you would use if you were adding a nut milk or milk alternative. If you’re missing the creaminess of the smoothie, you can always add an avocado, nut butter, or frozen banana or zucchini to thicken up your smoothie. Also remember, using raw whole foods like greens and fruit not only contain fiber, but they also contain water!
#5: Set a timer throughout the day for water breaks
If you’re more of a regimented person or just need a reminder, add timers or alarms to your device to remind you to drink water. It’s so easy to get caught up in work and realize it’s been hours since you’ve had any water! The best way to consume water is evenly throughout the day, so chugging a huge glass in the morning isn’t going to help you in the afternoon. Your body’s already gotten rid of it by then! Use tools like a journal or set alarms to help you remember to drink throughout the day. And if you feel your water needs a pick me up, you can always add some True Lemon products for added flavour.
Let me know if you have any other tips ☺️ STAY HYDRATED GUYS.
Have a lovely weekend all xx