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Knowing how to keep hydrated intellectually is much different than staying hydrated practically. You may understand the value of hydration, but have a tough time consuming the recommended daily amount of water.
First off, the guidelines are there to encourage drinking the proper amount of water for optimal body function. That does not mean falling short is going to hurt your body. It just means drinking the daily recommendation is a good idea.
Some people find it difficult to consume that much water each day and resist it. In the beginning, consuming a lot of water may be a struggle, but as with many things, the more you do it consistently, the easier it becomes.
Before we look at how to keep hydrated, let's look at the benefits and how water helps our bodies.
How Does Water Help Our Bodies?
Water handles a variety of bodily functions. From producing saliva and sweat to helping us eliminate waste, nearly every system in our bodies relies on water somehow.
The Health Benefits of Drinking Water
Water Helps Regulate Our Mood and the Health of Our Skin
Hydration is key to proper brain function and the health of tissues in our bodies. Keeping hydrated helps avoid headaches, muscle soreness, and joint pain. Hydrated bodies have glowing skin due to increased collagen production.
Water Helps Boost Energy and Lose Weight
Hydration can help boost your metabolism which helps you generate and burn energy more efficiently. This helps increase your activity level and give you longer lasting energy. Water helps curb your appetite and helps you digest your food. This aids in the absorption of your food and the elimination of waste.
Water Helps Fight Off Illness and Keep Your Blood Healthy
Water helps defend against certain illnesses and prevents common medical problems like kidney stones, hypertension, constipation, and more. Drinking the recommended daily amount of water helps your blood circulate oxygen throughout your body. This helps your organs and tissues stay healthy.
How Much Water Do We Need Each Day
There are different theories on this, but the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine encourages men to consume 125 ounces of water per day and women to consume 91 ounces per day.
Ayurveda recommends you divide your ideal body weight in pounds by two. This will tell you the number of ounces of water recommended each day to stay hydrated. For example, if your ideal weight is 120 pounds, you would need to drink 60 ounces (about two quarts) of water each day.
Thankfully, there are lots of ways to consume water that don't feel overwhelming.
How To Keep Hydrated
Water is an essential part of everyday health. Here are some easy ways to consume water that will keep you hydrated and healthy.
Make it a Habit to Drink Water Immediately Upon Waking
As soon as you wake up in the morning make it a habit to drink a full glass of room temperature water. Do this before your coffee or morning meal.
Drinking water before breakfast will flush your digestive tract and help eliminate toxins and waste your body doesn't need. This will not only rehydrate you, but it will boost your energy and metabolism before breakfast.
Add Water to Every Mealtime
Adding an 8-oz glass of water to each meal will help you consume 24-ounces of water without a second thought. Drinking water with your meals also reduces your caloric intake for the day and is the perfect beverage to help you digest food properly.
Get a Water App
There are apps to help you drink more water. Apps like Hydro Coach, WaterMinder, and Aqualert help you getthe right amount of water throughout the day. The apps have gentle reminders and helpful tips that make drinking enough water easier.
Get a Water Bottle
Hydromate and other companies offer BP Free plastic bottles designed to help drinkers consume half a gallon or a gallon of water per day. They do this by labeling the labeling their bottles with markings that include the time and amount of water to drink. Simply fill and go and you have all the water you need for an entire day in one easy-to-carry bottle.
Choose Convenience Water
Most checkout counters have refrigerated units offering beverages and snacks. Make a habit to choose water and you’ll easily consume 12 to 16 extra ounces of water at a time.
Grab water through the drive thru- When you visit your favorite coffee spot or drive thru. Ask for water to go with your order. Most places offer complimentary water which makes it affordable and easy to get more water on the go.
Cut Out Dehydrating Foods and Beverages
Hydration is lost to evaporation and foods that drain water from your system. Alcohol and soda both zap wter from your system. High salt foods and over processed foods also rob your body of hydration. Limit or cut these kinds of foods to help you keep as much hydration as possible.
Load up on Fruits and Veggies
Many fruits and vegetables have high water content and that counts towards your water consumption for the day. Veggies like cucumbers are high in water content as are fruits like grapes and melon.
Delicious Foods With High Water Content
Mother Nature has provided plenty of fruits and vegetables that are mostly water, which means you get hydrating benefits from consuming foods you love. Here are some of the top fruits and veggies to choose from the next time you need a boost of hydration.
Cucumbers have the highest water content of any vegetable at nearly 97%. Cucumbers are a great source of potassium. Cucumbers are wonderful by themselves or used in salads. Many ethnic recipes include cucumber which offers a wide range of ways to enjoy their taste and benefits. Cucumber is often used to infuse water for people who do not enjoy the taste of plain water.
Celery is a low-calorie, fiber-rich food that happens to be over 95% water. Celery is used in cooking or raw as a snack. It can be paired with other foods to enhance the nutritional value. Try pairing with nut butter for protein and adding raisins for additional fiber.
Most lettuce is well over 95% water. The wide varieties of lettuce make consuming water as easy as making your favorite salad. Use Romain lettuce as a base for a scrumptious Creaser salad. Chop some Iceberg lettuce and toss with other water-rich veggies for a tasty and hydrating salad.
This seasonal fruit is a showstopper when it comes to hydration and why it's called WATERmellon. It's tasty enough to eat all by itself and is a mainstay at summer BBQ’s. Since our bodies lose water from sweating and evaporation, having a water-dense fruit on hand helps restore hydration quickly.
Not only do strawberries help with hydration, but they also help combat free radicals in our system. Eating strawberries help with fiber intake and coupled with the high vitamin C benefits, they offer a lot of benefits in a little red berry. Berries are great tossed in a summer salad, added to your favorite desserts, or eaten right from the plant- they can’t be beaten.
More Water Rich Foods
Consuming the recommended daily quota of water is easier than you think. There are plenty of ways to make getting enough water fast and easy.
You can get great benefits from fruits and vegetables too. Increase your water intake by choosing fresh whole foods for your plate and you’ll stay hydrated and healthy.
The more attention you pay to water consumption the easier it will be. Before long, you’ll be regularly meeting your goals and seeing and feeling the difference in your life.