National Hydration day (23 June 2018) is upon us, so we thought we would give you a reminder of why it is important to keep hydrated.
The importance of hydration should be obvious, but many people forget to drink to keep their bodies functioning at top level. Hydratem8 are happy to help you with these key tips to staying hydrated, and to prevent you from running out of steam both day and night.
The human body is made up of around 65-70% water, so during a normal day, this water level can be depleted either mildly or to extremes, depending on your level of activity. It is critical to remember that it is not just your physical frame, but also your brain that needs hydration, preferably in the form of just plain water. Even if the weather doesn’t appear to be hot, or you don’t feel hot, you still need to drink.
Regular sipping is best
Sipping water at regular intervals throughout the day should keep you hydrated, rather than drinking large amounts in one go. Keep a water bottle on your desk, on the kitchen table or by your side in the living room to make sure you have a constant supply.
If you partake in rigorous exercise or work in an extremely hot atmosphere, your water intake is likely to be more essential, so top up regularly. Keep the bottle close as a reminder!
Eat hydrating foods
About 20% of your daily hydration should comprise of foods that are primarily made up of water, such as water melon, soft fruits, green leafy vegetables (such as lettuce and cucumber). A tasty salad or some fruit at lunchtime are far more hydrating than a hamburger and chips!
Are you thirsty, or is it really hunger?
Hunger can be mistaken for thirst, so before you eat try drinking water – this often alleviates hunger pangs and proves that you did, indeed, need to hydrate. Not only that, it keeps your daily calorie count down when you prevent yourself from reaching for that sugary biscuit or packet of crisps that you think you need!
Drinking fruit juice
It is fine to drink fruit juice as a hydration aid, but keep it down to 150ml in one day, and preferably unsweetened juice. A natural juice will also contribute to your five-a-day without unnecessary sugar content. Also try mixing fruit into plain water to give it more flavour, or make some ice pops or lollies for the family.
If you are out at a party or drinks with friends, be careful of your alcohol intake. Alcohol is a diuretic (it makes to go to the loo MUCH more often) and can consequently cause dehydration, very quickly. Alternate each alcoholic drink with the same quantity of water to prevent drying out.
Exercise is good for you, but you need to ensure that you top up with water regularly. The amount of water you need depends on the level of activity, the climatic conditions and the intensity of the exercise. If you exercise for an hour or more without hydration, you could be in danger of fainting or getting extremely dizzy and disorientated. If you are someone who sweats profusely, you must also remember to hydrate as much as possible, without bloating yourself.
‘Pee to See’
This may not appeal to some, but a good way of telling if you are becoming dehydrated, and to what level, is the colour of your urine. Urine should always be a pale straw colour – the darker it gets, the more you are dehydrated. Check your urine to prevent any chance of this happening before you realise it.
‘The Pinch Test’
Not a 100% confirmation of dehydration, but a pinch test on the back of your hand, on your stomach or under the collar bone can also be significant in detecting dehydration. If you pinch the skin on any of these places, you can recognise ‘skin turgor’. You need to see how long it takes for the skin to return to normal – if it is slow in doing so, you are likely to be dehydrated.
Dehydration causes many ‘nasty’ symptoms such as fainting, dizziness, disorientation, foggy brain, aching muscles and joints – even a rapid heartbeat. So watch out for any of these symptoms. Keep sipping!