Monday, June 23, 2014

7 Tips For Staying Hydrated

With the rising temperatures, it can be difficult to stay hydrated, especially while being active.  Maintaining a healthy fluid balance is vital for proper functioning and athletic performance.  Staying hydrated not only helps with your alertness, controlling appetite, and improving activity and performance, it also prevents fatigue, headaches, and dry skin.  Below are seven simple tips to help keep you hydrated this summer...

1. Water is not the only way to stay hydrated.  Fruits and vegetables are great sources of water as well.  Not only are these great for your overall health, many fruits and veggies are comprised of high amounts of water and will help to increase your daily intake.  Be sure to eat a good variety of both.

2. To maintain proper hydration during exercise, it's important to drink before, during, and after activity.  Remember these numbers when it comes to exercise and hydration:
  • 2-3 hours pre workout, drink 20+ ounces
  • 30 minutes pre workout, drink 8-10 ounces
  • Every 10-20 minutes during exercise, drink 8-10 ounces
  • 30 minutes or less post workout, drink 8+ ounces
3. To encourage continuous water intake, always keep a water bottle at your desk or where you spend most of your time so that you can to keep drinking water throughout your day.  Also, try to carry one with you while you are out and about.  Investing in a reusable water bottle will not only be good for you, but also for the environment.

4. Make it a habit to have a glass of water before each meal.  Not only will this help suppress your appetite and avoid overeating, it is a great way to remember to drink water.

5 After each trip to the restroom, drink a glass of water to replenish your fluids.  On that note, a good way to tell if your hydration level is good or low is the color of your urine.  If your urine is very pale and close to clear, you are well hydrated.  If the color of your urine is dark yellow or closer to a tea color, then you are becoming dehydrated and need to increase your water intake.

6. Set reminders on your phone, watch, or email to drink every hour.  It may sound a little silly, but it is a perfect way to remind yourself to drink.  When you're caught up is the responsibilities of the day, it is unfortunately rather easy for us to neglect our health.  Set an H2O alarm so you can stay on top of your fluid intake.

7. If you're not a fan of plain old water, simply add a slice of lemon, lime or cucumber to your water to give it some flavor without adding any extra calories.  If you're still struggling to consume water because of the taste, or lack thereof, and prefer using low calorie or calorie free flavored sweeteners, consider trying to dilute the sweetener more and more over time to become more accustomed to plain water.  Simple, ice cold water is always best when it comes to fluid and staying hydrated.