Tips to Stay Hydrated
Maintaining proper hydration in the body regulates body temperature, prevents infections, keeps organs functioning properly, lubricates joints, and delivers nutrients to cells. Proper hydration also improves cognition, mood, and sleep quality. Dehydration occurs when fluid intake is less than the output.
Drinking water is the best way to stay hydrated. Eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day is recommended. If drinking more water is a personal health goal, implementing the following tips is a good way to start.
Tips to keep the body hydrated
- Incorporate more fruits and vegetables into daily meals or snacks. Many fruits and vegetables contain a high percentage of water, including lettuce, watermelon, zucchini, cabbage, cantaloupe, celery and honeydew melon. They are also packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
- Avoid alcohol, which is a diuretic and can cause dehydration.
- Have water available and close at hand so drinking it becomes a habit.
- Set a goal to help with daily water intake. For example, determine the amount of water to drink by 11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m., etc.
- Keep a reusable water bottle handy to use while running errands, traveling and working. A reusable water bottle not only serves as a visual reminder to drink more water, but it is also better for the environment than disposable water bottles. Many types of reusable water bottles are available for purchase. Please note that disposable bottles should not be reused, as they cannot be properly sanitized.
- Set a “water” alarm using an app, smartphone or smartwatch. An alarm can serve as an auditory reminder to drink more water.
- Replace other drinks, such as sodas and sports drinks, with water. This not only benefits overall health but also reduces calorie intake.
- Drink one full glass of water before each meal. This is a simple way to increase daily water intake, and it also helps with weight control.
- Purchase a water filter if concerned about the quality or safety of tap water. Many types of water filters are available to reduce levels of lead, arsenic and waterborne bacteria that may be in tap water. Some reusable water bottles come with built-in filters.
- Sip on water throughout the day to increase water intake, moisten the mouth and freshen breath.
- Drink a full glass of water in the morning and before bedtime. A cold glass of water in the morning can boost alertness while a glass before bedtime can help prevent waking up with a dry mouth or bad breath.