It’s normal to lose water from your body every day by breathing, urine and bowel functions, through tears and saliva (spit), as well as sweating. Fluids tend to be replaced by drinking fluids and eating foods that contain water. Simply, if you lose too much water or don’t drink and eat enough, you can become dehydrated.
The imbalance can happen for many reasons. You might have a busy schedule and forget to drink enough fluids or eat enough fluid containing foods, leading you to maybe not recognize that you are actually thirsty. Sometimes you might just not feel like drinking because of a sore throat or mouth sores, or you’re sick to your stomach.
There are also times that you can lose more water than usual. This can be a result of a fever, diarrhea, vomiting, excessive sweating, and lastly, excessive urination (diabetes and some medications like water pills — also called diuretics — can make you pee more often.)
Some signs of dehydration are dry mouth and throat, having bright yellow urine,…as well as not having a daily bowel movement. Some people might experience headaches or muscle aches as signs of dehydration as well.
So, let’s look at 5+ tips on HOW you can increase your hydration.
- Drink a tall glass or bottle of water upon rising. This is my #1 rule in my day. As soon as my feet touch the ground I grab my bottle and take 10-12 gulps of water. If you prefer, you can add the juice of half a lemon or lime to this water. This will get digestive juices flowing and give a gentle support to your liver.
- Your day might be super busy. But this does not give you permission to not keep hydrated. Make sure that you have a container of water at your workspace. Set the alarm on your phone to 2 hours later. When that alarm goes off you drink what is left of that container and go fill the container right away. Re-set your timer for your lunch break, and get back to work. When the alarm goes off you again finish the container in front of you and go eat your lunch. Refill and set your timer again for 2-3 hours later. Again, when your alarm goes off drink the water and refill the glass. By doing this you will be well on your way to consuming 8-10 cups of water throughout your day.
- When we exercise we sweat. That sweat is fluids leaving your body. Make sure you are well hydrated before you begin your exercise program. But don’t stop there! Carry your water around with you, making sure you continue to hydrate as you work out, taking a few sips every 15ish minutes or so. This counts for indoor and outdoor workouts. When consuming water, try adding some electrolytes to it. This can be as simple as adding a pinch of non-iodized salt or magnesium to your cup. Be cautious though of commercially made sports drinks such as Gatorade, Red Bull, etc. which are loaded with sugar, food colouring, artificial flavours and many include caffeine. A fantastic alternative is adding a packet of AXIO to your bottle. This is a powdered drink sweetened with stevia, and contains B vitamins, magnesium and phytonutrients that will stimulate your brain, give you a touch of energy, and have you mentally raring to go! You can find out more about AXIO by searching http://shirleyvanegmond.ca-en.lifevantage.com/products/axio-locaf/.
- We can easily increase our water intake by choosing foods that contain a lot of water, such as fruits and vegetables, soups, stews, bone broth, etc. It’s so easy to make a large batch of soup or stew on the weekend, and bring that along for lunch every day. Adding those snacks or side dishes of fruits and veggies are a quick way to re-fuel and re-hydrate at the same time.
- I totally understand that water can seem very boring after drinking it daily. If you are longing to change the flavour, then do that….change the flavour! You can do this by adding lemon or lime juice to it, drop a few blueberries into your glass, or simply drinking a carbonated water with added flavour, such as Perrier. Another option is drinking herbal teas, either hot or chilled. Even a leaf or two of mint will go a long way.
How ever you choose to do it, you need to continuously get doing it. Water is vital to our health, as we can go up to 3 weeks without food, but only a mere 3 days without water. So find your best way to fuel up and get it in!