Proper hydration keeps you from experiencing heat exhaustion or stroke, helps you to cool down in hot weather, aids your muscles and joints to work properly, helps you to maintain healthy skin and so much more. One recent study found that healthy men and women who added an additional 550 mL of water (roughly a bottle of water) within two hours after waking and another 550 mL before bed (in addition to whatever amount of water they habitually drank) experienced significantly decreased systolic blood pressure after 12 weeks.
Symptoms of Dehydration and Tips to Avoid It
- Feeling thirsty or experiencing dry mouth, flushed skin, fatigue, or head-ache can all be signs of dehydration. Hydrate the body with some water.
- Heat and dehydration can affect children (and elders) most. Remind kids to drink water throughout the day. Adding a bit of juice to water can help them make the switch from sugary sodas.
Making sure your daily water and fluid intake is up to par may at times seem like a daunting task. Here are some tips and ways to get those extra glasses in a day with the greatest of ease.
Tips to Increase Your Fluid Intake
- Try to drink at least six to eight 8-ounce glasses of pure, clean water every day—but not with meals so as not to dilute your digestive juices.
- Make drinking water a daily habit. When it’s hot out or you’re ill, take in even more water—two to three glasses more than usual.
- If you don’t like plain water, try adding lemon, lime, or fruit juice for flavor.
- Municipal water supplies—and even well water—can be contaminated with microbes and chemicals. Invest in a water filtration system.
- To increase your fluid intake, enjoy a few pieces of fruit a day, as well as some homemade vegetable soup.
- When traveling by plane, stay hydrated by drinking lots of water and avoiding alcohol and salty foods.
Exercise, Weight Loss and Water
- Exercise will increase your need for fluids. Make sure to drink water before and during your workouts. This will help reduce body temperature, moderate cardiovascular stress, and improve performance.
- When you’re trying to lose weight, drink a few glasses of water about 30 minutes before a meal. This will calm the appetite, hydrate the tissues, and can also lower the amount of food consumed.