You probably already know that the human body is made up of bones, muscles, organs, and tissues. But what you may not realize is that up to 60% of the human body is water.
Just like the heart and lungs, water is a key factor in how our bodies work.
And since water levels inside the body fluctuate, hydrating with fluids is essential to maintaining a happy, healthy body that functions as it should.
Drinking water is the easiest and most effective way to stay hydrated day in and day out, but it’s only one of several things you can do.
Looking for some new ways to keep your body healthy? Here are some tips on how to stay hydrated.
Why Is Staying Hydrated So Important?
In addition to maintaining the appropriate levels of water in the body, hydration is important for a variety of other reasons.
Staying hydrated helps to:
- Lubricate joints
- Maintain body temperature
- Help you urinate and remove waste from within the body
- Deliver nutrients to your cells
- Help organs function properly
- Promote better sleep
If you’re experiencing tightness in your joints, feel overheated, have trouble sleeping, or have a difficult time urinating, poor hydration may be to blame.
How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day?
Most people don’t drink nearly as much water as they should in the course of a day.
Experts recommend that adult men living in a moderate climate should consume about 3.7 liters of fluids a day.
For adult women, the daily recommended fluid intake is 2.7 liters per day.
About 80% of those fluids come from beverages, while about 20% come from food.
Drinking water is the key to taking in the proper amount of fluids, but some people don’t like drinking it. If you think water is too bland to drink all day, consider buying flavored waters that don’t contain sugar. Another option is to buy regular water and flavor it with a slice of fruit.
Tips For Staying Hydrated
Drinking water isn’t the only way to get your daily water intake. Here are some other things you can do to ensure that you’re hydrating your body enough each day.
Eat More Fruits & Veggies
Fruits and vegetables are the backbone of a healthy diet, and you can improve hydration by eating those that have a high water content.
Of all the fruits and veggies to choose from, cantaloupe, watermelon, and cucumbers contain some of the highest amounts of water. Add these into your daily diet, and you’ll be well on your way to staying hydrated.
Another way to increase hydration is to freeze fruit into popsicles. By freezing chunks of fruit in water, you’ll get a double dose of hydration. Plus, they make for a cool refreshing treat!
Eat Oatmeal For Breakfast
Instead of grabbing an egg sandwich or indulging in a stack of pancakes for breakfast, opt for a bowl of oatmeal.
Oats absorb the water or milk they’re cooked in, so they lock in some added fluid that you can’t even see. This makes a bowl of oats an excellent source of early-morning hydration.
Focus On Hydrating In The A.M.
It’s important to drink water consistently throughout the day, but it’s especially important to hydrate heavily in the morning. Since you can’t consume fluids while you sleep, make it a point to start each morning with two full glasses of water. It’ll help to replenish some of the fluids that depleted while you slept.
Get in the habit of drinking a full glass of water with every meal as well. If you’re looking to lose weight, drinking a glass of water before a meal will make you feel fuller faster, which can help you to eat less.
It also aids in digestion.
Avoid Foods & Beverages That Increase Dehydration
While fruits and veggies promote hydration, some foods can actually increase your risk for dehydration.
Limit your daily intake of salty snacks and foods that are high in sodium. Try to consume fewer sodas, alcoholic beverages, and foods that are high in sugar.
Fried foods, as delicious as they may be, are the worst for hydration. Fried foods are packed with both sodium and sugar, making them the foods most likely to dry you out.
Drink Water Even When You’re Not Thirsty
To stay hydrated, you need to drink water throughout the day — not just when you’re feeling thirsty. The best way to hydrate is to sip water on a steady, regular basis.
Gulping down an entire bottle when you’re thirsty or your throat feels dry may feel refreshing, but small, consistent sips provide a greater benefit.
Track How Much Water You’re Drinking
Unless you keep track of how much water you’re drinking each day, there’s no way to know if you’re getting enough.
To make sure you’re hitting your hydration goals, keep track of how many bottles or glasses you drink. Just because you think you’re drinking water all day doesn’t mean you’re taking in as much as you need.
Being mindful of how much water you’re consuming is a great way to motivate yourself to drink more.
Know The Signs Of Dehydration
Do you feel tired or lightheaded? Are you urinating infrequently or producing urine with a strong smell? Are your mouth, throat, or lips dry?
These are just a few of the signs of dehydration, and experiencing any or all of them should be a clear indication that your body needs more fluids.
Keep in mind that certain activities, such as excessive sweating while exercising, consuming too many alcoholic beverages, and taking medications that make you urinate more, can also cause dehydration.
Dehydration can also settle in faster if you have diabetes or are experiencing diarrhea or vomiting.
Knowing the signs of dehydration is important, but preventing it from happening is the best approach.
The body is composed mostly of water, so it needs to have a steady flow of fluids coming in (and going out) to function the way it should.
If you’re not big on drinking water, consider changing the type of foods you eat or find a way to flavor water so that you enjoy it. By making it a point to stay hydrated, you can keep your body running in tip-top shape!
Adam Marshall is a freelance writer who specializes in all things apartment organization, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with Prose the Rim to help them with their online marketing.