Staying Hydrated

A photo by Aidan Meyer.

Staying Hydrated  

Getting out and about can be great, but it’s important to remember that staying hydrated is more than just drinking when you are thirsty. Here are some tips and facts to help you stay hydrated.

Are You Drinking Enough?

By some estimates, up to 75 percent of Americans do not meet their recommended water intake. How much water you need will vary depending on your size and activity, but one good indicator of your hydration is the color of your urine. If it is a pale yellow, you are probably okay, but a deeper color can indicate dehydration. Remember that your body constantly loses water through your sweat, breathing, and bowel movements. If you have been sweating more, you will need to replenish that lost water. This is why we often feel thirsty after a workout or on a hot day.

It’s a Big Deal

Dehydration can cause a myriad of issues. Even a small decrease in water intake can lead to feeling unfocused or foggy. Water allows our bodies to carry out many of the essential reactions that keep us alive. Not drinking enough water can cause us to feel tired, irritable, and can decrease our memory. Just drinking an extra glass or two of water  every day can cause a massive difference in how we feel and in our ability to function effectively.

How to Better Stay Hydrated

So how do we stay better hydrated? When at home, make an effort to keep a tally of how many glasses of water you have had every day. Talk with your doctor, or find an estimate of how much water you should need for your body weight. If you feel hungry, try getting some water and waiting a while instead. Sometimes our minds will misinterpret thirst as hunger, and then we can end up eating more than we need to while not solving our dehydration problem. If we drink water instead, we limit our extra calories and stay hydrated at the same time. When exercising, bring a water bottle and refill it frequently. Get a bottle you can drink comfortably from, if you are struggling to get water out of it, you will be much less likely to drink enough. Hiking a trail away from a water source can be a great outdoor activity, but make sure to carry several liters with you.


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