Most people, myself included, have been told to drink 8, 8 ounce glasses of water each day. And for most of my adult life – that was my goal. But what I’ve come to learn (the hard way) over the years – hydration is a very personal and ‘unique to each person’ need. Things like what you eat, how hard or often you exercise, stress in your life, climate, age and even medications will play a role in how much and the types of fluid is needed.
With high July temperatures, I’ve been sweating WAY more than normal during my workouts, yard work and even walking from the bus to my office. By mid-week I found myself with a head ache by noon, struggling to stay engaged as I sit in afternoon meetings and ‘delicate feeling’ (as my son puts it) by bed time (chilled and aching). It dawned on me, albeit slowly, that with 90+ degree temps – water won’t cut it and an electrolyte replacement is needed during and post workouts. Boom – feeling back to normal almost immediately!
There is no question – our bodies depend on hydration. Every cell, every tissue and every organ in your body needs water to work properly – regulating body temperature, boosting immune systems by flushing out toxins and viruses and can even increase metabolism helping you feel fuller longer. And this makes sense – because some common symptoms of dehydration include weakness, sleepiness and fatigue, headaches, chronic join pain, confusion, dizziness and muscle cramps. Even hunger pangs makes this list. It’s not just about dry mouth or the color or amount of urine (although this maters too – lemonade color is the target).
There are several ways to stay hydrated… here are some of my families favorites:
- Straight up water (okay – this is my fav only)
- Water with citrus slices (lemon, orange, lime, ect.), strawberries or cucumber. Toss in a spring of basil or cilantro for a truly special treat!
- Cold teas – herbal, green and black teas are all just as good cold as they are warm
- Eat your water – Melons, apples, strawberries, celery, cucumbers, zucchini and bell peppers are all WONDERFUL sources of water.
- Electrolyte drink – should only be used during sweaty times (working out, yard work, etc)… but watch your ingredients and read your labels. Artificial ingredients, colors and sweeteners will actually work against you. We prefer Shaklee Performance because, like all Shaklee products, it’s always safe, always pure and always natural – no artificial anything!
Know this… large amounts of caffeine, sodas and alcohol actually deplete your stores so moderation is key.
Carry a reusable water bottle with you throughout the day. With SO many fashionable options – pick one that you like and fits your personality. Also – order water at restaurants rather than soda. It helps with hydration and saves you money!!
The key here is to take small steps towards health. Don’t overwhelm yourself and keep trying till you get it right.