It’s summer. And where I live, that means triple digits for at least 3 months. This also means that we’re sweating more. Our bodies will tell us when we’re dehydrated. But, if you’re like me, you’re not so great at listening.
I wasn’t always a huge fan of carrying around a water bottle everywhere I went. Then I moved to Texas. It’s hotter than Hades here, y’all. And staying hydrated is not only smart, it’s imperative. My boys watch me, and if I’m drinking water, they are, too. And it’s so important for them to stay well hydrated.
For a long time, I had no idea that there were actual symptoms of dehydration, which include:
- Dry mouth
- Dark urine
Your Body Is 60% Water
Really. This means that more than half of you needs water to survive. Not soda, not juice, not milk. Water. Your body relies on you to drink enough to maintain a healthy fluid balance. While this may not seem like a big deal, having a healthy fluid balance allows your body to properly function.
Your blood, digestive system, and even your body temperature are regulated and maintained by proper hydration levels.
Stave Off Sniffles
Feel yourself getting a cold? Drink more water to help flush things through your system. There are even some studies that may indicate water helps you to be less congested. When you couple that with being hydrated, it’s no wonder water helps you to feel more like yourself.
Now, I’m not saying it will make you better right.this.second…but drinking more water definitely can’t hurt!
Do you get “hunger” headaches? I used to. I always thought that I was because I wasn’t eating enough.
Imagine my surprise when I upped my water intake my headaches virtually disappeared. When I do get one, it’s usually because my children have been imitating velociraptors, not because I’m dehydrated.
Improved Athletic Performance
If you want to break your PR, make sure that you’re drinking enough water.
Fun fact: Our muscles are 75% water. That’s a lot! So make sure you bring your water with you to the gym and stay hydrated during your workouts.
Remember when I talked about second-day soreness? I’ll give you a quick refresher: when you exercise, lactic acid builds up in your muscles. Lactic acid is the stuff that your body makes when it burns carbohydrates as fuel. It’s also what causes your muscles to ache.
Making sure that you’re properly hydrated (when accompanied by some good stretching) will help your muscles recover faster.
Did you know that if you’re not mindfully eating, your body can actually mistake thirst for hunger? If you ignore your base instincts (like thirst) long enough, your body pulls out the big guns and starts your stomach rumbling to catch your attention.
Staying hydrated will help you make sure that you are actually hungry and not just thirsty.
Drinking adequate amounts of water helps your body to flush toxins that enter your blood stream. If you’re prone to breakouts, they may be caused by some of the crud that your body releases when you workout. So, it makes sense that drinking lots of water can actually help you clear up your skin.
Stop Being A…
…cranky person. Dehydration can affect both your mood and your temperament. Avoid being the person no one wants to be around with a glass of water.
Water Moves Things Along
As in, it helps move things through your digestive tract. If you’ve been suffering from constipation or other *ahem* digestive issues, then you may need to drink more water.
Because, let’s face it, no one wants poo issues.
It’s Better Than Coffee
If you’re like me, you need your morning cup of coffee to stay awake. Interestingly, there is research to suggest that a sign of dehydration is tiredness, which may explain why you feel so refreshed after chugging a glass of lemon water first thing in the morning.
Water Is Mostly Free
Yes, you can buy bottled water, but why not invest in a good filtration system and filter your own? Get yourself a nice glass water bottle and keep it topped up.
Quick Tips For Staying Hydrated
- Drink 1/2 your bodyweight in ounces of water every day. So if you weigh 200 pounds, you need be drinking 100 ounces of water.
- Get a snazzy water bottle and keep it with you (and full). Bonus points if it has a built in filter for on-the-go refills (and fewer excuses)!
- Monitor your hydration levels. You should be peeing a pale yellow color. If your pee is darker, drink more water.
- If you absolutely hate water, get an infusion water bottle and add in some fresh fruit or essential oils for flavor (and additional benefits).
- Set the timer on your phone to remind you to drink 6-8 ounces every few hours. This is especially helpful if you aren’t used to drinking a lot (or if you think you’re drinking enough but you still have symptoms of dehydration).