8 Dietitian-Backed Hydration Hacks for Optimal Health

Water makes up 50% of adults' weight. Unsurprisingly, hydration is essential for the body's optimal functioning. Water is required for nutrient transport to cells, waste product extraction, body temperature regulation, joint lubrication, and other functions. Drinking insufficient water can lead to poor physical and mental health. Read more to learn simple hacks to improve hydration.

Key takeaways:

Benefits of staying hydrated

Hydration allows your body to function at its best. It has been shown to improve blood markers, cognition, mood, and sleep.

A randomized controlled study evaluated the effects of increased water intake by 1.3 to 2 L for 3 months. The results showed that increased water intake significantly decreased systolic blood pressure in the intervention group.

A recent study investigated the relationship between water intake and cognitive function in a cohort of almost 2000 people. Although approximately 80% of participants met the EFSA's (European Food Safety Authority) recommended water intake, blood tests revealed that 56% of participants were dehydrated.

Dehydrated participants' cognitive functions also tend to decline when compared to hydrated participants; however, the difference was insignificant.

How much water should you drink to stay hydrated?

Water and water-containing foods keep you hydrated. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommended a daily water intake of 2 L for women and 2.5 L for men. However, these are only guidelines; keep in mind that your water requirements can vary depending on a variety of factors, including:

  • Age. Older adults tend to get dehydrated more than adults.
  • Activity level. If you're physically active, you'll lose extra water and electrolytes. Hence, you need to replace water lost during and after exercise sessions.
  • Environment. You need to drink more water in hot climates to replace water lost by sweating.
  • General health status. Patients with certain diseases (such as diabetes and kidney disease) are more likely to get dehydrated quickly.
  • Breastfeeding and pregnancy. Breastfeeding or pregnant women need more water.
  • Medication use. Some medications, such as diuretics, can cause water loss.

8 simple hydration hacks

Below are some simple hydration hacks you can incorporate into your daily routine, which will help you stay hydrated throughout the day.

1. Drinking from a bottle

Purchasing a reusable bottle can assist you in keeping track of your water consumption. Let's say you have a 1-liter reusable bottle. You can aim for 2 to 3 bottles per day, which will be much easier to track than counting your glasses. Keep in mind that your water requirements may change depending on the numerous factors discussed above.

2. Keep water in multiple places

Keep water in multiple places where you spend most of your time. If you're on the go, always carry a reusable water bottle. Keeping water in their sight can remind some people to drink water more often. You can place a reminder or a glass of water in a few places at home, or you can always keep your glass full at the office.

3. Try hydration-tracking apps

If you don't like placing water in random places, you can also try hydration-tracking apps. You can set a reminder and track your glasses, too. If you add side notes for each day, you may also spot patterns between your water intake and your physical and mental health.

4. Check your urine color

Examine the color of your urine. Examine a urine color chart to see which colors indicate different levels of hydration. You're drinking enough water if you see pale to bright lemonade, a yellow color, and odorless urine.

5. Limit caffeine intake

Limit your caffeine intake. Caffeine increases urine excretion. If you're drinking too much caffeine, try limiting your caffeine intake or drinking more water to replace the loss.

6. Add flavors to your water

Flavoring water can trick you into drinking more. Adding slices of lemons or fruits can give water a sweeter taste, which helps some people drink more water. There is also flavored water on the market, but some contain artificial sweeteners or sugar; therefore, it's better to sweeten the water yourself with fruits and vegetables to avoid added sugar.

7. Use ice cubes

Ice cubes can be great for feeling cool and hydrated in the summer. You need to drink more water in hot weather to make up for sweat loss. Ice cubes with pieces of fruit can make you feel cool while providing hydration.

8. Drinking water as a part of routine

Tie your water intake to other things in your routine. Drinking a glass of water after you brush your teeth can help you increase your water intake by two glasses. When you tie the action of brushing your teeth and drinking water together, you can easily remember to drink water every time you brush your teeth.

Remember that water makes up half of your body and is essential for good physical and mental health. Simple interventions and habits can help you increase your water intake.

Dehydration and its consequences

Dehydration occurs when you don't drink enough water or lose water and do not replace it. Because water is required for physiological processes, the human body cannot function properly when dehydrated.

Dehydration symptoms include thirst, dark yellow pee, dizziness or tiredness, dry mouth, and so on. Babies, children, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and older adults are more vulnerable to dehydration.

Pay extra attention to hydration if:

  • You're a diabetes patient
  • You're drinking too much alcohol
  • You have been exposed to the sun for a long time
  • You completed an intense exercise session
  • You're using diuretic medication, which increases urine extraction

Feeling thirsty is a symptom of dehydration, so you should drink water before feeling thirsty.

Remember that water makes up half of your body and is essential for good physical and mental health. Simple interventions and habits can help you increase your water intake.

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