Are you drinking enough water? Try these tips to help you stay hydrated.
I don’t think anyone is surprised by the title of this wellness tip. Most people know how important it is to drink water. But it may surprise you to know that water is the second most popular beverage in the United States. Sugary soda is the most popular drink, with huge health risks of increased obesity, stroke, and other heart problems.
Many of us already know the benefits of staying hydrated by drinking water, but here’s a reminder:
- It helps with the transportation and circulation of nutrients in the body
- It can improve the color and texture of skin through new cell generation
- Water regulates body temperature through sweating
- It may prevent headaches
- It lubricates and cushions joints by keeping cartilage soft and hydrated and thereby reduces pain
- Water can reduce the risk of colon and bladder cancers
- It protects your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues
- It helps get rid of waste products in your body through urination, perspiration, and bowel movements
Negative effects of dehydration include:
- Confusion and unclear thinking
- Mood changes, grumpiness
- Kidney stones
- Weakness, fatigue, dizziness, and electrolyte imbalance
- Poor athletic performance
Remember to drink 64 ounces of water per day, or use the simple formula of drinking half your weight in ounces of water. You will need more water if you exercise, sweat more than usual, live or play in a hot climate, are traveling, or have a fever, diarrhea, or vomiting. You should drink enough water that you urinate frequently, and your urine should be a light color.
Tips for drinking more water:
- Carry a water bottle everywhere you go. Keep one on your desk at work or counter at home, and make sure you have one with you when you work out.
- Drink water when you feel hungry. Sometimes our body gets confused, and water can act as an appetite suppressant.
- Choose water when eating out, which saves money and calories.
- Drink a glass of water when you first wake up, and again 30 minutes before a big meal. This can also help control appetite.
- Add a natural flavor to your water, including lime or lemon wedge, watermelon chunks, mint, or orange slices.
- Track you water consumption with a phone app, and set a reminder to drink more.
- Use a water filter to improve the taste of your water. I always use a filter in my water bottle, and I seek out the best tasting water when I travel. I like to use water refill stations, water coolers in gyms, etc.
This article was written by Cindy Nelson. Cindy is the Beaver County FCS/4-H agent. She grew up on a farm in Beaver, Utah. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and completed her master’s degree at Southern Utah University. Her main programming areas are health and wellness and youth leadership. Cindy loves working with teenagers, learning more about health and wellness, and being active. She stays busy working, spending time with family, and being in the mountains whenever possible.