Hydration is life, right? Yet, we don’t necessarily always get to full hydration even when we feel like we are drinking enough water. Or, for those of you that don’t love water (and there are many), drinking H2O can feel like a part-time job.
But before we get into it all, let’s break down some of the basic facts. For us to function optimally (think organs, muscles, and our favorite–the brain), it’s crucial that we stay well hydrated. Skin, the largest organ of the body, is a great example of where you can see externally more literally–what you can’t see internally.
What does dehydration look like?
Signs of mild dehydration can be dizziness, fatigue, flushed skin, headache, constipation and impaired physical performance. Other symptoms of mild dehydration may include dry skin and thirst. If unaddressed, more extreme dehydration can lead to symptoms such as labored breathing, increased body temperature, poor blood circulation, and seizures.
How to stay hydrated
A while back we posted a basic rule for staying hydrated. We all love a simple equation that is easy to remember. If you take your current body weight (roughly–no need to split hairs here) and divide that number in half, that is the amount of ounces you should aim to drink in a day. Here it is played out:
160lbs / 2 = 80. That is 80 ounces of water
[which is 10 cups of water–in the metric sense]
For those that like drinking water, typically this isn’t too challenging to achieve. But for those who don’t love it–we’re here to help. Here are some creative ways to hydrate:
- Freeze berries and add them to your water
- Make mint (or other herbal) ice cubes and add to water
- Soup! This time of year it’s a little harder to get excited but soup contains a lot of water
- Herbal teas
- Treat yourself to a fun water bottle (sometimes it’s the little things!)
- Salads! Now we’re talking summer. Remember, veggies have a ton of H2O in them–enjoy!
- Electrolytes. These are a crowd favorite at Minneapolis Integrative Medicine Center and a great way to get hydration support–especially for endurance, jobs that have you working outside and for any old day to add to your hydration efforts!
Truly proper absorption of water requires a combination of water, fiber, and electrolytes along with movement to help the hydration disperse throughout all the tissue in your body. So, if you feel like you’re drinking water yet not feeling hydrated, try adding a little electrolytes (as easy as a pinch of salt) or some chia seeds to your water and see if that doesn’t help shift the feeling!