As we age, it becomes increasingly challenging to remain hydrated. Our bodies begin to store less water, and dehydration indicators are frequently milder, so we may not feel parched until it's too late. That being said, remaining hydrated is a crucial piece of wellness and significantly contributes to our overall health.
Many think that the only way to stay hydrated is by drinking water. While this is the primary and best method, there are other ways to help contribute to your hydration.
In this article, read to learn about the benefits of staying hydrated and how to do it!
How to Stay Hydrated?
The simplest answer, of course, is to drink water! To answer how much water you should drink is day is more complicated. It varies per each person's unique situation, based on their size, age, exercise routines, etc. General rules will tell you to drink eight glasses of water per day. Or, a basic measure is for men to drink 15.5 cups per day, and for women to drink 11.5 cups per day. With that, the Mayo Clinic's recommendation, and perhaps the best measure, is to drink enough fluids that you rarely feel thirsty, and your urine is colorless or slightly yellow. If these aren't true for you, it's time for another glass of water!
While plain water is best for remaining hydrated, different drinks and fruits can help as well. Certain foods, juices, milk, and natural teas contribute to hydration as well. Even caffeinated beverages can add to your daily fluid consumption. However, it is best to restrict caffeinated beverages. Caffeine is a diuretic, which means it increases the production of urine, and as a result, contributes to dehydration.
According to the Mayo Clinic, "About 20% of daily fluid intake usually comes from food and the rest from drinks." Water can be found in foods grown from the ground, such as watermelon, tomatoes, and lettuce. Sports drinks can be useful if you're performing a long and high-intensity workout. These sports drinks contain sugars and electrolytes that can replenish your electrolytes and energy. However, many sports drinks contain elevated levels of sodium, sugar, and other ingredients, which could be counter-productive to your hydration goals.
Oats absorb water (or milk) during their preparation. This makes for a fast and easy meal and a tasty way to take in more water! Plus, it leaves you feeling full and ready for the day. Try throwing some fruit in your oatmeal for an added bonus!
Did you know many vegetables are more than 90 percent water by weight? This includes lettuce, cucumbers, celery, zucchini, radishes, cabbage, broccoli, spinach, and more! Studies have shown that vegetables are more effective in rehydrating after an intense workout than drinking water!
A nice brothy soup can be very effective in helping to hydrate. Not only are soups rich in fluids, but soups can serve as an easy and delicious way to increase the intake of those hydration-heavy vegetables as well.
Pick up some juicy fruits, which serve as an excellent option for some quick and tasty hydration. Grapes, coconut water, apples, watermelon, strawberries, and peaches are all great options! Eat them plain, or consider mixing them into a smoothie!
Pudding, and specifically, chia seed pudding, is a surprisingly effective hydration-helper. With water, chia seeds can grow 10x-30x their original size. As a bonus, the fluids consumed by eating chia seeds remain in the stomach rather than being flushed out.
Benefits of Staying Hydrated
Remaining hydrated is essential to keep our bodies functioning properly. Below, we'll cover some of the top benefits of remaining hydrated all day!
- Quench Your Thirst
Keep your mouth from feeling dry. This is not only an uncomfortable feeling that indicates you should drink more water. This symptom also leads to chapped lips, bad breath, and has even been linked to tooth cavities.
2. Boost Metabolism
3. Increase Brain Power
Like our bodies, our brains are primarily made up of water. The brain is dependent on proper hydration to function. Dehydration can lead to impaired short-term memory, lessened reaction times, and worsened attention. Keep hydrated to avoid these symptoms and keep your mind in top shape!
4. Improve Digestive Health
Hydration is a crucial component for preventing constipation. Sufficient water is required to keep food moving through the intestines, as well as keeping the intestines smooth and flexible.
5. Boost Kidney Health
Staying hydrated can help reduce the risk of urinary tract infections and even kidney stones. It is vital to continually remove waste from the body, in which water plays a crucial role. Water helps keep blood vessels open, allowing blood to travel freely to the kidneys and deliver essential nutrients.
6. Improve Your Mood
It has been demonstrated that individuals who drink more water will, in general, report preferred temperaments over the individuals who don't. This means remaining hydrated could be a significant component of day-to-day happiness.
7. Build Immunity
Sufficient hydration helps to support immunity in several ways. Among them, water oxygenates the blood, flushes toxins, and aids in lymph production. These actions all contribute to a healthy immune system and your body's ability to fight off disease.
8. Promote Cardiovascular Health
Hydration is necessary for the heart to pump blood efficiently. Additionally, dehydration results in a reduced amount of blood volume and an increased heart rate.
As you can see, hydration plays a crucial role in many aspects of wellness. Especially as we age, it is critical that we are drinking enough water and allowing our bodies to function correctly. So, get out there and have a glass of water!