Many people assume that our hydration is something that will take care of itself; after all, it just involves drinking when you feel thirsty, right? In fact, thirst is a sign that your body is already dehydrated, putting you at risk of low energy levels, headaches, dizziness, and brain fog.
Our bodies are made up of about 60% water, and it’s essential to almost every bodily function. Therefore neglecting to drink enough fluids throughout the day can cause your body to conserve water, with adverse effects on your health and wellbeing. Here are some simple but effective hydration hacks to help you keep on track.
Set reminders on your phone
If you are busy during the day it can be easy to forget to drink enough water. A simple trick is to set hourly reminders to drink, or even use a specific hydration app that allows you to set more personalised goals and tracks your daily fluid intake.
Use electrolyte tablets
Hydration is not always a simple matter of drinking more water, particularly if you have lost a lot of fluids through strenuous exercise or a tummy upset. This is because our bodily fluids contain electrolytes, which are minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphate, and sodium.
These substances are important for the proper functioning of the body, and an imbalance can cause a range of symptoms from mild cramps to heart arrhythmia. It also makes it more difficult for the body to reabsorb fluids. Therefore if you are in need of a hydration fix, adding an electrolyte tablet to your water can help you recover faster.
Eat hydrating foods
Our food is also a source of water, with the average person consuming 20% of their hydration needs through meals and snacks. You can be more savvy about the type of food you eat to boost your hydration levels. Fruits and vegetables such as watermelon, cucumber, oranges, and celery are water-rich and also highly nutritious.
Add natural flavourings to your water
Plain water is not everyone’s cup of tea, so to speak. If you want to make your water more interesting, try infusing your water with a few drops of fruit juice, or even herbs and spices. This is a better alternative than resorting to sugary drinks, or even artificial sweeteners, because they can disrupt your gut bacteria.
Although tea and coffee will add to your fluid intake, bear in mind that caffeinated drinks also trigger more trips to the loo, so while better than nothing, these are not an ideal way to maintain your hydration levels.
Buy a refillable water bottle
There is a huge choice of reusable water bottles in all manner of styles and colours. Some are insulated to keep your water ice cold for hours. Keeping a bottle handy throughout the day will encourage you to take regular sips, which is more effective than waiting until you are feeling thirsty and then gulping down a huge glassful.