This is not your typical “drink more water” article. That being said, you probably need to drink more water! Dehydration is one of the most common preventable medical conditions in the world. Seventy five percent of Americans are chronically dehydrated.
How can you avoid being part of that 75%? Here are a few tips:
1. Avoid Caffeine. Even if you are drinking the suggested 64 oz. of water per day, you are probably off setting that hydration with caffeine. Caffeine is a diuretic. If you drink a cup of coffee in the morning, follow it with an extra cup of water that morning. The same goes for caffeinated soft drinks, they count against your water intake. If you have a cola at lunch, follow it with an extra cup of water.
2. If you are thirsty, you are probably already a bit dehydrated. Thirst can be triggered by just 1-3% dehydration. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink water, hydrate all day!
3. Dehydration can cause a whole host of problems including fatigue, foggy memory, irritability and even kidney stones. Chronic dehydration is believed to be a factor in about 20% of kidney stone cases.
4. Water alone won’t help with dehydration. You may be drinking water, only to flush out all your minerals and electrolytes. You need to ensure your minerals and electrolytes are also balanced. Make sure you are putting approximately 1/8 tsp. of pink salt on your meals. The right amount of sodium will allow your body to hold onto the right amount of water in your muscle tissues.
5. To balance out the sodium, you need to ensure you getting enough potassium and other electrolytes. Eat foods rich in potassium such as spinach and other leafy greens. Coconut water is a great drink to have right after a sweaty cardio session.
6. One final way to ensure you are properly hydrated is to eat lots of watery foods. These foods not only contribute to hydration levels, they also have critical minerals and vitamins. Some great watery foods include cucumbers, watermelon, and citrus fruits.