Dehydration is not just something you should be concerned about while you’re exercising or spending time outdoors this summer. Year-round, studies have found that 75 percent of people living in the United States are failing to meet their recommended water intake. Over time, people who do not keep hydrated regularly will begin to experience a plethora of medical complications that often have to be treated with medications.
When your body doesn’t have enough fluid to carry out its normal functions, it becomes dehydrated. Over time, many homeopathic experts claim that chronic dehydration is the underlying cause for unexplained aches and pains and is a great contributing factor for major illnesses like high blood pressure, diabetes and kidney disease. Research shows women particularly have issues with weight gain, depression, fatigue and increased amounts of headaches when they do not drink enough water.
To make sure you are getting the right amount, the Institute of Medicine says men should aim to drink about 13 cups of water a day and for women about nine cups. If you’re feeling parched, a good way to check that your body is not dehydrated is to pinch the skin on the back of your hand. If the fleshy bit you pull on is flexible and bounces back easily, you’re probably getting a sufficient amount of liquid. You can also monitor the color of your urine – the darker the hue, the less diluted your waste is. (Health communicators: Share this clever infographic from the Cleveland Clinic with your audience.)
The writers at Women’s Health came up with a few clever ideas to make hydrating part of your regular routine :
- Add flavor to your water with fruit, giving you an added boost of nutrition.
- Eat spicy foods which make your mouth more palatable for water.
- Apps like Waterlogged can send you alerts to remind you to grab a cup.
- A new filter gadget or cool new water bottle might inspire you to drink more.
- Bring water with you everywhere you go to create a habit. If you have water in front of you, chances are you will drink it!
- Water-rich foods like cucumber, celery and melons help you satisfy your thirst.
If you’re looking for ways to make your lifestyle healthier, make sure your water intake takes priority before anything else!