The Importance of Staying Hydrated

stay-hydratedIt’s easy to get dehydrated. It can take as little as 10 minutes outside to begin sweating. When you start to feel thirty, you’re already dehydrated and have likely lost about 1 percent of your overall water in your body. By the time you lose 2%, you may begin to feel fatigue and disoriented, making it even more imperative to rehydrate immediately.

Here are some things you can do to stay hydrated:

Drink Lots of Fluids – The amount of water you drink makes a tremendous difference. Although it’s recommended to drink 8 cups of water a day, this quantity is dependent on your body weight. To find out how much you should drink, divide your body weight by 2 to determine the number of ounces your body requires. Urine color is a good indicator of hydration. It should be pale yellow or clear, not cloudy or dark yellow.

Consider All Fluids – With the exception of alcohol, all drinks are hydrating. Water is best, but juice, tea, coffee and milk all count; although drinks with caffeine have a slight diuretic effect.

Keep Activities Short – Exercise should be less than 60 minutes and moderate to low in intensity to avoid overexertion. Be sure to drink before, during and after exercise.

Avoid Alcohol – Alcohol is dehydrating. If you know you have a long exercise routine planned, avoid drinking alcoholic beverages the day before. Also, avoid exercising with a hangover. Your body will already be in a state of dehydration.

Eat Hydrating Foods – Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables each day. Many fruits, like watermelon and cantaloupe, can help replenish water your body may have lost. Veggies like cucumbers and celery can also help hydrate.

Stay Cool – Try to stay cool when doing outdoor activities. Although you may think a rigorous run outside may be a good idea, your run can quickly turn to heat stroke if you overexert yourself and don’t stay hydrated.