Dr. Heidi’s Top 10 Tips for Good Hydration
Water makes up 50-70% of body weight. Our bodies need water perform functions such as waste elimination, regulating body temperature, lubricating and cushioning joints, and much more. Without water our bodies will experience dehydration which can make you feel tired, dizzy and lightheaded, or cause headaches, constipation, and other unpleasant side effects.
1. Forget all the formulas you ever read about how much water you should drink per day. You are well hydrated if you urinate light yellow or clear once per day. Darker shades of yellow indicate you are not consuming enough fluids, or may have other health issues. 2. If your urine is clear all day, you are drinking too much water and may have imbalances in your electrolytes (potassium, sodium, magnesium) which can lead to problems with your kidneys and heart. Too much water can cause seizures or coma. 3. The best way to stay hydrated during the day is by drinking water and caffeine-free beverages. Alternatives recommended by the CDC are sparkling water, seltzers, and flavored waters for low-calorie options. Higher calorie options include milk and 100% fruit or vegetable juices. 4. Decrease the number of caffeinated beverages you consume in a day. Caffeinated beverages act like a diuretic. Diuretics cause frequent urination and may reduce fluid and electrolyte levels.
5. Drink filtered water. The disinfection process of tap water, while necessary to prevent waterborne illness, can leave carcinogenic byproducts behind. Additionally, tap water may contain contaminants it picks up while traveling through miles of pipes. Filtered drinking water will eliminate some contaminants, germs, and heavy metals. Remember to change your water filter frequently.
6. Stop drinking water out of plastic bottles. Chemicals leach into bottled water from the plastic, which can cause several health issues such as endocrine disruption and cancer. Bottled water is also more likely to contain contaminants and microplastics.
7. Keep water near you in a stainless steel bottle or cup. My favorite is the Yeti tumbler. This gem keeps ice in the cup overnight and keeps my decaffeinated tea hot during the day.
8. If drinking adequate fluids throughout the day is too challenging, get in the habit of drinking a cup of caffeine-free liquid when you get up and again before each meal.
9. Start your day with a cup of water with lemon. Hot or cold, lemon water is delicious and has many benefits.
It will help with digestion
It helps with hydration
It’s weight loss friendly
It prevents oxidation
It provides potassium
It can help prevent kidney stones
10. Eliminate pop and other beverages with artificial sweeteners. Healthy alternatives are water with fresh fruit added for flavor, and caffeine-free tea. My favorite is green tea with lemon.
The amount of water required to keep you hydrated may vary from day to day. Your activity level, overall health, and weather all play a role in our hydration. Follow the tips provided to ensure you receive enough hydration to keep your body functioning at its best.