10 Tips For Better Hydration

It's usually recommended to drink 3 litres of water daily, but what if you find water unappealing? Fortunately, there are ways to stay hydrated without relying solely on water consumption.

By URLife Team
28 Feb 2024

Hydration is the key to stay active, get glowing skin and maintain ideal weight, especially during summers. It is the time of the year when your body loses water and electrolytes faster which leaves you feeling lethargic. The other effects of dehydration include racing heart beat, blood pressure, temperature regulation, waste expulsion, muscle and tissue integrity, and cognitive function.


Since our body is made up of 60 per cent of water, it is only natural to maintain its foundation by consuming more fluid. However, determining the precise amount of water needed can be complex, as it varies depending on factors such as sex, age, diet, activity level, and environment.


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10 Signs of Dehydration

Dehydration occurs when your body loses more fluids than it takes in, often due to actions like sweating and urination. This imbalance can lead to various symptoms, including extreme thirst, fatigue, decreased urination frequency, and darker urine colour.

  1. Dry mouth
  2. Physical or mental fatigue
  3. Muscle cramps
  4. Headaches
  5. Excessive thirst
  6. Dry skin
  7. Lightheadedness
  8. Tiredness
  9. Decreased sweating or urination
  10. Dark urine

Signs of Severe Dehydration

  1. Confusion
  2. Drop in blood pressure leading to fainting
  3. Decreased urination
  4. Rapid breathing and heartbeat


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How Much Water Should One Drink?

According to a 2022 study by the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention suggesting a daily intake of 6-8 glasses of water, this recommendation may fluctuate based on glass size, individual health status, and activity levels. Another method to get adequate hydration is by matching daily water intake to half your body weight. For instance, a person weighing 68 kg should drink around approximately 2.2 litres of water daily to maintain hydration.


Your overall health also influences hydration needs. Illnesses like fever, vomiting, or diarrhoea accelerate fluid loss, as do pregnancy and breastfeeding, where hydration is crucial for both the mother and baby. However, individual health conditions may necessitate personalised fluid management, warranting consultation with a healthcare provider.


Setting aside individual factors, men should have around 3.4 litres of fluids daily, while women should aim for about 2.6 litres. But, sometimes children or older people may simply forget about drinking water constantly as they do not recognise their thirst when their mouths are drying up. For such individuals, it is better to include water in their bodies through various ways to stay hydrated.


Related story: Is Drinking Water Enough To Stay Hydrated?


10 Ways For Better Hydration

The body can derive about 20 per cent of its required water intake from solid foods. Surprisingly, even foods with seemingly low water content contribute to this absorption. Additionally, digestion generates water, contributing an extra 10 per cent to the body's hydration needs. However, the majority, approximately 70 per cent, of necessary liquid intake for optimal hydration still comes from beverages.


1. Include Oatmeal in Your Diet

You may think oatmeal is just for maintaining your weight. Think again! This classic choice is also known for its hydrating properties. Not only is oatmeal hearty and satisfying, but it also absorbs the water or milk it's cooked with, providing essential hydration. If you prefer cooler breakfast options in summer, consider preparing overnight oats. This chilled alternative offers the same benefits as hot oatmeal without the heat. For an extra nutritional boost, incorporate chia seeds into your overnight oats preparation. Chia seeds absorb up to 10 times their weight in liquid, helping you stay full and hydrated throughout the morning.


2. Incorporate More Dairy

A 2011 study conducted by McMaster University suggests that milk can serve as an effective post-exercise rehydration beverage, thanks to its combination of protein, carbohydrates, calcium, and electrolytes. Whole cow's milk, comprising approximately 87 per cent water, also provides essential nutrients such as protein, fat, carbohydrates, and vitamins (A, D, B12, and B2), along with minerals like calcium and potassium, vital electrolytes for hydration.


3. Explore Carbohydrate In Your Meals

Glucose-electrolyte solutions have been found useful in rehydration and in preventing dehydration. According to a 2010 study issued in the Journal of Applied Physiology,  carbohydrate is essential in hydration as it facilitates sodium and water absorption. One can incorporate alternatives such as zucchini noodles, commonly known as zoodles, which boast a water content of around 95 per cent. Pairing zoodles with a tomato sauce, typically containing about 90 per cent water, creates a hydrating and nutritious meal option.


4. Indulge In Smoothies

As the summer heat intensifies, staying hydrated and energised becomes crucial. While water, fruits are essential during this season, if you prefer not to consume them in their raw form, why not try incorporating them into delicious smoothies? Smoothies offer a convenient way to enjoy the benefits of a variety of fruits in a single glass. Unsure which fruits and vegetables to include? Go for strawberries, watermelon, peaches, cucumbers, spinach, and blueberries as these are all excellent options to enhance both flavour and hydration.


5. Load Up Your Plate With Salads

Want summertime hydration inspiration? Try salads! Similar to smoothies, salads offer an excellent way to increase your fluid intake. Most lettuce greens contain a high water content, typically around 94 per cent, and when combined with other vegetables, they provide an even greater hydration boost. Next time you prepare a salad, include hydrating options like celery, tomatoes, bell peppers, and carrots.


6. Enjoy Soup As a Hydrating Meal Option

Whether it's a comforting broth-based soup or a refreshing gazpacho, soups can help replenish fluids. Gazpacho, served cold, is particularly refreshing during the summer months. Blend together ingredients like cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, and garlic cloves to create this delicious and hydrating soup.


7. Get creative With Frozen Fruit

Remember the joy of childhood popsicles? You can recreate this nostalgic treat in a hydrating form by blending watermelon or other hydrating fruits and freezing the mixture in popsicle moulds for about an hour. These homemade fruit popsicles offer a delicious and fun way to stay hydrated.


8. Electrolyte Drinks

Alongside water, electrolyte drinks are beneficial for replenishing lost minerals like sodium, potassium, and magnesium, especially following vigorous physical activity or in hot conditions. However, it's essential to be mindful of added sugars and excess calories often found in commercial sports drinks.


9. Coconut Water

Coconut water, composed of approximately 94 per cent water and minimal fat content, stands distinct from coconut milk. Natural coconut water boasts a slightly sweet taste with a subtle nutty undertone, while being low in calories. With its natural electrolyte content, coconut water serves as an excellent option for rehydration, particularly for individuals undergoing exercise.


10. Herbal Teas

Certain herbal teas, such as chamomile or mint, offer hydrating properties without the diuretic effects associated with caffeinated beverages like tea or coffee. Nonetheless, it's advisable to limit consumption of diuretic beverages if your goal is to maintain hydration levels.


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To rapidly rehydrate, it's essential to consume fluids rich in electrolytes, vital minerals like sodium, potassium, and magnesium. These electrolytes play crucial roles in numerous bodily functions, including nerve and muscle function, pH balance maintenance, and hydration regulation. Water alone may not suffice to replenish lost fluids and electrolytes post-exercise or during hot weather, particularly if significant sweating occurs.


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