I know, I know, I’m always talking about how important it is to keep hydrated and how you should be drinking a lot of water every day. For instance, if you haven’t read it already, take a peek at my hydration blog I wrote a couple summers ago. It was geared toward summer heat, but hydration is important every single day regardless of the season.
To review some of the reasons why water is essential for us to consume every day—it helps regulate circulation, body temperature, and digestion. It also detoxifies the liver and the kidneys and carries waste out of the body. Did you know that a two-percent drop in body water can cause small but critical shrinkage of the brain, which can impair neuromuscular coordination, decrease concentration, and cause slow thinking?
Getting thirsty yet? Seriously, how much water should you drink? The general rule of thumb is to at least drink half your body weight in ounces. If you are very active, you will need much more!
Curious if you are hydrated enough as you read this? Here are two ways to know if you are hydrated enough:
Check out your urine! A large amount of light colored, diluted urine probably means you are hydrated; dark colored, concentrated urine probably means you are dehydrated.
You can also use the pinch test! Dehydration often reduces skin elasticity, so doctors often use this skin test to quickly check for dehydration. The best part is that you can do it yourself: Pinch the skin on the back of your hand and pull it upwards. Your skin should snap back rapidly. If your skin maintains its pinched shape for a few seconds and drops slowly, you may be dehydrated.
Many of my clients complain that water gets boring. I have some fun tricks for you!
Try infusing water. Keep a pitcher of water in your fridge with fruit and herbs that help give the water a refreshing taste. Here are some popular combinations:
- Cucumber + lime + strawberry + mint.
- Lemon + raspberry + rosemary.
- Orange + blueberry + basil.
- Lime + ginger root + basil.
- Watermelon + honeydew + mint.
- Cucumber + mint + jalapeno.
- Lemon + thyme.
- Orange + hibiscus + star anise.
Here are some foods to consume to help hydrate you (they all are comprised of at least 90 percent water):
- Skim Milk
And this time of the year, I love drinking hot cups of green tea or herb tea not only to keep me hydrated, but also, to give me an antioxidant boost!