It may be August, but we still have a couple more months of high temperatures and the consequences of dehydration will only continue to compound. We must keep our bodies hydrated. Most of us would probably agree that we need to drink more water throughout the day. However, depending on one’s job, lifestyle and overall constitution, increased water intake might not be enough. It’s important for all of us to find a system to remind us to drink regularly, along with when to add electrolytes and when to omit specific dehydrating beverages.
Dehydration typically occurs before you know or feel it happening. The Mayo Clinic describes dehydration occurring when your body loses more fluids than it is taking in, thus your body not having enough fluids to carry out its normal functions. It can lead to minor complications like daily fatigue and dry skin to heat stroke, seizures, kidney failure and many hormonal issues. So how much water should we drink? Over the years there have been a few H2O standards created such as the “8, 8oz glasses of water”, the 2-3 liters of fluid intake daily, or even consuming half your body weight in ounces.
All three of these methods have their strengths, but ultimately we are different with individualized needs. Some of us may have outdoor labor jobs or spend hours working out where 100 ounces of water may not be enough. One may also lack electrolytes in their diet such as potassium and sodium which can cause muscle cramping. It is important to load up on these electrolytes before strenuous activity or situations where you will sweat a lot and then equally important to replenish the electrolytes during and after. Something else to keep in mind are diuretic beverages which actually pull water from your body causing dehydration, so keep clear from alcohol, caffeinated teas, coffee and soda.
Remembering to drink water and other fluids is a lot easier when you’re active and hot, but what about when you’re just working at your desk inside all day. This is typically the biggest challenge for most people. It is easy to forget because you do not feel thirsty. However, your body is thirsty and once again you won’t face the consequences for hours later. Here a few tips to help consume water and good fluids throughout the day.
- Drink a glass of water first thing when you wake up
- Keep water near you at the work place
- Replace a current diuretic beverage with a non-diuretic
- Set water intake goals
- Accountability tracking systems such as:
- Gallon water jug
- Smart phone apps that track and motivate water intake
- iHydrate, Water Tracker, Plant Nanny, My Water Balance etc.
We are all individuals with different constitutions, lifestyles and needs. As simple as it sounds, drinking the proper amount of fluids and the right kind of fluids can be challenging at times. If you or a loved one is concerned about proper hydration and supplementing your overall health, please give us a call, we are here to help.