Most of us know the importance of staying hydrated, but it can be hard to keep up and make this a part of our daily routines. It’s especially important to remember to stay hydrated during the hot summer weather, especially if you’re spending time working or playing outdoors. It’s estimated that most adults are chronically dehydrated, which can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, brain fog, dry skin, and poor work and athletic performance. Our bodies need hydration for optimal functioning of our cells and every metabolic process.
Many people think that hydration is merely about drinking water, but it’s slightly more complex than that. We have two main hydrating factors—water and oil. Both are critical in maintaining proper moisture in the body! We also need to address things like electrolyte balance, which is often achieved through drinking liquids.
If you’re struggling to stay hydrated, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Coffee, soda, and alcohol don’t count.
Even though they’re liquids, these drinks don’t count toward your hydration. In fact, they can actually dehydrate you further. Try drinking a cup of water to balance out each coffee, soda, or alcoholic beverage you drink.
Flavor your water.
Sometimes, plain water isn’t appealing enough to drink, especially if we’re used to drinking soda or sugary liquids. Consider adding fresh fruit or herbs like mint to flavor your water, or try flavored sparkling water instead. It’s best to go with sugar-free options for water flavorings.
Bring in electrolytes.
For people who are active or out in the heat a lot, supplemental electrolytes can be very helpful. Look for electrolyte powders or drops that contain sodium, potassium, and magnesium, and ideally no artificial additives or sugars.
Eat enough fat.
Remember that hydration includes both oil and water, and having enough fat in your body is essential for maintaining cell structure, skin moisture, the formation of hormones, and brain function. Choose healthy, monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats and foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids. Some popular foods that contain healthy fat include ghee, tallow, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, salmon, and eggs.