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HOW TO ACTUALLY HYDRATE

MAGGIE O'MEARA

We’ve all heard it before: “always be hydrated” and “get your 8 glasses of water a day”. Yet, life tends to get busy and it can be hard to do the simple task of just drinking water throughout the day. In fact, up to 50% of the adult population fails to meet the recommended total water intake.1 Drinking enough water is critical for your body to function at its best! Dehydration causes unclear thinking, mood changes, overheating, constipation, and even kidney stones. We know that water is important for our health and wellness, so keep reading to learn some untraditional ways to hydrate without actually counting every glass of water you drink.

 According to a survey by Nestle Waters Healthy Hydration Company, Italy is the country that drinks the most water in quantity (91% drink at least 1 liter of water a day).2 This survey also found that the Italians will often drink water during their mealtimes.2 We can learn from Italy with this tip by always choosing to drink water (instead of soda, juice, alcohol, etc) with a meal. It is common to want a little drink during mealtimes to sip on in-between bites. Making the conscious choice to order water with your meal at a restaurant, or have a glass of water with you when eating at home, will be a healthful habit. Not only will you be more hydrated, but choosing water over other sugar-sweetened beverages or sodas will help with weight management.3 Choosing water when eating out will also help you save money along with reducing calories.3 The Italians know how to hydrate!

 

But let’s face it: water can be boring. Sure, we can say we’ll just “drink more water”, but that bland beverage sometimes can just not be as satisfying as we like. Here are a few tips to spruce up your water so it’s not only more enjoyable to drink, but something you’ll look forward to:

1)  Have a fun water bottle that you can carry around. Get a reusable bottle that you can take with you in the car, walk around with, to have at work, when running errands, or to keep by your bed. A reusable bottle is also much better for the environment and saves money on buying plastic water bottles. Having an accessible bottle of water is the ultimate key for hydration.

2)  Add healthy ingredients! Infusing water with fruit, vegetables, herbs, and more can make water be a tasty treat. Some great additions for water include cucumber, lemon, lime, pineapple, berries, mint, cinnamon, basil, and ginger. Try also adding a spoonful of chia seeds to your water for fiber and a nice little crunch!

3)  Set reminders for yourself to stay hydrated. You can set alarms on your phone, have a friend to remind you, or write down a note that you will see throughout the day. This will help you form the habit of drinking more water. Another attainable goal that you can set for yourself is to drink water first thing in the morning. This beneficial healthy habit will start your day off right after waking up. So get out there and get hydrated!

  

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References
  1. Belogianni K, Gandy J, van Ginkel A, Liddell J, Wagner R, Y, Lagoudakis L, Douglas P: European Healthy Hydration Awareness Campaign for Dietitians. Ann Nutr Metab 2019;74(suppl 3):57-65. doi: 10.1159/000500347
  2. Hydration across borders. waters.com. https://www.nestle-waters.com/our-stories/survey-on-water-consumption-and-knowledge-around-the-world. Accessed June 30, 2019.
  3. Water & Nutrition | Drinking Water | Healthy Water | CDC. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/nutrition/index.html. Accessed June 30, 2019.

 

 

 

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