During regular body exercises to keep our bodies fit for example peddling uphill, going for a trial run, making push-ups, or any other physical activity, we normally break a sweat. This means that we need to bump up our water intake to replace the lost fluids or find other ways of how to stay hydrated.
Of course not exercise alone can cause dehydration but also health plays a big role as well. For example, if you happen to have a fever, diarrhea, or vomiting, the body loses plenty of fluids faster and abnormally. Similarly, breastfeeding mothers need extra attention. These not only provide hydration for themselves but also for the baby.
Ways of how to stay hydrated are; eating fruits and vegetables, taking oral rehydration solution, use of beverages, drinking water, taking skim and low-fat milk, and consuming simple carbs.
So, what is dehydration?
This is a state of the body that happens when you lose more body fluids than you take in leading to the improper function of the body.
What does water do to our bodies?
Maintaining the right balance of water and electrolytes like sodium and calcium allows different body systems to function properly. Water helps temperature regulation, moisturizing the skin and tissues, nutrients distribution, cushioning and lubricating joints, flushing out toxins, circulate the blood, and preventing constipation.
So how do we know we or a friend is dehydrated? Below are some of the signs and symptoms of dehydration.
Signs and symptoms of dehydration
Certain groups of people for example babies, old aged, diabetics, and those that have kidney diseases are liable to suffer from dehydration than others.
The general signs and symptoms include;
- Increased thirst
- Dry mouth
- Infrequent urination
- Dry skin
- Urine color is also a good indicator of hydration in children and young adults according to research.
What are the best ways on how to stay hydrated?
If you happen to have any of the above signs and symptoms, here is how to rehydrate quickly and how to stay hydrated.
Use fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are 80-99% water as opposed to 1-9% present in processed foods like cookies, cereals, chips, and crackers. Fruits and vegetables that are high in water include; Berries, Melons, Oranges, Grapes, Carrots, Cabbage, Spinach, and Lettuce.
Use an oral rehydration solution
These are formulas given to treat dehydration in people who have suffered vomiting and diarrhea. Oral rehydration solution is said to boost exercise recovery and treating hangovers. The main ingredients used are water, an electrolyte (e.g. sodium, chloride, and potassium), and sugar.
Oral rehydration solutions are easy to prepare since you can mix them in the comfort of your home. All you need is to mix a liter of water, 6 teaspoons of sugar, and ½ teaspoon of salt in a large bowl and stir until the salt and sugar dissolve.
Consider beverages such as coffee and tea
Although these two contain caffeine which may be dehydrating in large amounts, drinking moderate amounts of tea or coffee can serve a good purpose of energizing and hydrating your body.
In a study, 50 regular coffee drinkers drank 4 cups (800 ml) of coffee containing 1.8 mg of caffeine per pound (4 mg per kg) of body weight daily. It observed no significant differences between coffee and water in regards to hydrating ability.
Skim and low-fat milk
Milk is nutrient-dense and also has hydrating properties due to the high concentration of electrolytes that balance the amount of water in the. Research has shown that skim and low-fat milk work just like popular sports drinks does in rehydrating you after intense exercise.
The protein in milk makes it ideal for a post-exercise beverage. This is because proteins are good for muscle rebuilding and repair after intensive exercises
Try carb alternatives
Avoid dry and heavy carbs for simple carbs for example zucchini noodles that are about 95% water. When this is combined with tomato sauce, which is also 90% water, the meal can be hydrating and healthy.
visit our article ” low carbs diets” and discover the low carb foods you can incorporate in your diet.
Drinking water is perhaps the best and cheapest way on how to rehydrate. However, this is not the best way to stay hydrated.
In order to use water to stay hydrated, ensure to add nutrients like salts. These will allow the water stay longer in the body while digestion takes place. Water tends to pass out of the body much faster if it has no nutrients.
We have a wonderful article about drinking water for weight loss. Get it here and learn how you can take advantage of water to achieve your weight loss goals.
How much water does it take to rehydrate?
The Center for Disease Control defines daily fluid intake as the amount of water we consume from foods, plain drinking water, and other beverages.
Therefore, the amount of water it takes to hydrate will depend on several factors. These among others include;
Active age groups require more hydration compared to inactive age groups.
Women’s’ water reserve is lower compared to that of men since women have a greater fat mass than men
People with a higher body mass index are more likely to be inadequately hydrated and therefore need more fluid intake.
Climate you are in
Hot weather requires you to sweat more than normal. This, therefore, requires additional water intake to replace the lost fluids.
High-intensity exercises like running uphill break more sweat compared to jogging on a leveled ground. Therefore you will require more water intake during high-intensity exercises.
Overall health also plays an important role as far as hydration is concerned. For example, if someone has a fever, diarrhea or they are vomiting; the body loses more fluids than normal. This means that you need more hydration compared to a person in good healthy
Ceteris paribus, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine indicated that adequate daily fluid intake should be; About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids for men and about 11.5 (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women.
These quotations include fluids from water, beverages, and food. Of this, 20% of the fluid intake comes from food and 80% from drinks.
How long does it take to rehydrate after dehydration?
The time needed to recover from dehydration depends on how dehydrated an individual is. With severe dehydration, chances are high that you may be hospitalized and put on intravenous hydration for close to 24hours to recover from dehydration, or until when you can drink oral rehydration fluids on your own.
However, for less severe dehydration levels, you may only need to drink oral rehydration fluids and after several hours the situation can normalize.
What is the most rehydrating drink you can buy?
The best drinks to keep an individual hydrated or having enough fluids in the body include;
Full fat milk
Why is drinking water all day not the best way to rehydrate your body?
Although water is cheap and healthy and may be an effective way for most of us to stay hydrated, drinking large quantities in the morning, noon is not the best way to meet your hydration requirements.
Plain water normally slips right through the digestive system more so if it contains no food nutrients. This is common when you drink large quantities of water on an empty stomach. This means that the more you drink, the faster the water is emptied from your stomach and absorbed into the bloodstream.
On the other hand, water containing nutrients like sugar, some protein, fat, calories, and electrolytes like sodium will help you slow down the emptying of fluids from the stomach and keep hydration happening over a longer period.
For example, in a 2015 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, based on urine analyses collected from the study volunteers, the researchers concluded that several drinks including milk, tea, and orange juice, but not sports drinks were more hydrating than plain water.
Water is cheap, healthy, and an effective way to stay hydrated. However, plain water tends to slip through the digestive system and may not keep you hydrated longer. The best way to keep you hydrated is to use nutritious drinks containing sodium, fats, and proteins to keep you hydrated longer