The importance of staying hydrated should never be overlooked. With the average human body being 60% water, it’s little surprise that we need to maintain high levels of hydration to feel physically and mentally healthy.
When we’re dehydrated, the body struggles to perform many basic functions. Your body can suffer significant damage. Yet many people struggle to maintain healthy hydration levels in their body.
Thankfully, it’s surprisingly easy to stay hydrated, with various options available to help increase the number of fluids in the body. When you are fully hydrated, your body functions more efficiently, removing waste, keeping joints healthy, and helping the mind remain focused and alert.
Better still, our skin looks healthier and we generally feel much better, highlighting why we should always try to stay hydrated.
The Best Drinks for Staying Hydrated
Drinking fluids are the easiest way to stay hydrated. There are several drinks that offer the fluids our bodies need to remain hydrated, so be sure to drink lots of these each day to ensure you get the proper hydration your body needs.
In terms of how much to drink, it’s recommended you drink between 1.5 and 2 liters of fluids per day, tools such as the hydration calculator from gym equipment can help you gauge how much you need. This translates to roughly 8-10 glasses, although the amount needed can vary depending on a few factors such as age, weight, how warm it is, and the amount of physical excretion.
Water is without a doubt the best drink for staying hydrated. Unlike most other drinks it has no sugars or calories that can damage our teeth, meaning it’s the healthiest fluid to drink. Because all other fluids that keep us hydrated contain water, it’s best to simply drink water on its own.
Plus, water is completely free to drink providing you have a tap at home. Bottled water is no different to tap water, but if you aren’t a fan of drinking from the tap then bottled the next best thing. Bottled water is also good for drinking at work or school, although you can easily get a refillable water bottle and use this instead.
Of course, many people find water quite bland, especially when drinking large amounts each day. To make your water a bit more flavourful, try adding slices of fruit like limes, lemons, and oranges, while cucumber and fresh mint are also great additions.
You have likely seen coconut water in the shops as the drink has become hugely popular in recent years. It is rich in nutrients that are lacking in normal water, although it also contains natural sugars that result in tooth decay if overconsumed.
However, the natural flavor of coconut water makes it a fantastic way to stay hydrated. For instance, if you are struggling to drink lots of water throughout the day, consider adding some coconut water into the mix for a more flavourful beverage.
Smoothies and Fruit Juices
Fruits found fruit juices and smoothies are naturally high in water, making them another good option for staying hydrated. However, like other drinks, they also contain high amounts of sugars and acids that damage teeth so should only be drunk in moderation.
Again, consider using fruit juices as part of a wider range of drinks to stay hydrated, especially if you struggle to drink lots of water.
Homemade smoothies and fruit juices are also a much better option than those found in shops. They contain mostly natural sugars found in the fruit rather than added sugars and other ingredients found in many store-bought fruit juices and smoothies.
Tea and coffee are good choices for staying hydrated. Both are mostly made from water, meaning you get a good amount of fluids per cup, although it is better to leave out sugar and milk if possible.
While tea and coffee do increase fluid intake they also act as a mild diuretic due to caffeine content. So, you find yourself urinating more, although if your fluid intake remains steady across the day it shouldn’t be an issue.
Caffeine is much like sugar and other ingredients found in many beverages – fine in moderation. For example, it’s recommended to have no more than 40g of caffeine daily, which works out at around 3 cups of coffee or four cups of tea.
Yes, milk is also a suitable source of hydration due to water present in the liquid, while it also contains other healthy nutrients such as calcium and protein. However, it is important to choose a healthier milk to reduce the amount of saturated fat, with skimmed and semi-skimmed milk being the better choice.
Remember, the milk doesn’t need to come from cows either. There are many great alternatives to cow’s milk that can help you remain hydrated, including…
- Soy milk
- Almond milk
- Rice milk
- Coconut milk
Foods to Help Stay Hydrated
While drinking fluids is the best way to stay hydrated you can supplement this with certain foods that contain water. For example, fruits and vegetables often contain water that helps keep you hydrated. Some of those fruits and vegetables are…
Tips for Staying Hydrated
Now you know the best drinks for staying hydrated. Try following some of these simple tips to ensure you keep hydrated throughout the day.
- Drink water with every meal and before you go to bed
- Keep a refillable bottle with you throughout the day and top it up with tap water
- Try drinking a least once every hour to ensure high levels of hydration
- Add fruits to water for a more flavourful drink if you aren’t a fan of plain water
- Always drink before, during, and after exercise
- Increase the amount you drink when there is hot weather – sweating causes you to dehydrate faster than normal
- If your mouth is dry then you are probably not hydrated
- A lack of urine means you need more fluids
- Dark coloured urine means you need more fluids
- Most diets require more water intake, espiecally low-calorie and special requirement diets