For many of us, staying hydrated and getting enough water throughout the day can be tough. Let’s learn the essentials of hydration and how to make sure you’re getting enough each day.
BY: JOANNA LI, RD
Remembering to drink water is not exactly something that many people prioritize, especially when the main focus is getting through busy days at work, family, and other commitments.
So why is hydration so important?
Our bodies are made up of more than 60% water and we need it to keep our bodies functioning properly. Water helps transport nutrients to the cells in our body, cushion organs and tissues, carry waste products out of the body, and also keeps our skin hydrated and glowing.
Especially important during warmer weather, it is important to keep hydrated so our bodies can perform all these functions normally.
So how much water are we talking about?
Most of us are used to hearing that EIGHT glasses per day is the golden number for adequate hydration. As if 8 is not hard enough to get, the DRI for women is about 91 ounces of total water (including beverages and food) per day.. that’s about ~12 glasses! And for men, the recommendation is 125 ounces, about ~16 glasses per day.
Here’s a 2-step action plan to get you to your hydration goal:
1. Set a reminder to hydrate.
Maybe it is every 2 or 3 hours on your phone. It can even be a reminder to get up and move during your work day and take a stroll to the water fountain.
2. Keep a hydration log.
Tally up your water for the day (and include time) at the end of the day. It sounds silly but at the end of the week, you will be able to better assess where you are at with your hydration goals, and also be able to pinpoint the times and days in which your hydration can be improved.
Use a water tracking app like Foodstand, which allows you to log the number of glasses you consume throughout the day and sends you reminders to log your hydration.
Hate the taste of plain water? While you should consume ~12 glasses of plain water per day, there are other ways you can get your fluids in!
Try adding sliced lemons, cucumbers, muddled berries, and fresh herbs such as mint into a glass before filling it with water. This will leave you feeling hydrated and refreshed!
For the tea lovers, tea certainly counts towards hydration! You can sip tea to meet your hydration goals. A cup of hot tea is perfect for the winter but for the warmer weather, iced tea is the way to go and can be easily done with Takeya’s flash chill iced tea maker.
If you need something more exciting than water, my go-to is usually kombucha! It contains probiotics, which helps with digestion, mood, immunity and most of all, really quenches thirst.
Hydrate by eating
Drinking is not the only way to get your hydration on. Foods such as watermelon, celery, cucumbers all contain more than 90% water and can be included in your hydration plan.
Be sure to check in with your hydration goals to be your healthiest!
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Joanna Li, RD is a Registered Dietitian based in NYC, and is currently a community nutritionist helping to improve the health status of low-income pregnant women and their children. For more on Joanna’s love of sharing healthy and delicious meals, visit her at Just My Cup of Jo.