What are the proper ways to hydrate?

Staying hydrated is important at all times. Adequate water intake is necessary for the proper functioning of the body's cells and organs. When you are exercising, sick, or in a very hot environment, it becomes even more important, as adequate fluid intake can prevent dehydration. To protect your health, it's smart to learn good ways to hydrate your body.

When you're just dealing with typical activities and not engaging in extreme levels of physical activity, it's smart to drink eight full glasses of water over the course of the day. Each glass must contain at least 8 ounces (226.8 grams) of water. Spreading your drink out throughout the day can be one of the best ways to hydrate, helping you feel less thirsty. Also, if you drink all of your water at one point in the day, you may feel bloated instead of just being well hydrated.

There are many ways to hydrate your body. Although it's a good idea to aim for eight glasses of water per day, that's not the only way to get fluids. Eating fruits, vegetables, and soups is one of the easiest ways to stay hydrated. Similarly, fruit juices can also be included in the list of drinks. However, many doctors warn against drinking too much juice, as sugar is not good for the body in excessive amounts. You should still get most of your fluids from water.

No matter how you choose to hydrate, it's smart to drink fluids before you feel thirsty. Thirst may actually be the body's way of signaling to you that you may be on your way to dehydration. Your urine color can help you determine whether or not you are hydrating enough. In general, your urine should be very clear or clear. However, if you are taking vitamins, your urine may be bright yellow or darker after you take them.

If you exercise, it's smart to use more aggressive ways to hydrate. For example, drinking a couple of glasses of water about an hour before you start exercising can help you stay well hydrated. It is also smart to drink half a glass of water for every 20 minutes during physical exercise. This is because your body loses a lot of water when you are physically active. For example, you can lose more than a quart of water when you exercise for just 60 minutes.

The exact amount of water you lose from exercise depends on how intense your exercise program is. If you will be exercising for more than an hour, it may be helpful to consume a sports drink, as this will help replace electrolytes and carbohydrates in your body. When you're finally done exercising, you'll also do well to drink another glass of water or another sports drink about half an hour after your physical activity.

If you're sick and losing fluids through sweating, vomiting, or diarrhea, you'll also want to find ways to hydrate your body and prevent dehydration. In such a case, it may be a good idea to drink room temperature water slowly. Drinking too quickly or consuming very cold water can only make your stomach more upset; start with a very small amount and gradually increase your intake. There are also special electrolyte replacement drinks and popsicles that can be good to use if you have lost a lot of fluids while sick.

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