Just Keep Hydrated
If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated! I am sure this statement is something everyone has been reminded of at some point in time. Sorry to break it to you, but it is true. Once we get that sense of thirstiness, you actually have lost 1-2% of your body water; and when our body is made up of roughly 70% water, that is a big deal. Hydration is especially important now that summer has FINALLY decided to show up. We are spending more time outside and sometimes breaking a sweat from just a short stroll down the street. These small activities fly under our radar and, before you know it, we are parched and in search for something to drink.
Always carry a water bottle with you. If you always have it you will get the visual cue to take a drink and have the access to it fast. When our bottle is conveniently located we are more likely to consume more water and not neglect staying hydrated. For those that crave a bit more of a flavour, add fruit such as lemon, orange, or berries to your water for a natural sweetener.
Have a hard time consuming enough water in a day?
Remember that other fluids also account for keeping you hydrated, so be aware of what can actually cause you to be dehydrated such as excessive alcohol and coffee. For me, I set goals and tell myself to consume a full bottle by a particular time; and do it. Then I can keep track of how much I do drink within the day. This also helps me to monitor my own dehydration when I am teaching lots in the week. Yes, you may have to slip out to the washroom more frequently, but your body will thank you when you begin peeing clear and remaining well hydrated.
What about sports drinks?
Yes I admit, I have had those sugary, colourful sports drinks such as Gatorade and Powerade, but boy, are they full of sugar. Yes they contain electrolytes but perhaps try to find a more natural electrolyte to consume that has less amounts of sugar instead. Sugary energy drinks spike your blood sugar, which is not ideal during sports either. To put it into perspective, a 32 ounce bottle of Gatorade contains 14 teaspoons of sugar! Typically, less intense and shorter duration exercises do not require someone to consume electrolytes; but as tasks become more intense and demanding of your body and your time, they are an important piece of the puzzle to stay hydrated and successful during physical activity.
Water is the best thing to drink on a regular basis as it serves so many functions within our bodies. Not only do we remain hydrated, but our organs are better protected, we can flush out toxins, and lubricate the joints. Just think too: water has zero calories. Not that I count calories, but those watching their weight should eliminate as many other fluids, like juice and sports drinks, as possible. Stick to water and eat what you want. Abiding by this can be extremely beneficial to weight loss as you are able to eliminate the extra calories once drunk and eat more delicious foods.
Next time you decide to workout, go for a walk, or participate in a fitness class, remember to drink lots. Before, during, and after exercise is important for not only hydration purposes but energy levels too. Drink up, and enjoy the summer while it lasts!
Be fierce. Be strong. Be vibrant.