Avoid These Common Hydration Mistakes…
Staying well hydrated is a key component of a healthy lifestyle, yet one that tends to fall by the wayside for many people.
What’s worse is that most people are currently living in a state of chronic dehydration.
They wake up to a cup of coffee or two (which can be a diuretic thanks to the caffeine it contains), follow that up with some cola for lunch (which brings in another dose of caffeine), and then go home to serve dinner with a glass of wine or other alcohol (yet another diuretic).
Even minor dehydration can lead to you feeling sluggish, fatigued, make it harder for you to concentrate, and if sustained, can have severe health effects.
Fortunately, with a few smart tips, you can turn this around.
Let’s take a closer look into some of the do’s and don’ts when it comes to hydration.
Start Your Day With Water
One of the best ways that you can get your body off to a great start first thing in the morning is by starting your day with a large glass of water.
Bonus points here if you add a slice of lemon, to help balance your body’s pH levels, and putting your body in the ideal alkaline state.
You’ve just spent 8-9 hours without any fluid at all and therefore your body will be slightly dehydrated because of it.
Rather than turning immediately to coffee, serve the water first. Then if you still want coffee, you can go ahead.
Having this water will also jump-start your digestive system and metabolism, preparing you for your breakfast ahead.
Avoid Liquid Calories
The next no-no when it comes to hydration is hydrating with liquid calories such as sugary drinks.
Most people will not register liquid calories like they will solid food calories and as such, this can be a fast way to weight gain.
Some beverages such as cocktails, gourmet coffee or smoothies can easily pack in 300-800 calories per serving.
For some people, this could be half their daily energy intake – in just one cup.
Unless you don’t plan to eat for most of the day, this is simply not a wise move.
The only calorie containing beverages that should ever pass your lips is protein powder (mixed with water or unsweetened almond milk) or regular low fat cow’s milk if you desire it.
And most people are best off staying away from that as well due to lactose intolerance.
Water is a good as it gets, so load up on that.
Hydrate Before Exercise
Another must do is to ensure you hydrate well before exercise.
Most people do the opposite and exercise first, become dehydrated, and then re-hydrate from there.
While this isn’t to say you shouldn’t drink during and after exercise as well, keep in mind that if you can drink more before exercise, this can help reduce the chances you become dehydrated in the first place, resulting in poor performance.
Down an extra glass of water or two before your exercise session and you’ll be set.
Don’t Mistake Thirst For Hunger
Finally, make sure that you don’t mistake thirst for hunger.
Next time you feel the munchies coming on, drink a glass of water and then wait 10 minutes. You might just find that ‘hunger’ passes.
If you are eating when you really just needed something to drink, this can lead to a higher than necessary calorie intake and then weight gain.
Keep these hydration tips in mind and you can be sure you are tending to this important area of your health wisely.