Staying hydrated has been a popular theme around Simply Physio this time of the year. If you missed it, we wrote an article on the 5 Very Useful Secrets About Staying Hydrated. Check out that article if you haven’t yet.
We wanted to address the signs of dehydration and the harmful effects dehydration can have on you. Also- I often hear people struggle with drinking enough water because either they don’t like how plain water tastes, so they tend to grab something besides water. We wanted to give you guys some tips that can help you out.
What are the signs of dehydration?
Signs of dehydration can include dry mouth, sleepiness, concentrated urine, headache, dry skin, dizziness, increased thirst, and decreased urine output. Severe dehydration can lead to more serious symptoms such as rapid heart rate, orthostatic hypotension (when blood pressure drops as you stand), fever, seizure, confusion, and poor skin elasticity.
How does being dehydrated affect you?
Being dehydrated can affect your energy level and concentration. One of the common symptoms of dehydration is sleepiness and lethargy. You may feel more tired than usual and feel as if you do not have enough energy to exercise or complete daily activities. In some cases, you may become so lightheaded and dizzy that you cannot stand. Dehydration can also affect your concentration as our brains cannot function optimally without proper hydration.
What are some tips to help me drink enough water throughout the day?
Carrying a refillable water bottle around with you can help you drink enough water throughout the day. It serves as a constant reminder that you need to be drinking water and will help you not spend money buying plastic water bottles.
You can download an application on your phone that tracks your daily water intake. For example, the popular app My Fitness Pal has a section to log your daily water intake. You can also set reminders on your phone for every couple of hours.
Make it a habit to take a sip of water or refill your water bottle whenever you pass a water fountain.
What are some things I can do if I do not like how water tastes?
Instead of using artificial water flavor products like Mio or crystal light, we recommend you make your own. Flavor enhancers typically use artificial sweeteners which can create other health problems. So instead, an easy way to do this is to buy a fruit infuser water bottle. These bottles help you make water that tastes like the fruity flavored water offered at hotels often. If you would rather do this the old-fashioned way, though, simply google “fruit water recipes” and plenty of ideas will pop up. Check out our top “fruit-water recipe” at the bottom of this article! And let us know what you think or if you have another recipe that you like.
The other thing to consider is the source or quality of water that you are drinking. Drinking water from the tap (especially around Knoxville), means you are drinking “treated water” with many chemicals that distort the taste of the water, and can also contribute to other health issues. Have you ever had your water tested? We had our water tested a few months ago and were surprised at the results. Our water actually had more chemicals than your average swimming pool. Ouch… We decided to invest in our health and get a water purification system. If your interested in having your water tested- I’d encourage you to talk to Perfect Water. They are who we used after scouting out multiple companies and who we would recommend.
What are some of the “secret” benefits of drinking water?
Besides increasing your energy level and concentration, drinking enough water can also help you lose weight. This occurs because drinking water causes you to feel fuller. Therefore, drinking a glass of water before a meal often decreases how much food you end up eating. It can also help hydrate your skin and keep it healthy. If you are struggling with chapped lips, try drinking more water!
Kitchen Strawberry Cucumber Water Recipe
- 8 ounces strawberries
- 1/2 cucumber
- 2 quarts of water (or seltzer for sparkling water)
Place 8 ounces stemmed and thinly sliced strawberries and 1/2 thinly sliced English cucumber in a pitcher. For still infused water, add 2 quarts of water. For sparkling water, add 1 quart of seltzer during prep and a second quart just before serving. Refrigerate 2 to 4 hours to allow the ingredients to infuse. Stir well and strain, discarding the solids. For serving, add fresh strawberries and cucumber slices for garnish and plenty of ice. The infused water will keep refrigerated for up to 2 days.
Staying hydrated is essential for your body to function. If you are injured or in pain- being dehydrated can prevent your body from healing. One easy step to help create a healing environment is to simply get hydrated and stay hydrated. It truly is one of the basics of health that so many people ignore. Thirsty anyone…?