Our bodies are about 60% water, and maintaining the right balance of water and electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, allows our various systems to function properly.
Every system in our body depends on water to function. Water plays an important role in regulating body temperature, providing moisture to the skin, carrying nutrients to cells, cushioning joints, flushing out toxins, and preventing constipation.
Your best defense against dehydration is prevention. Here are some tips to stay hydrated, especially when temperatures, or your activity levels, increase:
Don’t wait till you’re thirsty to drink.
By the time you feel thirsty, you’re already slightly dehydrated. Sip water steadily throughout the day and drink more fluids than usual when the weather is hot, especially if you’re active.
Flavor your water.
If plain water tastes boring to you, you can add flavor with natural fresh fruits or a splash of fruit juice. You can also consume clear broths, ice pops or sports drinks, especially if you’re doing intense exercise. Just make sure to limit caffeine and alcohol.
Eat water-rich fruits and vegetables.
Certain fruits and vegetables contain plenty of water in addition to healthful nutrients. Watermelon, strawberries, grapefruit, cantaloupe, peaches and pineapples are fruits with high-water content. Water-rich vegetables include cucumbers, leafy greens, radishes, celery, zucchini and tomatoes.
Be aware of the signs of dehydration.
If anyone in your family is ill, pay attention to how much they’re able to drink, especially young children and the elderly. Anyone with a fever, vomiting or diarrhea should drink plenty of fluids. Do not wait for signs of dehydration to appear.
Keep an eye out for any of these signs of dehydration in children or adults:
- Darker-than-usual urine
- Not urinating despite steadily drinking water
- Muscle cramps
- Bad breath
- Fever or chills
- Craving sweets
- Dry mouth/skin
- Fast heartbeat
“Water is the driving force of all nature “.
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