How To Stay Hydrated
It is a well-known fact that you should aim to drink eight glasses of water a day, which equals about two liters, or half a gallon. Yet, most people are not getting enough H2O. Why? Well let's state the obvious – water gets boring!
Considering our bodies are made up of 60% water, we assume that it is strictly what we need to stay hydrated. While water is preferable, it doesn't necessarily have to be where we get all of our hydration. Your fluid balance can be powered by multiple sources!
Milk: Whether it be oat, soy, coconut, almond or whole, milk can be hydrating and filling. Interestingly enough, the new hydration index insists that some fluids last longer in your body than others, providing more hydration. A British study found that oral rehydration with fat-free or whole milk has a significantly higher hydration index than water, meaning you will stay hydrated for a longer period of time.
Fruit & Vegetables: No one said you couldn't eat your way to hydration. Look into fruit and vegetables that have a high percentage of water content such as watermelon (92%) and celery (95%). In addition to their hydration aspects, they offer minerals and nutrients that your body craves. Additionally, fruit juice, like orange juice, has a significantly higher hydration index than water.
Coffee & Tea: It may come as a surprise that coffee is hydrating based on the numerous myths that it can dehydrate you, but we are here to set the record straight. To avoid the diuretic effect of coffee, which causes you to expel hydration and salt from your body, limit yourself to only one to two cups of coffee per day or try an iced coffee, which can increase your hydration levels as the ice melts. Alternatively, tea is rich in antioxidants and is typically low in caffeine, which allows you to stay hydrated and lightly caffeinated.
Soup: You have a cup of soup when you're sick for a reason! Not only do you receive crucial hydration from the broth, but the sodium helps you retain it. Further, soup can be filled with protein and carbohydrates meaning that you won't just feel hydrated, but full too.
A different type of water: In the end, water can be fun too! Coconut water has more potassium and less sodium and carbohydrates than popular sports drink alternatives, according to the American Chemical Society. In addition, sparkling water or seltzer can also be a great alternative that keeps things interesting. Lastly, flavored vitamin water or sports drinks are tasty and can provide carbohydrates that will help give you energy and replenish you after a workout.