selective focus photography of girl drinking water

It’s not a surprise that the majority of North Americans suffer from dehydration. Unfortunately, the biggest culprit is water itself. It’s so freely available that we tend to take it for granted. Most of us just don’t think about how much water we need to actually stay hydrated.

When you’re dehydrated, your body loses more water than normal through urination and sweating. If you don’t consume enough water, your body pulls fluids from your cells to compensate. This causes your blood volume to decrease and your blood pressure to rise. After a while, your brain and pancreas don’t get the message that you need more water, so they won’t trigger thirst. (source: World Health Organization).

Stages of dehydration:

Stage 1: Mild dehydration or “thirst”

At this stage, dehydration occurs; you feel thirsty; you lose electrolytes; you lose fluids, but you can still function. For some people, though, even mild dehydration can already start affecting their ability to think clearly.

Stage 2: Moderate dehydration

You begin to feel dizzy or weak, signs your blood pressure is dropping as your body holds on to water. This is actually one of the most common signs of dehydration. This stage can last 4–6 hours before you act on it, and there are more severe symptoms yet to come. If you feel mildly thirsty during this time or your fluid intake is low, you should respond by drinking more fluids or caffeinated drinks.

Stage 3: In the third stage, severe cases of dehydration will automatically trigger a medical emergency. You may feel weak, dizzy, and confused during this stage. Severe dehydration is dangerous because it will lead to shock or other complications.

OK, so you’re hydrated now. But can you be more hydrated? Sure. And we’re here to help.

Tip #1: Drinking Water: Drink a glass of water every time you get thirsty

Drinking water is good for overall health, reducing your risk of disease, losing weight, and even for your skin. You probably know this if you’re anything like me but find it a challenge to drink enough water daily. I know I need to drink more water to help me lose weight, but I hate carrying around a water bottle, and I have to have a glass of water in my hand to drink it. Proper hydration ensures your body can perform optimally throughout the day and reach peak performance no matter what you’re doing. For example, if you’re planning on exercising or working out, you must be hydrated beforehand.

 Tip #2: Drink more than one glass of water a day.

This is easier said than done. But much like the first tip, there are things you can do to trick yourself into drinking your water and keeping your body hydrated. There are many reasons why we lose hydration throughout the day — everything from our active lifestyles to environmental factors like heat and humidity (hello, New York in July). While we’d all love to have continued access to H20, sometimes it isn’t possible. 

 Tip #3: Add a pinch of sea salt to your water.

If you’re trying to get hydrated fast, you may be surprised to learn that water is the least effective liquid for replenishing your body. This is because your body must expend energy warming the cold liquid to help you digest it. However, adding a pinch of sea salt to your water will stimulate your palate and make you want to drink more water.

 Tip #4: Mix your favorite fruit juice with your water.

The fourth tip on getting hydrated and staying hydrated, more than anything, is to drink more fluids. But when you’re not in the mood for water, add a splash of your favorite fruit juice. (And if you’re drinking fruit juice as your water enhancer, then you are following tip #1, so kudos to you!) And I’m not just talking about 100% fruit juices like cranberry juice or pomegranate juice… I’m talking about juices like apple, grape, orange, and pineapple. Many people roll their eyes at the thought, but they can be quite delicious when done right.

 Here are a few tasty combinations:

  • Orange juice: Mix half water and half orange juice for a refreshing drink. Try adding other fruits to increase the sweetness if you like.
  • Apple juice: Mix half apple juice with half water.
  • Healthy sports drinks: If you’re ever feeling dehydrated, try Tailwind hydration drinks. They quickly replenish your body’s electrolytes for optimal hydration and help you stay on track with your fitness goals.
  • Grapefruit juice: This has a low sugar content and is more sour than sweet. Make sure you have enough water in your bottle to make it palatable.
  • Cranberry/Watermelon juice: Mix half cranberry or watermelon juice with half water for a tangy flavor that will keep you refreshed during training.

Tip #5: Exercise first thing in the morning or last thing at night.

Exercise first thing in the morning or last thing at night. Studies have shown that drinking water during or after a workout increases is key to staying well hydrated. This is likely because of the body’s response to temperature changes. Drinking enough water during a tough workout cools your core system and can cause you to retain more water than usual. If you are concerned about the amount of water your body is retaining from drinking lots of water during intense exercise, drink a glass of water an hour before working out. This helps hydrate your body before your workout starts and allows you to drink as needed during activity. Drinking water after an intense workout also helps your body retain more water; it will help cool down your core temperature and keep you from losing more fluids through sweat as quickly as you would if you did not drink.

Caution: One of the most common misconceptions is that the best way to rehydrate after exercise is by drinking lots of water. While you should drink water after exercise to replenish fluids and restore electrolyte balance, you shouldn’t drink unnecessarily large amounts.

Taking too much water can be dangerous, especially for athletes and others who sweat a lot. Drinking too much water can lead to hyponatremia or low sodium levels. Water intoxication occurs when the water intake is too high relative to the amount of sodium in your body. When you drink a lot of water and don’t have enough salt, the balance of fluid in your cells gets thrown off, and your cells begin to swell with water. Symptoms include headaches, muscle cramps, dry skin, nausea and vomiting, and having a swollen stomach or feeling full.

Tip #6: Find a group of people who share similar health goals.

Our lives are busier than ever, and getting time to drink the amount of water you need to stay hydrated can often be impossible. To get hydrated fast, you have to drink water when you’re not thirsty. By joining a community of people working toward a similar health goal, you’ll naturally drink more water. So, find a group of people who share similar health goals. You’ll be investing in your health, but you’ll also develop a support system to motivate you to stay committed to your goals.

Tip #7:Be sure to eat plenty of hydrating fruits and vegetables.

Fresh fruits and vegetables or other high water content foods are an excellent source of fluid and help keep your body hydrated. In addition, they are natural sources of the electrolytes potassium and magnesium, which are both essential for proper hydration. You can also reach for fruits and vegetables if you need a quick hydration fix: Cucumber has 96% water and 1% vitamins and minerals. Cucumbers are excellent for healthy eyes, skin, and digestion, too. With 96% water, cucumbers are also a good source of potassium and magnesium. When you’re tired of drinking plain water, try slicing a cucumber into it or chugging down some cucumber water in a jar.

Caution: Avoid highly processed foods

Tip #8: Store your water in an attractive and fashionable bottle.

A way to preserve the nutrients in water is to store them in attractive and fashionable water bottles. You can buy one at a departmental store or online. Your water bottle’s cap should have a leak-proof seal to protect its contents from spilling.

Tip #9: Hydrate with low-fat, non-dairy milk products. 

 When you’re dehydrated, your body isn’t getting enough water, and the symptoms can be severe. This can result in the following: feeling weak, stomach flu, dark-colored urine, headache, high blood pressure, high body temperature, pale skin, bad breath, dry mouth, and chills. When your body does not get enough water, it loses water weight. This is why people who do not drink enough fluids or who are dehydrated feel weak. If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated and should take action immediately. But before you reach for that large glass of water, try out these 4 hydration ideas to rehydrate fast and restore lost fluids. All you have to do is drink as many low-fat dairy milk products as possible, such as:

  1. Skim and 1% milk
  2. Unsweetened yogurt
  3. Cheese drinks
  4. Low fat and fat-free cheeses
  5. Moderate amounts of low-fat whey protein powders (Low-fat whey protein powders are high in critical nutrients that can help your body rehydrate quickly). You should also try to get in a few extra glasses of water, especially if mild symptoms of dehydration haven’t completely gone away in a few hours. Because it’s easier to digest, low-fat milk is an excellent choice to hydrate fast because it contains essential nutrients to help your body recover faster after severe dehydration.

 Tip #10:Drink in the AM and PM

You may not experience dehydration in the morning, but drinking plain water first thing in the AM is one of the simplest ways to get hydrated. You wake up dehydrated, so you will benefit from having at least one glass of water when you wake up.

In general, it’s a good idea to have water before eating your breakfast because you’ll be more likely to make healthy food choices, and your body will have time to adjust as you digest your food. Perhaps consider pairing your breakfast with something hydrating like iced berries or even a smoothie that has iced berries. In both the AM and PM, try to drink a glass of water or other hydrating beverage. This routine will help keep your body hydrated even when you don’t feel thirsty.

Tip # 11:Drink coconut water for an extra boost

You can get your daily water intake by drinking sparkling water or filling a smaller bottle to sip on throughout the day. But there is one other ingredient you need to get hydrated fast: coconut water. Before we get into how to drink it, let’s go over all the benefits of this magical potion.

  • Coconut water has a higher percentage of water than even mineral water, making it an excellent hydrator. They also call it nature’s sports drink as it contains many essential vitamins and minerals!
  • This oral rehydration solution has a low-glycemic index, meaning that when you drink it, your blood sugar levels don’t spike and then crash, which leads us to ask the question…
  • If you’re wondering why coconut water as an oral rehydration solution has such significant effects on our health and vitality, it’s because coconut water is filled with electrolytes. This drink hydrates better than any other drink on the market!