It's important to stay hydrated. Water makes up 60% of the human body. And every system in the body needs water to work. Water keeps your body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure in check. Your hair, skin, and nails need it, too.
That’s why drinking enough fluids every day is important. How much? Many factors determine how much water you need:
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- Your overall health
- Medications you take
- How much you exercise
- What you eat
- Time of year
As temperatures rise, you likely sweat more and need more fluids.
How to Tell if You’re Dehydrated
Signs of dehydration include:
- Dry mouth or feeling thirsty
- Feeling tired or cranky
- Dark urine or not urinating much
Why Water is Best
Drinking water is the best way to stay hydrated. Many bottled drinks claim to help you stay hydrated while adding vitamins and minerals. But they may not be as healthy as you think. Some can make you more dehydrated. These drinks each have a purpose. But you shouldn’t regularly replace water with them.
Water-based drinks may not be as good for you as you think. Many advertise having extra vitamins. But often, the added vitamins are B and C. Most people already get enough of them in their diet. And they have added artificial sweeteners and sugar.
While water is the main ingredient, pay attention to the label. Many include artificial and natural sweeteners.
These are for highly active people who do intense athletic activities. They can contain a lot of sugar and sodium, which can cause weight gain and high blood pressure.
While many include vitamins, they also contain caffeine and sugar. Drinking them regularly can lead to heart rhythm problems, headaches, high blood pressure, and anxiety.
Make Your Water Taste Better
Want to drink water to stay hydrated, but looking for a little more flavor? Try these:
- Plain seltzer
- Water with slices of lemon, cucumber, or orange
- Infuse water with mint or basil
- Mix seltzer with a little natural fruit juice
- Decaf iced tea
Foods to Help You Stay Hydrated
Most of your fluids should come from water, but fruits and veggies can help you stay hydrated, too. Naturally hydrating and nutritious foods include watermelon, oranges, grapes, melon, celery, and cucumbers.
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