Healthy living: The importance of staying hydrated

Keeping hydrated is important, but sometimes difficult. Here are a few tips to help you along the way.

Healthy living: The importance of staying hydrated

Many of us do not even realise we have become dehydrated, but your body knows when it needs more fluids and you become thirsty.

Mild dehydration symptoms can include, amongst other things, a headache, feelings of fatigue and a darker colour to urine. According to health experts, an average of two litres of water a day is beneficial. The amount of water necessary depends on a few factors like age, gender, level of activity, weight and even where you live. Living in a hot and humid environment makes you sweat more and therefore your body requires more hydration than average.

Reasons for you to stay hydrated

Our bodies need fluids to function properly, let’s have a look at a few reasons.

  • Helps to flush out waste from your system
  • Aids in maintaining a balanced body temperature
  • Assists with brain function
  • Creation of saliva
  • Protection of body tissues, joints, spinal fluid
  • Hydration can affect your endurance and strength, specifically when exercising
  • Helps with the digestive process
  • May even help with weight loss

Stay hydrated and prevent health problems

Making sure you stay hydrated can also help to prevent certain health problems.

  • Helps to prevent constipation
  • Aids in the prevention of painful kidney stones
  • Drinking enough water may help with hangovers

Ideas to stay hydrated

To stay hydrated doesn’t mean you have to stick to water alone. You can also get fluids from beverages as well as from food itself. Here are some ideas that may help you with your daily intake.

Think about getting yourself a water bottle, preferably stainless steel or glass. You can carry the water bottle around with you and sip throughout the day. Don’t just focus on water, you can drink tea and other juices. The main thing to remember with this is that you must take note of the amount of sugar consumed. Try to water down fruit juices a little and use the minimum amount of sugar in tea and coffee. Drink coffee in moderation.

Oatmeal is a great way to start the day, as it can be hydrating. Cooked oats absorb a lot of water and can help you feel full for longer. You can also add healthy foods like blueberries and other fruits to your porridge.

Fruits and vegetables that can contribute to water intake

  • Watermelon
  • Peaches and grapefruit
  • Cucumber
  • Lettuce
  • Baby marrows or zucchinis
  • Celery, tomatoes and peppers
  • Cabbage

A tasty way you can stay hydrated is to make yourself smoothies. Simply combine some yoghurt and fruits with a blender. You can also add your chosen health shake powder or anything else that is healthy.

Winter is almost upon us and one of the best and nutritious ways to stay hydrated is to make yourself some soup, which can be eaten for lunch or dinner. In the summer months creating fruit popsicles is both a hydrating and cooling idea. You can simply add lemon slices or other fruits to a jug of water and pour yourself a glass ever so often. Try and use a smaller glass and drink more often. A larger glass can be difficult to finish but go ahead if this works better for you.

In conclusion, it will only benefit your overall health if you make sure you remain hydrated all year round.

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Source : The South African More