The general suggestion we all know and ~don't follow~ (is that just me?) when it comes to staying hydrated is to drink eight glasses of water a day. But, who remembers to do that? Especially if you don't feel thirsty all the time? Thanks to research, we know there are a few ways you can hydrate yourself other than just drinking water, so you can at least keep those eight glasses a day interesting.
As I mentioned, I am not exactly the poster child for getting eight glasses of any liquid in in a day. It takes a very conscious effort, including a to-do list, for me to even finish three glasses. It's not that I don't like water, or consider it a chore, because I am a fan of H2O. But sometimes I want something a little more ~inspiring~ to help me ward off dehydration.
It's crucial to keep your body full of fluids. If you fuel your body with fluids you help your system fight off pesky nuisances like headaches and fatigue. Those eight glasses, while seemingly daunting, are crucial. And if they don't have to all be water, it can actually seem achievable. At least for me, because I think I am capable of drinking a pint of tea in under an hour. If you need to up your intake, try something new.
In 2016 The New York Time's blog Well reported on a British study that revealed details that "whole milk ... had a significantly higher hydration index than water." So if you're on the dairy train, this is ~excellent~ news.
Water is necessary for hydration. But to make the suggested eight glasses easier, Self.com suggests adding a touch of flavor to each glass. A little infusion of fruit goes a long way when it comes to staying healthy and hydrated.
Freshly Squeezed Juices
Start your day with a tall glass of freshly squeezed, sweet fruit juice and don't feel bad about not kicking the day off with a pint of water. In the same study reported by The New York Times, orange juice was also considered to have a higher hydration index.
It always feels that around 3 p.m. during the work week, time starts to reduce to the rate of a slug. This would be a good time to give your eyes a break from the screen and walk to the water cooler — or, the tea kettle. The BBC reports, "in a rare study where people drank nothing but tea for the 12 hour duration of the trial, there was no difference in hydration levels between them and the people who drank the same quantity of boiled water." Tea breaks are essential for our hydration efforts, and therefore should be taken often.
Low Alcohol Beer
Alright, let's not get too excited here. This is obviously a happy hour only way of hydration. And I wouldn't endorse relying on a lager to stay hydrated. Men's Fitness reports that researchers, "found lager has the same hydrating potential as water." BUT, they're quick to follow up, heavy beers reverse hydration and so the kind of beer the first study refers to is low-alcohol. I'm talking 2.3% ABV.
Flavored, La Croix or carbonated at home, this frizzy water is a more ~textured~ way to get another glass in for the sake of your hydration and health!
Your eight lattes before noon won't keep you hydrated, I'm afraid. But, a cup of coffee won't lead to dehydration, which it was previously believed to do. Studies are conflicted when it comes to the hydrating prowess of caffeine. It basically depends on how much of a coffee drinker you are. The conclusion NPR draws from multiple findings on the subject? They say, "A daily coffee habit won't lead to dehydration. But it's best to limit caffeine to moderate levels to steer clear of jitters and interruptions to sleep." You're good for a mug, but don't rely on it throughout the day!
You can eat your hydration too. According to active.com, "Not only does the broth contain salt, which helps you retain water and prevent dehydration, many soups are also loaded with hydrating and carbohydrate-rich produce. Eating soup pre-workout can boost energy and performance." Chicken noodle soup is good for the soul and staying hydrated.
Talking about eating your way to hydration, cucumbers contain 96.7% water, which is "the highest water content of solid food" according to health.com. That lunch salad full of cucumbers? That could be helping to ward of dehydration!
On that note, watermelon is 91.5% water making summer fruit spreads basically a hydration station. I'll gladly down an entire watermelon and count it towards a glass of water.
OK, OK, there was a craze that coconut water was even better for you than H2O. Research was conducted to prove or debunk this and it turns out it's not exactly the better way to get hydrated. But it does pack many electrolytes that can keep you hydrated. Don't consider it the almighty way to get all your water in, but don't not drink it if its sitting on your desk.
Athletes sweat. When you run on the treadmill, you sweat. And when you lose that water from your body, you need to refuel. If you forgot your water bottle, a sports drink will do well in replenishing your body. WebMD writes, "sports drink will provide carbohydrates for energy plus minerals to replace lost electrolytes (sodium, potassium, magnesium) in your sweat." If you're looking to stay hydrated while you're running a marathon or on a long summer hike, a sports drink could help you stay energized and full of fluids. Good thing there are a lot of trees to pee behind on a hike.
Celery? 95.4% water. And you can just straight up wash and eat it, enjoying that satisfying crunch, whenever you want.