4 Easy Ways to Stay Hydrated
- By Morgan Horton
- March 2, 2018
Water keeps your whole body working properly, from your joints to your digestion and even your organs. Staying hydrated is important not only to protect your body, but to prevent fatigue and keep you strong. Dehydration can seriously impact your health both short and long term.
But how much water do we really need and how do we know if we’re hydrated? Dr. Jenni Bruning Brown looked into the most recent research on hydration and shared a few simple guidelines to stay hydrated.
- Most liquids help you stay hydrated. Water is usually your best option, but she says you can also drink coffee, juice, soda or tea. While it may be tempting to pour yourself a salty margarita at a post-work happy hour—rethink it. “Alcohol, especially with salt will not give you the hydrating effects you’re looking for. While some caffeinated drinks can dehydrate you, this is only when they are consumed in excess amounts,” says Jenni. Research suggests that people who drink only moderate amounts of caffeine (2-4 cups of coffee daily) do not experience any dehydration from caffeine intake.
- 6-8 glasses a day is old news. While you may have heard that you should be drinking 8 glasses of water a day, that old adage is changing. “This number is different for everyone and is based on size, age and activity level. There isn’t a right answer,” says Jenni. Other factors include climate, if you’re pregnant and humidity. Here’s a handy formula for how much water you should be drinking:
According to the Mayo Clinic, men should generally drink about 13 cups of water a day, while women should aim for nine. But if you want to determine the exact amount you should be drinking by your body weight, it’s easy to do.
- Take your weight (in pounds) and divide that by 2.2
- Multiply that number depending on your age
- If you’re younger than 30, multiply by 40
- If you’re between 30 and 55, multiply by 35
- If you’re older than 55, multiply by 30
- Divide that sum by 28.3
- Your total is how many ounces of water you should drink each day. Divide that number by 8 to see your result in cups.
- Check for signs of dehydration. The easiest way to know if you’re hydrated is to look at the color of your urine. If it’s so light-colored that you can barely tell you went to the bathroom, then you know you’re well-hydrated. But, if it’s a dark yellow, you’ve got some hydrating work to do.
- Drink. Drink. If you carry a water bottle with you, drinking will become second nature. Here are some ways to make hydration easier:
- Drink a glass of water when you get up in the morning, before you do anything else.
- Keep a water bottle by your desk at work. Drink some each hour, or set an alarm.
- Never pass a fountain without taking a sip and never browse a menu without ordering a water.
Follow these tips to get hydrated. Remember that being hydrated is important not only to protect your body, but to keep feeling strong and energized. With those spring months and warmer temps ahead let’s raise our glasses to hydration!