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3 Ways to Help You Stay Hydrated

By Stephen R. Farris

Have you experienced muscle cramps, dry or flushed looking skin, fever or chills from being out in the heat, or something as simple as the occasional bad breath? It might be signs that you're dehydrated.

The good news is, you can remedy any of those -- as long as they're not the result of underlying illnesses -- by simply adding more water to your diet.

Water is still the number one way to replenish the fluids in your body. According to the National Academy of Sciences, Engineer, and Medicine, men should consume approximately 13 (8 oz.) cups of water each day. For women, the number is 9 (8 oz.) cups of water per day.

However, you should spread those cups throughout the day, or even certain times of the day to reap the benefits of keeping your fluid levels as close to normal as possible.

Drink Water After Waking in the Morning

To begin with, we usually wake up a little dehydrated after spending on average, 7 to 8 hours sleeping. It's recommended to drink at least two cups upon waking up to help kick-start your body. While coffee is usually the first drink of the day for many people, it still doesn't replace water. But after you've downed those first two cups of H2O, then proceed with your favorite java.

Drink Water Before Meals

Drinking water just before meals not only helps with hydration, but also curbs our hunger so we don't eat more than we should, especially if you're trying to watch and/or maintain your weight. It is also recommended to drink water during your meals to aid in the digestion of high-fiber foods. So next time you're eating side dishes of broccoli, don't forget to swig down some water.

Those Midafternoon Sluggish Moments

Whether you're at work, home, or studying for finals at college, usually around mid afternoon we start to feel a little sluggish, sometimes to the point of wanting to take a nap. But because we don't always have time for that type of luxury (napping), we have to figure out a way to keep "marching" on. Usually the first idea is to grab a cup of coffee or a soda. However, your best option is still water. Drinking water around that midafternoon time can help preserve the energy you have left to finish the rest of the afternoon, plus it'll help keep you in a better mood.

The fact is, water is your best alternative -- not to mention, it should be your first -- to keep hydrated, plus it's calorie-free.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Rockville, Md.

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