It’s a sneaky little bugger, dehydration. It can come on seemingly by itself, and can cause a myriad of different symptoms including brain fog, fatigue, dizziness, headaches, and more. If one of your new year’s resolutions is more exercise then you may want to try to also increase the amount of water you’re drinking as you’ll be sweating it out in the gym.
It’s hard to make sure you’re getting the recommended amount each day. How do you increase water intake? We are here to save the day with these tried and true tips!
- Get the right cup. Seriously, this can make a huge difference. A favorite cup will make you want to drink more. Have you seen the ones with a timeline of how much to drink throughout the day? A stainless steel tumbler is tried and true at keeping your drink ice cold for over 24 hours.
- Keep water next to you all day. This is why the right cup can be important. Keep your water near you all day long to encourage you to drink more. If you leave the room, take it with you to the next destination.
- Drink a full glass of water first thing when you wake up. I started doing this some years ago, and it has helped me not only wake up but I feel better through the day when I do. It will help boost your metabolism at the start of the day, and it can hydrate after going all night without fluids.
- Drink seltzer water. A little bubbly can make any drink pop! Sometimes I just like the bubbly carbonation in my drink. I mix about half and half seltzer water and regular old tap water.
- Use a medical grade electrolyte. More effective than sports drinks, oral rehydration solutions (ORS) are medical grade electrolytes meant to hydrate quickly and efficiently. For a variety of reasons (including acute and chronic illnesses) water may not be absorbed properly. In those situations, your body can process it too quickly through urination and it won’t hold onto the fluid you need to feel better. Oral rehydration solutions will ensure that your body is effectively distributing water to your vital organs without getting rid of excess. NormaLyte is an oral rehydration solution that uses the WHOs formula for rehydration, and you can get a free sample here.
- Use fruit. It may seem like something that only the people of the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous will do, but you can do it too! Not only will you get the vitamins and minerals from the fruit, you can also entice yourself to pick up the glass to drink more often. Whatever fruit you like, add it in. Strawberries, blueberries, melons, or whatever is in season that you like. Muddle the fruit and mix it in, or just pop the whole thing in. You know those little bottles of concentrated lemon and lime juice you can buy in the grocery store? Those count. Squirt a little of that in there.
- Use herbs. Hello, cucumber and mint! Light and refreshing, herbs can make it a little mix of awesome! Rosemary, lemongrass, ginger, and basil are also good options for herb infused water. Plus, a little goes a long way and lots of herbs have great health benefits too.
- Drink filtered water. This may be a no-brainer, but if you’re drinking straight from the tap then maybe reconsider. Tap water is safe to drink, but if you live in an area like my own then the water kind of… well, it sucks. I splurged on a fancy under the faucet water filtration system and it has not only helped my water consumption but has made my water taste like liquid air, like nothing at all.
- Eat your water. Some foods have a lot of water in them. The good news is that it can contribute to your water goals! Foods like watermelon, celery, lettuce, and cucumbers have very high water content.
- Drink Mixes. If all else fails and you just cannot stand the taste of your water, you can always add a drink mix to it. Crystal Light, Lipton Tea, or anything else can make it more tolerable. As long as you’re getting fluid in, that’s the goal. Just be careful as drink mixes have a lot of preservatives, dyes, and other things that can potentially cause adverse reactions if you suffer from certain chronic conditions, like MCAS.
We briefly mentioned above the benefits of oral rehydration solutions. They are a great way to make sure that the water you’re drinking is being retained. Dehydration can sneak up on you, and if you’re exercising then you should consider using a medical grade electrolyte instead of a sports drink.
Oral rehydration salts, or ORS, are medical grade electrolytes that differ greatly from sports drinks. An exact amount of sodium and salt are needed for maximum absorption of water. Best drank ice cold, NormaLyte is a great option for people during exercise, but also for those with POTS. NormaLyte’s PURE is was made for people with dysautonomia and it’s meant to taste like plain water.