Stay Hydrated, Stay Healthy: Tips for Upping Your Daily Dose of H2O

Women's Health | | Colleen Godin
4 min read

Considering that planet Earth’s surface is composed of around 71% water, and the adult human body is made of more than half H2O – 60% to be exact – you’d think it would be a little easier to stay hydrated. In a fast-paced culture of sports drinks, soda, and coffee, water doesn’t exactly have the most popular marketing campaign. We might be drinking copious amounts of fluids throughout the day, but that doesn’t mean our bodies are getting the lubrication they need to function and keep us healthy.

When we’re even as little as 1% dehydrated, the cellular processes that flush toxins from the body can suffer. Our kidneys are perfectly equipped to filter out whatever the body cannot use – unless they don’t have enough water to work properly. Sugary sodas, chemical-laden energy drinks, and heavy amounts of caffeine are severely dehydrating because they make it difficult for our bodies to absorb water. Imbibing more commercial soft drinks than water also puts extra stress on our kidneys as they struggle to flush out excess calcium, which can lead to painful kidney stones.

Whether you love pure, fresh water or have a serious sweet tooth for soda, there’s no way around the facts. Drinking at least 2.7 liters of water per day is the only way to maintain your pelvic health and keep your kidneys, bladder, and other organs running at optimal speed. It’s not always easy to choose health over a quick sugar or caffeine fix, but that’s why drinking water is a bit like working out. Set goals, commit to a routine, and add a little dose of fun, and you’ll quickly see and feel the positive results of staying hydrated.

Jazz Up Your Drink

Don’t get too down on yourself for disliking water. Your taste buds and brain quickly become addicted to the instant gratification of a coffee or sugar rush. Even though your brain is screaming for more caffeine on Monday, large amounts of the chemical are extremely irritating to the bladder and urinary tract. If a glass of plain water is just too “blah,” you can kick your unhealthy drink vices for good with some flavored or bubbly alternatives.

The zing of carbonation is a great way to spice up your aqua. Buy a SodaStream or carbonator bottle to create bubbles at home from the tap. It’s just as healthy and hydrating as regular flat water (and cheaper than splurging on carbonated bottled water).

Adding fresh fruit – with or without carbonation – is another way to trick your tongue. Squeeze fresh lemon, lime, or orange into a pitcher of ice-cold water for a burst of citrus flavor. You can also buy water pitchers that are specially equipped to hold slices of fruits like blueberries, strawberries, or apples. As a bonus, your body will love the additional antioxidants and vitamins. You’ll never call water “boring” again!

Sip, Don’t Chug

Committing to a hydrated lifestyle doesn’t mean you need to start downing water at break-neck speed. In fact, drinking too much water can lead to water intoxication, a condition cause by a fast, severe drop in the level of sodium in your blood. It’s almost impossible to over-do your water intake to such a degree, but while working on your new health regimen, don’t feel obligated to push yourself past what feels comfortable.

This is especially important for those of us with overactive or weak bladder. Limit your individual intake to around 16 ounces with meals and 8 ounces per serving throughout the rest of the day . It will be easier to reach your goals by mapping out your water intake in small doses, and you’ll take fewer trips to the bathroom to relieve your bursting bladder.

Pencil in Your H2O

Bringing your water intake up to health par is a lot easier when you make a plan and turn it into a routine. A few simple actions throughout the day are all it takes to transform yourself into a moisture devotee.

Take a reusable water bottle to work and aim to re-fill it a few times throughout the day. When you find yourself heading for that second (or third) cup of coffee, skip the brew machine and bring your bottle along for a walk to the water cooler instead.  Your achy back and sleepy brain probably aren’t asking for more caffeine – they’re just really thirsty. We crave energy drinks and espresso because they offer a quick rush, but once the effects wear off, we’re left feeling even more exhausted (and dehydrated) than before. Water takes a little longer to work its’ way through our system, but the benefits are both short and long-term, like increased energy, improved mood, and clearer thinking.

If you’re still struggling to reach your liquid goals, turn healthy habits into a game with the help of your smartphone. There are several apps made just for water slackers that track your daily intake, send reminders, and even grow adorable digital plants with each glass. There’s never been an easier way to stay healthy with a smile.

Please note that advice offered by Intimina may not be relevant to your individual case. For specific concerns regarding your health, always consult your physician or other licensed medical practitioners.

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