Keeping your body hydrated is a necessity, but sometimes it's difficult to tell when your body needs water, especially during warmer months. Experts say on average men need 15 cups (3.6 liters) and women need 11 cups (2.6 liters) of water per day. Our bodies are about 60 percent water, and just losing 1.5 percent can be the tipping point for mild dehydration.
Here are five tips on how to keep hydrated throughout the day.
- Keep water close. Wherever you are headed, always bring a reusable water bottle. Have each member of your household choose their own water bottle and label it with their name. Allowing young children to pick a favorite water bottle provides added incentive to take frequent water breaks. Set the water bottles in a high-traffic area or close to the door so you don't forget them when leaving home. And be sure to refill whenever empty.
- Drink good water. Filling your reusable bottle with filtered water can ensure it not only tastes better but is also better for you. Home filtration or reverse osmosis (RO) systems work to reduce contaminants that may be in your tap water. Naturally flavor your water by adding slices of citrus fruits or cucumber, or get creative and add a sprig of Rosemary, Mint or Lavender with your favorite fruit.
- Establish a hydration routine. Don’t wait until your thirsty to start drinking water at that point your body is already dehydrated. If you have trouble remembering to drink water, establish a drinking routine. Start your day with a glass of water, followed by a glass at and between each meal and a glass before bed. Or, drink a small glass of water at the beginning of each hour. Establishing a drinking routine is an easy way to ensure that you reach the recommended water intake each day.
- Increase intake during workouts. A good rule of thumb is to drink water before, during and after a workout. According to the Mayo Clinic, if you exercise or engage in any activity that makes you sweat, you need to drink extra water to compensate for fluid loss. An extra 1.4 to 2.5 cups (.33 to .60 liters) of water should suffice for short bouts of exercise, but intense exercise lasting more than an hour requires more fluid intake. How much depends on how much you sweat and the duration and type of exercise. And don't rely on water fountains; be sure to bring your reusable water bottle to workout sessions.
- Load up on fruits and veggies. Fruits and vegetables are high in water content and an excellent way to complement water intake and stay hydrated. Watermelon, cantaloupe, and strawberries are among fruits with the highest water content. For vegetables, it's cucumbers, iceberg lettuce, celery, tomatoes, and zucchini. Before eating, be sure to rinse produce under filtered water to safely clean and maintain the health benefits. Fruits and veggies are also easy to serve at home and eat on the go.