How To Stay Hydrated

How To Stay Hydrated

Many people, once the winter cold has passed and sunny days make their appearance, think that it is time to slowly improve their body. The first step is to go to a gym. In addition to sports clothes and a pair of running shoes, choosing the right workout plan, what we should take special care is to ensure our hydration! How to stay hydrated, why is hydration so important, and how can we ensure it?

During the summer season and especially under the sun, water and body fluid losses increase, so we become dehydrated when we don’t consume enough fluids. Τhe adequate and proper hydration of the body is very important. Many people are misinformed and tend to think that drinking coffee or soft drinks is sufficient to keep the body hydrated, but that’s not the case.

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The importance of water

Water is a clear and tasteless liquid and is the most important ingredient in human functions. It is contained in the body in combination with proteins, carbohydrates and electrolytes. The main functions of water in our body are its action as a solvent of ion and body molecules, as a means of transporting various substances, as a lubricant, as a regulator of body temperature, while contributing to the homeostasis and maintenance of the cells of the body. It also allows nutrients to be transferred to cells, helping to smooth out digestion and absorption of nutrients (especially water-soluble vitamins) and to hydrate the skin. It is the basic constituent of blood, which in turn is the largest carrier of oxygen, nutrients and hormones. Conversely, dehydration causes constipation, intense headaches, dry mouth, dizziness, weakness, tiredness, muscle cramps, etc.

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Hydration needs

About 50-70% of our body consists of water (men 60%, women 51%, average sized individuals 60-70%, overweight or obese 45-55%), and our needs vary according to gender, age and health status. According to the Institute of Medicines (IOM), 13 glasses of liquids per day for men and 9 glasses for women is the amount needed to adequately hydrate the body. In very hot or cold environments the needs for liquids are drastically increased. Another way to calculate our fluid needs is: 35 ml of fluid / kg of body weight for adults. Normal consumption of liquids (including food) is 3.7 lt / day for men and 2.7 lt / day for women.

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Add flavor to your water!

Improving the taste of water makes it easier to drink, more palatable and refreshing during the hot summer months. Some smart ways are:

  • Peas or slices of cucumber, lemon or musk, and some mint leaves
  • Strawberries cut into thin slices, lemon and fresh basil
  • A little watermelon cut into cubes and mint leaves
  • Pineapple cut into cubes, sliced orange and a little grated fresh ginger
  • Orange slices and a few slices of lemon juice

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Fruit & Veggie smoothies

Smoothies are thick textured fluids that contain mainly fruits, vegetables or other high nutrient ingredients. They are excellent options for dinner or snacks when you make them with natural ingredients. Fruit & Veg smoothies have many and various benefits — they’re easily digestible, super rich in vitamins and nutrients and of course an excellent source of hydration.

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Home made ice-tea

What better than to make your own frozen tea at home on a hot summer day? In addition to its detoxifying properties, tea is an excellent source of electrolytes and it is certainly much cheaper than ready-made powder or bottled ice tea. You can easily control its calories by increasing or decreasing the amount of sugar you add. Chamomile, mint & lemon, ginger and green tea are only some of the many examples that you can make at home to stay hydrated and refreshed.

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What to avoid

Limit the consumption of caffeine, beverages containing it, soft drinks and spirits. Alcohol, coffee and beverages containing caffeine are not considered moisturizers for hydration. Instead, they favor the dehydration of the body due to increased urination, resulting in our water and fluid needs increasing. More than 2 pints or beer a day (especially during the day), more than 4 coffees or 2 espressos per day are considered over-consumption.

Do not wait to get thirsty. When you feel the thirst, the body is already dehydrated. Have a glass or bottle of water or a drink of your choice next to you and have a sip frequently throughout the day.