When we try to support our health, oftentimes we think about which foods to eat or which exercises to incorporate. But one important lifestyle factor that sometimes falls to the wayside is staying hydrated.
Since water makes up around 60% of our bodies, falling out of balance can cause your body to feel a bit out of whack.
The benefits of hydration
Drinking enough of the right fluids does more than simply quench your thirst. Ensuring that your hydration is in check can offer you a slew of benefits that you may not even think of.
- Keeps your skin looking healthy.
Just like any other part of the body, your skin is made up of cells that consist of water. Drinking enough fluids can help your skin cells stay hydrated and healthy. Being dehydrated can present itself by having tight, flaky, and dry skin.
Wrinkling can also appear if you aren’t downing enough fluids on a regular basis. No matter how fancy your face cream is, it won’t combat the negative effects of neglecting your hydration.
- Helps you stay cool.
Whether it is due to being outside during a sizzling summer day, experiencing a fever, or finishing up a long-distance run, your body can become hotter than what is considered “normal.”
Luckily, your body will produce sweat to help your body cool down. But too much sweat means your body is losing too much fluid. Dehydration can play a role in your body’s ability to sweat, which can result in some very hot and sticky situations.
- Helps keep your bowel movements moving.
When people become constipated, many automatically turn to traditional remedies like prunes or laxatives. Dehydration can make it hard for things in your gut to move, and as a result can lead to a challenging time when trying to go number 2. Staying hydrated helps keep bowel movements healthy and helps reduce your risk of experiencing constipation.
- May help you take in fewer calories.
Have you ever come home from a hot day and craved a frozen fruit pop or scoop of ice cream? Chances are, you were thirsty instead of hungry. Staying hydrated can help you determine whether you are truly hungry and in need of a snack or simply thirsty.
How to stay hydrated
Staying hydrated can help your body stay healthy during these hot summer months. While grabbing a sports drink or juice are common practices when people are feeling parched, there may be better choices.
Of course, water is a safe option to keep you hydrated without loading your body with tons of sugar or artificial ingredients. But data from Scotland's St. Andrews University suggests that there may be beverages that are even more hydrating than plain old H2O. Namely, drinks that contain a little bit of carbs helps hydrate even better than water.
For example, Drink Simple Maple Water not only contains a small amount of natural carbohydrates, but it also contains natural electrolytes like potassium and magnesium which are important to help maintain hydration status. In fact, the University of Northern Texas found that maple water hydrates at double the speed as regular water. I’ll drink to that!
Choosing hydrating beverages like Drink Simple Maple Water instead of drinks that contain caffeine or excessive amounts of sugar can be a smart step towards your health.
Some other tips to keeping your thirst quenched include:
- Keeping a filled water bottle with you at all times to make drinking water easy.
- Avoiding alcohol, which can dehydrate you.
- Starting your day with a hydrating drink like Drink Simple Maple Water before your morning cup of coffee to begin your morning on a healthy note.
- Choosing hydrating foods like watermelon, which is made of over 90% water.
Staying hydrated is an important goal that can have a profound effect on your health.
The key is to stay hydrated to avoid dehydration, a condition that can cause symptoms like irritability, tiredness, dizziness, and other not-so-pleasant consequences. Choosing drinks that contain a small amount of carbohydrates and electrolytes like Drink Simple Maple Water and making sure that you are actually drinking them are the key to giving your body what it needs.
Written by Lauren Manaker MS, RDN, LD, CLEC
Lauren is a nutritionist and executive committee member of the Women's Health DPG of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, a recipient of Emerging Leader in Women's Health Award from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the author of Fueling Male Fertility. You can find her on Instagram at @LaurenManaker_rdn or on her website, Nutrition Now Counseling.
Edited by Nancy Chen
Photos by Kate Milford Photography