How to stay hydrated

Posted on by Hannah Murphy. This entry was posted in Eating Well, Staying Healthy. Bookmark the permalink.

Staying hydrated is essential for maintaining overall health and well-being. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete, a busy professional or simply navigating daily life, proper hydration can enhance physical performance, cognitive function and energy levels.

On average, humans are made up of about 55 – 60% water, which is why it is so crucial to drink enough water. Proper hydration supports your heart in pumping blood to your muscles and ensures every organ in your body functions optimally.

Be mindful of the signs of dehydration, such as dry mouth, headache, dizziness, confusion, sleepiness, fatigue or dark-colored urine. If you notice any of these symptoms, its time to increase water intake.

Check out our previous article to discover the signs and symptoms of dehydration.

How much water should you be drinking?

There are many different recommendations and standards set by medical professionals ranging from 8 cups a day to 12. According to Dr. Marie Vrablik, emergency medicine physician at Harborview Medical Center, “the right amount depends on your activity level, body size and whether you’re pregnant or nursing.”

The amount of water you need also depends on where and how you spend your day. If you are exercising or spending time in the sun, you will need more water than on a lazy day on the couch.

Aim to drink water throughout your day and be intentional about listening to your body. If you are thirsty, you need water!

Challenge yourself with The Whole U’s 28-Day Hydration Challenge: Fill your Cup!

Tips to get your daily dose of water

  • Find a water bottle you really like and will use, then take it with you everywhere.
  • Drink a glass of water before and after each meal.
  • Make water more enjoyable by adding lemon, lime, cucumber or ice cubes made of juice with no sugar added.
  • Drink flavored, carbonated water with no calories.
  • Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink water.
  • Monitor urine color: lemonade is good, apple juice is too dark.
  • Increase water/fluid intake when exercising, especially outside in the heat.
  • Eat fruits and vegetables high in water content.

Up your water game with The Whole U’s Drinks in a Jar Handout.

Water doesn’t have to come in a glass

Of course, water isn’t the only game in town. A variety of fruits and vegetables have high water content that can provide a significant amount of fluids to help your body to stay hydrated along with water.

Which foods are high in water content?

Here’s a breakdown of some high-water content foods with tips for how to serve and enjoy them!

Foods Water % Recipe Ideas
Watermelon 92% A great addition to salads or refreshing on its own as a side dish or dessert.
Strawberries 91% Mix with nuts and yogurt for a quick and easy breakfast!
Cantaloupe 90% Wrap in very thin slices of prosciutto for a sweet/savory app, perfect for an al fresco dinner.
Peaches 89% Delicious grilled, roasted or eaten out of hand, careful to catch all the juices!
Oranges & Grapefruit 88% Slice into rounds and sprinkle with chopped mint for a refreshing citrus salad.
Cucumber 95% Raw, in salads, or julienned for scooping dips and spreads.
Zucchini 94% Cooked and chilled for cold soups, or seeded and stuffed with ricotta and lemon zest.
Celery 95% Coat with peanut butter and raisins to make ants on a log.
Cottage Cheese 80% Lighten up a spinach dip with this healthier base or eat as is with fruit.
Plain Yogurt 88% Mix with any water-rich fruit or substitute as a creamy base for dips and sauces.
Tomatoes 94% In season, slice theme thickly and eat raw with a touch of salt, pepper. Add olive oil and mozzarella.
Cabbage 92% Shred and toss with thinly sliced red onion, carrots, caraway, vinegar for a quick slaw.
Cauliflower 92% Slice thickly, season with olive oil, salt, pepper and cumin, and grill for a vegetarian “steak” dinner.
Bell Peppers 92% Wonderful when grilled and used in fajitas or burritos.

Ready to up your hydration game? Take the UW Summer Olympics Challenge and go for the gold by meeting daily goals for exercise, nutrition, hydration, mindfulness, connection and kindness. Participate on your own or with a team! And support Special Olympics Washington while you support your own wellness.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>