Hydrate the Healthy Way
There’s no doubt about it: when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, hydration is key.
A big part of adopting healthy habits is learning how to tune in to how your body is feeling. This includes noticing when you’re truly hungry or if you’re reaching for food for another reason- perhaps in response to an emotion such as boredom or stress. Another factor that may cause us to think we need food when we actually don’t is our hydration status.
Do you ever feel sluggish, irritable, or have a headache but aren’t particularly thirsty? This may be because your body was mildly dehydrated, but just not quite enough to cause thirst. By the time our brain actually receives a thirst signal from our body, it may be too late! We all know what being thirsty feels like, but surprisingly this may not be the best initial indicator of when to drink. We may reach for a snack to try to feel better when our body actually needs fluid. This is why it’s good to avoid waiting until you’re thirsty to drink.
A good way to accomplish this is by having a “sippable” beverage by your side throughout the day to prevent pre-thirst dehydration symptoms such as low energy and decreased concentration. Not all of our fluid requirements need to be met by consuming beverages since the foods we eat contain water- especially fruits and veggies. Yet another great reason to load up on fresh produce throughout the day!
Everyone has slightly different fluid needs based on a variety of factors including physical activity level, diet, and body size. But a good rule of thumb is to try to drink at least a cup or two of liquids in between meals as well as consume a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Good portable produce snack ideas include cherry tomatoes, berries, apples, oranges, grapes, snap peas, cucumbers, pepper, and celery slices.
Water is always a winner when it comes to a healthy beverage choice, but sometimes a little flavor can help increase palatability making us more likely to keep sipping. Thankfully, there are lots of great ways to enhance water’s flavor without adding significant amounts of sugar or unnatural ingredients.
For a fruity essence, soak berries, apple, cucumber, or citrus slices in water. Add fresh ginger root for a spicy kick, or simply squeeze lemon or lime into the glass for a refreshing pick-me-up. Hot unsweetened or (very) lightly sweetened tea is a good way to stay hydrated during colder weather. Coffee counts too- just don’t rely on this as your main source of fluid intake as it can be dehydrating due to its diuretic effect.
If you are on-the-go and don’t have the time to whip up your own tasty flavor combo with fresh ingredients, there are many naturally flavored beverages available on the market such as Hint Water, made with natural fruit oils and essence. Try to steer clear of artificial sweeteners which can desensitize your taste buds to mother nature’s original sources of sugar contained in fruits, dairy products, and even grains!
One idea to help you drink more water could be treating yourself to a nice water bottle with a fun design which you’ll look forward to using. Your health, happiness, and hydration are worth it!
To try Hint’s tasty all natural flavored water, visit www.hint.com and use code FRUITSTREET at checkout for a discount!