June 23 is National Hydration Day, a holiday that serves as a reminder for all of us of how important it is to drink water and keep hydrated. This day falls on the first week of Summer, as it is even more crucial to keep hydrated during the hotter months. Water is vital in keeping us alive and healthy, and several health issues come with not drinking enough of it.
-What about the advice to drink 8 glasses a day?
You've probably heard the advice to drink eight glasses of water a day.
Most healthy people can stay hydrated by drinking water and other fluids whenever they feel thirsty. For some people, fewer than eight glasses a day might be enough. But other people may need more. Drink according to your lifestyle and health needs.
-Is water the only option for staying hydrated?
No. You don't need to rely only on water to meet your fluid needs. What you eat also provides a significant portion. For example, many fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon and spinach, are almost 100% water by weight.
In addition, beverages such as milk, juice and herbal teas are composed mostly of water. Even caffeinated drinks — such as coffee and soda — can contribute to your daily water intake. But go easy on sugar-sweetened drinks. Regular soda, energy or sports drinks, and other sweet drinks usually contain a lot of added sugar, which may provide more calories than needed.
For a healther alternative, add fruits like citrus, berries or even vegetables like, cucumbers to water for added nutritional benefits and flavor. This is a great option for those who think water taste funny...
How do I know if I'm drinking enough?
Your fluid intake is probably adequate if:
- You rarely feel thirsty.
- Your urine is colorless or light yellow.
Your doctor or dietitian can help you determine the amount of water that's right for you every day.
To prevent dehydration and make sure your body has the fluids it needs, make water your beverage of choice.
It's a good idea to drink a glass of water:
- With each meal and between meals.
- Before, during and after exercise.
- If you feel thirsty.
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