10 Tips To Keep You Healthy And Hydrated

12 min read JUL 05, 2023

Pool days, vacation travels, gardening, cookouts, camping, and more. The lazy, crazy, hazy days of summer are here and for most, that means more time spent enjoying the great outdoors.

But, to make the most of your time spent soaking up hours and hours of summer fun (and sun), it’s imperative that you stay hydrated.

The risk of heat related illnesses such as cramps, heat stroke, and heat exhaustion increases without proper hydration. And in fact, the health of your whole body, with or without the influence of heat, hinges on hydration.

It is true that we often hear more about hydration in the summer months as the increases in temperatures cause our bodies to lose a greater amount of water, necessitating reminders to “drink your water, people,” as Tony Horton would say.

But, as hydration is key to whole body health, today we’d like to discuss the importance of hydration, looking at why it matters, how it benefits your health, and some tips for remaining hydrated throughout the hot summer months and beyond.

The Importance Of Staying Hydrated

The Importance Of Staying Hydrated

The human body is made up of approximately 60% water. Your heart and brain are made of more than 70% water, and your lungs are composed of even more, at approximately 83%.

All of your cells, tissues, and organs need water to function. So, when you’re not properly hydrated, your health suffers.

Most of us drink some form of liquid throughout each day. And, some of the foods we eat provide hydration as well. But unfortunately, many things rob our bodies of needed hydration.

  • When you spend time in hot, humid environments, this can deplete water within your body.
  • Physical activity can lead to water loss through sweat.
  • Some of the foods you eat, such as sugary or salty items, can rob water from your body.
  • High protein diets require more water consumption to aid in your body’s ability to metabolize naturally occurring elements in this macronutrient.
  • When you consume caffeine and/or alcohol, these can act as a diuretic which can be dehydrating, prompting a greater need for fluid intake.
  • Digestive issues like diarrhea can cause dehydration.
  • Certain medications can act as a diuretic, causing your body to lose water.

When you don’t hydrate properly, or when any of the above mentioned items causes your body to lose more water than you are able to quickly replenish, you can suffer a multitude of adverse health symptoms.

Headaches, constipation, dry mouth, and fatigue are all symptoms of your body not getting the water it desperately needs to function.

But, these symptoms can grow worse, causing greater damage if your body doesn’t receive needed hydration on a regular basis.

A recent study has concluded that adults who don’t receive regular proper hydration age faster, are at an elevated risk of developing chronic disease, and are more likely to die at a younger age.

Even more, when you don’t drink enough water,

  • your body can’t properly rid itself of toxins
  • your immune system is weakened
  • your bowels can’t function properly
  • you’re at a greater risk of gaining weight
  • you’re more susceptible to kidney stones and even kidney failure

On the other hand, when you remain hydrated the health of your entire body improves!

Drinking enough water:

  • provides needed lubrication for your joints
  • regulates body temperature
  • aids in preventing against infection
  • allows for proper nutrient delivery to cells, tissues, and organs
  • improves sleep quality
  • enhances brain performance, including memory, concentration, mood, and reaction time
  • promotes proper weight management
  • regulates blood pressure
  • aids in proper digestion
  • supports healthy detoxification through breathing, perspiration, urination, and the moving of your bowels.
  • keeps the minerals needed (and used) within the body (especially the heart) in a healthy balance

So then, how much water should you be drinking? And, can you actually drink too much water?

When it comes to hydration, everybody is different, and every body is different.

The average adult loses 8-12 cups of water each day simply through normal bodily processes and functions like respiration, perspiration, urine, and bowel movements. We even lose water during sleep.

And, personal needs can vary greatly depending on your habits and health status.

For instance, if you’re taking medications that have a natural diuretic effect, you may need to drink more water to accommodate for any loss of fluid.

Maybe you workout regularly, and those sweat sessions likely mean you need to replenish any fluid lost through physical activity.

Or, perhaps your job requires you to spend a lot of time outdoors in the heat. Whether you feel the effects of dehydration or not, exposure to such temperatures or conditions likely requires you to amp up your hydration efforts to accommodate for any fluid loss.

Then, there are some folks who may need to monitor water intake to ensure they don’t drink too much.

While these instances are rare, if you have heart, kidney, or liver disorders you may need to talk with your doctor to better understand your personal hydration needs.

On average though, the expert-recommended requirements for proper hydration are fairly straight forward.

Most people should aim to drink 25-50% of their body weight in ounces of water or other hydrating beverages each day.

For instance, if you weigh 180 pounds, you would seek to drink 45-90 ounces of water daily.

And, some folks recommend simply shooting for 8 glasses of water a day for an easier method to track intake.

Of course, water should always be your first and best choice when it comes to proper, healthy hydration. But, aside from water, other hydrating beverages include coffee and tea without sugary additions, sparkling water, and juiced fruits and vegetables.

What if you don’t like water? What if you have trouble tracking the amount you drink daily? When’s the best time of day to drink water? We’ll address each of these questions and more as we now look at the best tips for keeping you hydrated!

10 Tips For Staying Hydrated

1- First Things First

First Things First

One of the best ways to keep your body hydrated is to start early. Even better, hydrate first thing in the morning when you wake.

Personally, I find it easiest to do this when I keep a glass or tumbler on my nightstand next to my bed. If I get up and plan to drink a glass or two of water, I can easily get distracted by my laundry list of to-dos. Then, before I know it, hours have passed, and I’ve yet to take a sip.

If you keep water near your bed, when you awake, plan to finish at least a glass of water, then seek to have one more glass before you do anything else.

Most experts recommend starting your day with two glasses of water, then following up with a glass before each meal or snack.

If you’re not used to drinking a lot of water, this can sound like a lot, but trust me, you’ll soon adjust and your body will thank you tremendously! (Just remember those health benefits we discussed earlier.)

2- Keep Track

Keep Track

Journalize or use your phone to keep track of how much water you’re drinking throughout the day, then be sure to jot down how you’re feeling when staying hydrated.

Sure, at first your entries are likely to read: “I’m in the bathroom a lot more now that I’m drinking water.” But, this will level out over time, and those entries or notes will begin to read: “I have more energy, my skin is glowing,” etc.

You can even utilize your smartphone to keep track of your intake as well as set goals for how much you plan to drink in a given day.

Or, to ensure success, you can set alarms on your phone throughout the day reminding you to drink. Or, if you’re like me, you may prefer an app to track, remind, and journalize all in one place.

3- Swap Drinks

If you’re used to drinking sugary sodas or even diet drinks throughout the day, swap these drinks out for water.

Not only will you reduce your calorie intake with such a switch, you’ll also stay more hydrated.

This is due to the fact that most sodas contain caffeine which can have a diuretic effect. Then, the sodium and sugar content of sodas contributes to dehydration as well.

Even popular sports’ drinks that are marketed as ‘thirst quenching’ can have high amounts of sugar and sodium which can be dehydrating.

At the end of the day, water is always your best bet for proper hydration.

4- Infuse Water With Flavor

If you read the last line of the section above and thought “bleh, water’s so bland,” then this section’s for you.

Some folks just don’t care for drinking water, plain. And, that’s okay. There’s a variety of ways you can add flavor to your water without sacrificing health or hydration.

Many fruits, vegetables, spices, and herbs make great water add-ins that not only enhance the flavor of your H2O, but also provide benefits to your health.

The best way to infuse such flavors into your water is to do so in a large pitcher that you can store in your refrigerator, though there are also single serving options on the market that allow you to add items to infuse flavor into your beverage.

I like to slice a few fresh lemons or limes and place them into a large (mine is 64 ounces) mason jar to store in my refrigerator. This infuses the juice from the citrus as well as the healthy oils found in their outer flesh into the water.

There are also infusion baskets you can purchase to place into a large pitcher where you can add fresh strawberries, peaches, pineapple, basil, cucumber, ginger, thyme, mint, cinnamon, …as I mentioned above, the possibilities are seemingly endless.

My personal favorite (aside from my go-to citrus infusion) is pineapple with a bit of mint.

Get creative and find what flavors or combinations work best for you. Just remember, when infusing, try to finish those flavors within 24 hours, as leaving fruit and herbs in your water longer than this can result in a bitter taste.

5- Consume Foods With A High Water Content

Consume Foods With A High Water Content

Fruits and vegetables aren’t just a great way to add flavor to your water, you can also ensure that you remain hydrated throughout the day by incorporating plenty of produce into your diet.

Many fruits and vegetables have a high water content, such as strawberries, watermelon, celery and spinach. These options and some others are made up of nearly 90% water, making such selections a great way to keep your body hydrated.

6- A Great Water Bottle Can Help

A Great Water Bottle Can Help

Do you remember in elementary school how a brightly colored, creatively designed, new pencil or notebook made doing schoolwork so much more fun? Just me? Okay, well anyways…the same concept can be true for hydration as well.

So, seek to purchase a fun, personally-pleasing water bottle or tumbler. This will serve as a motivator and reminder to drink more water throughout the day.

Some options even have labels which help you keep track of the amount you’ve consumed.

Personally, I’ve found the most effective way for me to drink enough water is by using a large tumbler.

For reference, my family has dubbed my water tumbler “the tank.” And that’s just fine, they can laugh it up, I know I drink a lot more water when I don’t have to repeatedly fill my “tank.” At 40 ounces, I generally only have to refill once. Add in a cup of coffee and a sparkling water sometime throughout the day, and I’m all set…and hydrated!

7- Listen To Your Body

Listen To Your Body

Aside from fancy water bottles to keep you drinking, it’s important to note that each of us has a built-in hydration reminder. That’s right, if we listen, our body’s are powerfully equipped with ways to signal the need for hydration.

A simple feeling of thirst is your body’s way of saying, “I need a drink.” But, there’s a few other warning signs as well, such as:

  • A throbbing feeling in your head can signify the need for water. A headache is often another cry for hydration, though this can occur after the need for water is intensified.
  • Muscle cramps or pain in your joints is another way your body is communicating the need for more water.
  • Craving salty (or sugary) foods could be your body’s way of telling you that you need water and electrolytes.
  • If you are experiencing dry eyes, skin, or a lack of saliva (dry mouth) your body is likely signaling the need for more water.
  • Feeling dizzy, disoriented, tired, or lethargic can all be ways your body is communicating the need for hydration.

8- Urine Indication

Dark urine can be an indicator of dehydration in some people.

So, be sure to check your urine throughout the day. Light or clear colored urine is generally a sign of proper hydration.

9- Keep Electrolytes Balanced

Keep Electrolytes Balanced

We mentioned eating more fruits and vegetables to keep you hydrated, but there’s another benefit to adding these healthy items to your diet.

Aside from their water content, fresh fruits and vegetables provide electrolytes, which are used by your cells to aid in chemical reactions which balance fluids both inside and outside of cells.

Electrolytes maintain this balance by directing water and nutrients to the areas of your body that need it most.

Then, electrolytes themselves need to be balanced; without this equilibrium your blood doesn’t clot properly, acids within your body aren’t balanced, your heart doesn’t beat properly, and your muscles don’t contract as needed.

You can even consider adding a bit of Himalayan sea salt to your diet as this mineral helps to balance potassium and magnesium, providing electrolytes and enhancing hydration.

10- Exercise

Obviously as you sweat throughout exercise, this can necessitate drinking more fluids to replenish what’s lost throughout physical activity.

However, exercise can also aid in hydration as movement increases circulation and improves electrolyte levels to ensure your cells are healthy.

So, compensate for any lost fluid due to exercise, but be sure to engage in regular physical activity to support healthy electrolyte levels thereby improving hydration.

Medical Disclaimer
This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Charles Livingston nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.

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Headshot of Becky Livingston Vance
Becky Livingston Vance Content writer

Becky is a mother, educator, and content writer for Lifeboost Coffee. She has had three years’ experience as a writer, and in that time she has enjoyed creatively composing articles and ebooks covering the topics of coffee, health and fitness, education, recipes, and relationships.


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