The 4 Best Hydration Hacks To Try Right Now, Say Experts
Staying hydrated is key to more than just dealing with thirst. "Drinking enough water each day is crucial for many reasons: to regulate body temperature, keep joints lubricated, prevent infections, deliver nutrients to cells, and keep organs functioning properly," according to Harvard University's T.H. Chan School of Public Health. That's not to mention the fact that "being well-hydrated also improves sleep quality, cognition, and mood."
So, how much water do you need in order to keep your body in tip-top shape? While the exact amount varies depending on factors such as your lifestyle and gender, an average woman who lives in temperate climates should aim for 11.5 cups of fluids per day, while an adult man should drink 15.5 cups, according to the Mayo Clinic.
That's why so many people try out different ways to make sure that they're staying properly hydrated. There's even a fad where people can visit water therapy clinics that inject fluids intravenously—but as Popular Science points out, it's usually unnecessary for healthy people (and can cost a pretty penny, too).
Fortunately, we've asked a few experts to offer their best hydration hacks—and these tips are affordable, manageable, and incredibly beneficial to you and your body. Keep reading to see them, and next, don't miss The #1 Best Juice to Drink Every Day, Says Science.
Drink cold beverages
While enjoying ice water can certainly be refreshing, it can also be an ideal option for hydration. "Studies have shown that cold beverages improve thermoregulation better during activity in hot environments," Brian Bender, Ph.D., certified nutritionist, and cofounder of Intake Health, a company that has developed a hydration monitoring technology for athletes, tells Eat This, Not That!.
"Sweating is reduced, as a response, and therefore, your hydration status is improved by lowering water and electrolyte loss," Bender adds.
Opt for electrolytes
"Drinking water with electrolytes, particularly sodium and potassium, can improve rehydration after exercise," Bender says. "Sweating causes a loss of sodium that needs to be replenished to maintain proper blood osmolality."
At the same time, it's important to limit electrolyte drinks if you aren't exercising. "If this habit extends beyond post-exercise, chronic excess sodium typically leads to high blood pressure in most individuals," Bender says.
Add flavor to your water
Not everyone finds water refreshing. That's why Julia Denison, MS, RD, LDN, a registered dietitian who specializes in sports nutrition recommends: "If you don't like the taste of plain water, add a low-calorie addition, such as lemon juice, cucumbers, or herbs such as basil. One of my favorite water concoctions is the addition of lemon juice and lavender."
Related: 50 Best Waters for Weight Loss
Eat hydrating food
Drinking water isn't the only way to make sure that your body stays hydrated.
"You can improve the health qualities of your fluid intake by eating more fruits and vegetables," Bender says. "On average, a quarter of your water intake comes from food, and moisture-rich fruits and vegetables provide excellent nutrition alongside their water content."
To find out more about what you can eat in order to keep your fluids up, be sure to read 23 Water-Rich, Hydrating Foods.