Did you know that the human body is 70% water? It should come as no surprise that staying hydrated helps you stay healthy. Among other things, water is a key ingredient for maintaining joint lubrication, blood circulation, skin health, digestive health, bowel function, immune function, and a healthy weight. Dehydration – the condition of not having enough water and electrolytes in the body- is dangerous, and can even be life-threatening.

So how do we make sure we have enough water in our bodies to keep our skin glowing and our energy flowing throughout the day?

01 Carry it with you.

Invest in a reusable water bottle and keep a glass by your bed.

02 Think water is boring?

Throw in some lemon, lime, orange, cucumber, and/or mint, to infuse it with flavor, or try sparkling!  (Click here for a few of our favorite infused water recipes!) Most liquids, with the exception of coffee and alcohol, are hydrating, but we recommend avoiding sports drinks and sodas as these refined sugars have negative effects.

03 Feeling chilly?

Find a flavor of tea that you can enjoy without adding sugar. According to Nursing Times, “Drinking four to six mugs of [unsweetened] tea a day is as good for keeping you hydrated as a liter of water”.

04 Count your cups!

Use a water bottle or cup that contains a set amount of fluid and keep track of how many times you drink it. This will help you track how well you’re doing, and you might even start to notice how much better you feel when you’re drinking more water throughout the day.

05 Make a trigger.

One tried and true example? Make it a habit to down a full glass of water before eating. Studies suggest that people who drink a glass of water before a meal, eat fewer calories – perhaps because they were confusing their thirst with hunger, or perhaps because the water takes up some of the room in your stomach that you’d otherwise fill with more food than your body needs.

06 Know when you need more.

This one’s intuitive: the more you sweat, the more you need. If you’re exercising, you should be turning to that water bottle once every 20 minutes. A well-hydrated athlete can work out longer and more effectively.

07 Know the signs of dehydration

When you pee, it should be light in color. If your pee looks like apple juice, you need to drink more water. You can also tell you’re dehydrated if you lightly pinch and pull up your skin and it stays standing up. Other signs/symptoms include dry skin, muscle cramps, headaches, dry mouth, fatigue, feeling confused or disoriented, rapid pulse or breathing, and (in case this isn’t obvious) thirst.

Above are some general strategies to help you stay hydrated, but we’ve found many of our members have condition-specific barriers that need to be addressed. Talk to your Health Advisor for more specific tips and advice.

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