It’s winter, heaters are on full blast, the air often feels drier, and many are traveling; all of which contribute to dehydration. So often we may think the heat of summer as the time to stay hydrated, but staying hydrated in the winter and really any season is just as important. Our bodies are comprised of about 60% water. Studies have shown that hydration is important in just about every function and cell in our bodies, from keeping our skin more supple to digestion, mental processing and keeping our immune system up.
If those aren’t reasons enough- dehydration can also show up in the form of headaches, dry eyes, anxiousness, confusion, dry skin, and low energy levels.
Energetically water is life, it is cleansing and is fluid. Water is a foundational component to the survival of all life on Earth.
If you’re anything like me, you may have a house plant you’ve forgotten to water at some point. Think about how sad, limp and weak it became without water. The good news is with some water and extra TLC I’ve been able to revive those precious plants. Your body is the same way!
So how can you stay hydrated?
The common recommendation is to use your weight as a guide. If you weight 200 pounds, you divide that in half, which is 100 and drink that number in ounces. So a person that weighs 200 pounds will aim for 100 ounces of water a day. Please take note that this is a general guideline. You need to take into account any individual needs you have, medications you are on and of course, always check with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
Hydration is a great opportunity to listen to our bodies. When we listen to the little cues, such as thirst, hunger or time to pee, the easier it is to listen to big things, like intuitive gut feelings. Our bodies are our greatest source of protection and information. They are always giving us information, we just have to get quiet enough to hear what they are telling us.
If we don’t listen to our bodies carefully hunger cravings can be mistaken for dehydration. Dehydration can actually be a root cause of food cravings. For example, while you may be craving cake, you may actually be thirsty. Next time you have a craving, explore and tune into your body. What is it really craving? If this is something that applies to you and you are experiencing thirst, but continues to not address the underlying condition of thirst, over time it can create a disconnection from the body including poor nutritional habits.
The question often becomes how to stay hydrated, especially for those who are not fans of simply drinking plain water. I know I like a bit of sparkle in my life and in my water.
First thing is to shift your mindset and focus on how great it feels to feel hydrated and taking steps towards having thriving health.
Water– Let’s start with the obvious. You can try drinking water plain or add in fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice. You can really add in any fruit such as cucumber, strawberries, raspberries, mint and more, be creative! You may even want to try a fruit-infused water pitcher.
Tea- I’m a huge tea fan and can’t say enough good things about tea. Green teas also come with added benefits such as antioxidants, just avoid adding sugar. Tea is great for traveling, to ensure you are staying hydrated during any delays or long road trips. I bring my own teabags when I travel. Many coffee shops and restaurants at hotels will provide free hot water (a tip is nice though). Gas stations sometimes have hot water as well for free or a small fee for a cup. If I’m on a road trip I will often just bring an extra thermos with hot water or pre-made tea. A travel tea kettle is also a handy addition if you have room. I often by organic and quality whole leaf teas from companies like Art of Tea, the Happy Tea is one of my favorites.
Sparkling water– if you like bubbles or a soda drinker (like I was) sparkling water just might be your jam. I recently took the plunge and bought a Soda Stream in order to reduce bottle waste and I’m so glad that I did. I’ve found that I now drink even more water than I previously did. You can also sometimes like to add a splash of lemon or lime or any fruit juice, pomegranate is another favorite to make your own flavorful mocktail.
Keep in mind as you explore sparkling waters to be mindful of the source as well as added sugars, unhealthy flavorings of additives.
Smoothies– I love smoothies, it really is that simple. They are incredibly hydrating and full of nutrition. Opt for fruit and veggie smoothies. Have fun with smoothies and experiment. If you need a good place to start, start with this post.
Eat your water– Cucumbers, baby carrots, celery, mixed greens, tomatoes, grapefruit, watermelon, raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries are all high in water content, all containing 85% or more of water. Just think about all the nutrition you are getting too!
What to avoid– Skip the sweetened beverages. They are the biggest source of added sugar in the American diet, 47% according to the federal government. Soda, sweetened sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened iced teas all contain liquid sugar. Avoiding sugars in your beverages alone can be a pivotal step towards greater health and well-being.
Keep it simple and sustainable, remember small right actions lead to great health!
Journaling exercises- How do you feel when you are drinking more water? Do you feel more full of life? Does your body feel better? If you are feeling resistance to drinking more water, can you get curious if you are feeling any resistance to the flow of life in other areas of your life?
If you are looking for guidance on how to journal, check out this blog post How to Journal Blog Post
Cheers to thriving health!
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