If you struggle to consume the recommended 11-15 cups of water per day, you are not alone. As many as 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. In our modern age of science, you would think that hydrating would not be such a mystery.
We often come across advice for how to hydrate better without knowing the reason behind it. For instance, most athletes drink sports drinks because they contain electrolytes and many health food diets these days advise you to add lemon juice, lime juice, or cayenne to your water. But why? Why add electrolytes or lemon, or anything to your water?
The trick to better hydration is in understanding how the body uses and absorbs water.
The reason additions like fruit, vegetables, and salt help you hydrate is that they hack into your body's natural capability for survival. Salt is an essential part of our body's composition. It allows our body to retain water for when we need it the most.Fruits, vegetables, and seeds contain a type of water called "gel water" that is slowly absorbed into the body as we eat. These facts lead to a larger question, precisely what is the best way to hack your water for better hydration?
How to Hack Your Water for Better Hydration
By boosting your glass of water with add-ins and supplementing your diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and seeds, you can hack your way to better hydration. When we are hydrated, our digestion runs more smoothly, we have more energy, and we eliminate more harmful toxins from our system. So instead of chugging another glass of plain water, try some of these tricks below.
1. Sea Salt
Not only do our bodies need lots of water, but they also require salt. You may have experienced the results of drinking a couple of glasses of plain water in quick succession.Inevitably, you end up going to the bathroom at least once for every glass you drank.
By adding salt, you suppress your body’s signal that tells your kidneys to get rid of water right away. Of course, too much salt could cause bloating, so you have to get the percentage just right. Natural salts such as sea salt or Himalayan salt are best since they have added nutrients, such as iron, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. A pinch of salt in an 8 oz glass should do the trick.
Not only does adding lemon, lime, or oranges make our water taste delicious, but citrus fruits also provide the body with Vitamin C and potassium. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that supports your immune system, and potassium helps with the balance of water and electrolytes in the body and assists with unwanted fluid retention.
Some studies advise adding citrus to your water when you are trying to lose weight. Although whether or not this is because lemon water increases fluid intake or the nature of the citrus itself is still unclear.
Try adding a couple of slices of lemon, lime, and/or orange to your water. Add a pinch of salt to round it all off. Warm water with lemon can be soothing to the digestive system, but you will get all the benefits listed above no matter the temperature.
Vegetables are the perfect way to hack your way to better hydration. Many of them, such as cucumbers, celery, zucchini, spinach, romaine lettuce, and iceberg lettuce, already have a high water percentage. The best part about getting water from vegetables is that our body is programmed to absorb it more quickly.
Vegetables are natural sources of sodium and have fiber that promotes detoxification. For these reasons, the green juice trend does have some basis in fact. You don’t have to switch your breakfast for green juice every day, but adding green juice to your diet will ensure better hydration and provide your body with essential vitamins and nutrients at the same time.
Our favorite green juice incorporates a whole cucumber, a handful of spinach, half of a red cabbage, and an apple for sweetness. Add a thumb-sized piece of ginger or turmeric for more flavor.
Support Your Body Inside AND Out
These tips will not replace the humble glass of water. Instead, they are here to supplement it and help you support your body from within. Better hydration doesn’t have to be a struggle.
Inhaling glass after glass of plain water can be tedious and, quite honestly, feels like a hassle.Why not try a few of the tips above to make sure you’re getting better hydration? At worst, your daily glass of water tastes better, and at best, you hack your way to a healthier, fuller life.
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February 2021 by John Ford and compiled by numerous media and web sources.