As the weather gets warmer, you might notice that you get thirsty more often.
However, when you don’t have enough fluid in your body—also known as dehydration—you can feel many other symptoms besides thirst.
Dehydration can lead to:
- feeling weak or dizzy
- mental “fogginess”
- kidney stones
- urinary tract infections
According to Harvard Medical School, water helps your body to:
- keep your blood pressure stable
- cool down on hot days
- carry oxygen to your cells
- flush bacteria from your bladder
- cushion your joints
- keep your sodium (salt) levels from getting too high
Sometimes there is nothing better on a hot day than a tall, cool glass of water.
At Parkland Community Health Plan, we know it can be hard to drink enough water during busy days—and weeks.
So how can you sneak in some more sips?
Set a daily goal
Find out how much water you need every day. Do your best to drink at least that amount.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics notes that women need about 11 or 12 cups of water a day. Men need about 15 cups. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you will need even more.
An easy way to see if you are getting enough water is look at your urine. If it is dark yellow or amber, you might need more fluids.
Sip throughout the day
At the sink? Take a drink. Pass a water fountain? Take a drink. Getting takeout? Get water to go. Whatever you’re doing, add a sip of water if you can.
Use a smaller glass for quicker “win”
How much is a “glass” of water? You decide. Try drinking from a small juice glass several times a day instead of filling a jumbo bottle. It all adds up!
Have a favorite glass? Use it.
Maybe you have a fancy glass with a stem. Maybe you love your thrift store mug. Make it a little more fun to drink water—pour it into your favorite glass, mug, cup or bottle.
Try room temperature instead of ice cubes
Skip the fridge and the ice cubes. Some people can drink double or triple the amount of water when it’s not ice-cold.
Keep a reusable water bottle with you
When you’re on the go, take water with you. Fill several reusable bottles, cartons or jugs ahead of time. Keep one by the front door so you won’t forget to grab it when you leave home.
Grab a water instead of a soda
Sometimes you crave a sugary drink. Sometimes you just want “something” to drink. Either way, choose water! Drink it after the soda, iced tea, lemonade or juice—or drink it instead.
Eat more foods high in water
Cantaloupe, strawberries and watermelon contain a lot of water. So do lettuce, celery, cucumbers and tomatoes … and many others. Whenever you can, choose fruits and vegetables instead of salty snacks.
Be patient with yourself
It takes time to build good habits.
Whatever tips you try, remember that every bit, or sip, counts.
Above all, remember: The best time to drink water is before you feel thirsty!
Need a new water bottle?
As a PCHP member, you can earn rewards like sports equipment and gift cards for completing health activities like checkups and shots. To see a list of rewards, click here.
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