The hotter it gets outside, the more liquid you need to ingest. You sweat at a much heavier rate (in order to help keep yourself cool), and it’s likely that you’re much thirstier as well. In order to replenish itself, the body lets you know it needs water in the quickest way it knows how. To get you to want to drink it. But heat isn’t the only factor that contributes to summer thirst. So does the very beverages you drink. When caked with sugars and other chemicals, you can actually get thirstier while you drink. It’s an event that might sound counterproductive – or like it’s leading to the opposite of what you’re trying to reach – but it’s also evident within some of America’s best-selling beverages.
Without the necessary levels of water within our bodies, all sorts of functions lose their abilities. Digestion slows down, the immune system can’t work as it should, skin doesn’t look as healthy or rejuvenated, energy levels can be lowered, and that’s only the beginning. Over time, dehydration can pile upon itself and only increase symptoms. Basically, you just don’t feel like yourself. A fact that can be easily reversed through simple dietary adjustments. Like drinking more often, and drinking healthier beverages.
How to Drink for Better Hydration
To stay hydrated, it’s best to start by drinking plenty of water … which can’t be cut with sugars or caffeine. (At least not without doing so yourself, otherwise it loses its pure and recognizable title.) However, plain water isn’t for everyone, at least exclusively. While you should always drink some each day – talk with your doctor to gain more information on the subject – some of us just need a little more flavor to get us through the day.
If and when your taste buds start wanting more, explore your healthy drink options and get more out of each sip.
Drinks that dehydrate you the most include:
Alcohol – It might be satisfying to drink a cold beer in the sun, but it’s also a move that comes at a high cost. Because alcohol causes frequent urination (and in extreme cases, vomiting), it’s actually robbing your body of much needed moisture and nutrition. Remember to drink alcohol sparingly when in high heat.
Caffeine – Generally ok in moderation, caffeine has been known to pull hydration directly from the body. This is done by a number of ways: causing frequent urination, interacting with the body by introducing chemicals, and by satisfying a craving for liquid … but without providing hydrating benefits. If coffee or tea are must-haves, consider decaf versions as an alternative.
Sodas – Both regular and diet versions of soda are contributors here. Once you take a sip, they tell the body it’s thirstier than it actually is, causing you to keep sucking down the sugar, whether or not your body actually wants it. A tricky little move, but also one that’s helped companies sell thousands of sodas.
Carbonation – Also an offending party. If possible, choose versions of your favorites that don’t contain the bubbles, for instance, flat tea or unflavored water. That way you can still enjoy moisture (with flavor), but without robbing your body of its water percentage.
Salty foods also make one thirsty on a consistent basis (not always a bad thing, depending on what we’re drinking), as do meals coated with fish oil(s), desserts, and more.
By being aware of these substances and how they contribute to your overall health, you can make the decision to avoid substances that rob water content, or make necessary adjustments in order to stay as hydrated as possible.