What’s the Best Way to Stay Hydrated?

Q: What’s the Best Way to Stay Hydrated as Part of a Healthy Lifestyle?

Recently, studies have come out with reports that drinking a set amount of water each day might not be as important as previously thought. For many years, we have been told to drink 8 – 8 oz. glasses of water every day to stay sufficiently hydrated. Now, studies are showing that our bodies are actually very proficient at regulating our hydration with thirst. This means that for healthy adults, consuming liquids when you feel thirsty is an appropriate gauge to stay hydrated. Also, you can get your fluids from more than just water, including things like coffee, tea, fruits, and vegetables. It is important to keep in mind, however, that children and seniors need to monitor their fluid consumption because thirst is not necessarily an accurate determinant. Also, there are certain conditions and medications that can affect thirst, so in those circumstances, monitoring fluid consumption is vital. 
 Whether you are measuring your consumption or not, there is no reason why hydrating has to be boring and tasteless. Try some of these tricks at home or when you dine out to brighten up your hydration routine:

  • Make your water more “exciting” by adding cut up fruits, vegetables, and herbs the night before and refrigerating. Here are some yummy combinations:
    • Cucumber slices with lemon slices and mint leaves
    • Strawberries with basil leaves
    • Orange and lemon slices
    • Lemon slices with ginger
    • Blueberries with mint leaves
  • Drink unsweetened coffee and tea. Adding creamer and sugar to your coffee or tea can add unwanted calories. Flavored coffees and teas are a great way to get the flavor without the extra calories
  • Eat fruits and veggies with high water contents. Here are some that contain over 90% water:Cucumber
    – Watermelon
    – Tomatoes
    – Citrus Fruits
    – Iceberg Lettuce
    – Celery
    – Strawberries
  • In the winter time, hydrate with soups. Try to stick to clear broths over creamy to keep the fat and calories down. In the summer, try some cold soups like gazpacho.
  • High protein foods like yogurt, milk, and poultry also contain a decent amount of water.