Staying Hydrated

Now, most people will probably admit that water isn’t the most exciting drink in the world. It might be good for some quick refreshment, especially if you’re not feeling well, but it can get a little boring if you’re stuck on water all the time.

That wouldn’t be a problem if staying hydrated wasn’t so important. We can last much longer without food than we can without water. Luckily, water isn’t the only liquid that can help you avoid dehydration. Juice can do the same job, as can milk, tea and coffee. Even solid food, including fruit and vegetables as well as stews and soups, can be hydrating.

On a normal day, when there aren’t any extra risk factors like extreme heat, intense exercise or other ill health, you still need to hydrate regularly. The exact amount will vary depending on the individual person ( but the general recommendation is the equivalent of about six to eight mugs or glasses.

If it’s a warm day, you’re being particularly active, you’re older, you’re drinking a lot of alcohol, or you have other health conditions like diabetes or are experiencing diarrhea, these are all things that require you to hydrate more. The question is which water alternatives are best if you really can’t face one more sip?

Milk can be an incredibly effective hydrator with a host of other benefits. Part of the reason for this is that it’s high in electrolytes. It’s also full of other nutrients, including protein and calcium. That means that if you’re more dehydrated than normal because you’re working out, milk also helps build muscle and bone.

Tea and coffee can have diuretic, or dehydrating, properties when you drink them to excess, but in smaller amounts, they can stave off the effects of dehydrating. The caffeine also means they can provide you with a welcome energy boost.

When it comes to fruit and vegetables, they’re not only high in water but also all sorts of vitamins and minerals. Frozen fruit and vegetables can be just as healthy as fresh ones, if not more so. They’re certainly a better choice than drinks or snacks with lots of added salt or sugar. Those are the things you should avoid.

If you know you have a choice when it comes to hydration, it might make it easier to ensure you eat and drink enough.

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