Don't Wait, Hydrate

Courtney Takabayashi
September 13, 2017

We all know how important it is to drink water. But sometimes we’re having too much fun hanging out at the beach, hiking, or even walking around the mall to remember to keep hydrated. Since September is the hottest month in the Aloha State, we want to make sure you know when it’s time to drink up and how to stay hydrated.

Signs You’re Dehydrated
Dehydration happens when you use or lose more fluid than you take in, and your body can’t function normally. According to Sharecare, there are ways beyond thirst to tell that you’re dehydrated.

Feeling sluggish and scattered? Your body is telling you it wants water. Dehydration can also cause your blood pressure to drop, which could result in a migraine headache.

Dry, flaky skin? A lack of liquids can negatively affect your skin.  If it doesn’t receive enough moisture, your skin can look dull. Even if you have oily skin, dehydrated skin is prone to excess oil and breakouts.

Bad breath? Don’t be offended if your friends offer you mints or gum. Your mouth has a natural way to rinse away odor-causing bacteria and food particles: saliva. Dry mouth from dehydration allows debris to build up on mouth surfaces, leading to bad breath.

Seeing yellow? The color of your urine is affected by hydration. Clear or pale straw-yellow indicates that you’re hydrated. But if you’re seeing a darker, more concentrated color, it could signal severe dehydration or a condition that needs medical attention.

Get Hydrated 
 Drinking water is a quick, effective way to stay hydrated, but there are other ways to make sure your body has enough liquids.

Use a personal water bottle. Having water close by is the key to drinking it more often. You’ll be less tempted to go buy a soda if your water bottle is right there. Keep track of your water intake by marking your water bottle throughout the day.

Eat (and drink) water-based foods. Munch on vegetables like celery, broccoli, peppers, squash, and cucumbers. Or try fruits like grapefruit, watermelon, pineapple, oranges, berries, apples, and tomatoes. Chop them up and make them part of your snacks or meals. Infuse them in your water, blend them into a juice, or add them to a smoothie.

Tea to the rescue. Hot or unsweetened iced tea can be refreshing and increase your hydration. Just make sure to watch how much caffeine you’re consuming.

Avoiding dehydration means avoiding health problems like headaches, fatigue, heat exhaustion and urinary and kidney problems, according to The Mayo Clinic. Be sure to listen to your body for signs that you’re thirsty and drink up when necessary.  

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