5 common hydration mistakes
In previous blog posts, we’ve covered why keeping yourself hydrated is important and have provided you with some tips for consuming enough water (pets included). Whether you’re looking to improve your daily hydration to perform optimally at the office or are concerned that you’re not drinking enough water while exercising, staying hydrated is easier said than done. Here are some of the most common mistakes that people make when they are trying to stay hydrated every day.
1 – You avoid tea and coffee
While alcoholic drinks are not beneficial if you’re looking to stay hydrated, this same rule does not apply to caffeinated drinks such as tea or coffee. We’re led to believe that coffee and tea will make you dehydrated, but this is simply not true. While water should always be your number one drink for hydration purposes, you won’t be doing yourself any harm by consuming tea or coffee in moderation, so go brew yourself a good one!
2 – You mistake thirst for hunger
Sometimes it can be difficult to know whether your body is craving food or water. So, in order to determine if your hunger is really hunger, drink a glass of water first. If you immediately feel rejuvenated, then you have your answer, but if the hunger persists then it might be time to have a snack. Additionally, try to incorporate foods into your diet which have a high water content such as cucumber, as this will cure your hunger and thirst at the same time!
“The flesh of cucumbers is primarily composed of water but also contains vitamin C and caffeic acid, both of which help soothe skin irritations and reduce swelling—which is why cucumbers are often used to help swollen eyes and sunburn.”
3 – You forget to drink water before exercising
Normally when we exercise, we completely forget about drinking water until we feel thirsty. This is a mistake which can lead to dehydration. Before a tough session at the gym, always consume at least one glass of water. It’s also recommended that you have a water bottle with you whenever you workout, so you can continuously take a swig without having to walk to the water fountain. Don’t forget to hydrate after exercising as well!
4 – You over-hydrate
While consuming water is usually beneficial, in rare cases you can consume too much and can risk water intoxication. In severe cases, water intoxication can lead to the impairment of brain functions and can sometimes even be fatal! The colour of your urine should determine whether you are adequately hydrated – a clear yellow colour is ideal but completely clear urine may indicate that you are overhydrated. Generally speaking, drinking according to your level of thirst is a good way to keep your hydration levels optimal.
5 – You consume too much alcohol
Sometimes after a stressful day at the office, a nice glass of wine or pint of beer can be just what is needed to take the edge off things. However, excessive alcohol consumption can cause dehydration in several ways. Firstly, alcohol decreases your body’s production of diuretic hormone, which means you urinate more frequently, leading to fluid loss. Secondly, by drinking too much, you run the risk of vomiting, where more fluids are lost. Remember to always drink in moderation and if you’re craving the taste of alcohol, consider a non-alcoholic beer to trick the taste buds!