A Holistic Approach to Staying Hydrated
Are you drinking more than ten cups of water per day? If you find yourself needing more than 2 liters of water a day, you might not be eating as healthily as you think.
On average, the human body requires about six cups of water, but people weighing more, at around 180-250 pounds, may require more. Still, not many people actually need to drink 3 liters or quarts of water per day, and when they do, the common reason is diet.
Sodium plays an important part of nutrition, taste, and health. Water content in your food is also a major source of liquids that your body absorbs, and depending on how salty, processed, or oily your food is, it can affect how much water your body feels like it needs.
Eating too much salt can lead to salt poisoning, including symptoms of dehydration, vomiting, diarrhea, extreme thirst, seizures, and even a coma. Although that’s unlikely to happen from eating salty, fried fast food, we hope, toddlers might react strongly to having had too much salt in their food.
Salt reacts chemically to water, creating sodium and chlorine ions, which is essential to our health, and so the body tends to retain it. Too much salt, and the body needs more water to keep the chlorine from becoming toxic in our blood.
So, eating salty foods leads to drinking large amounts of water. This cycle can lead to gaining weight to cardiovascular disease, and so it’s important to eat a balanced diet, and get plenty of natural fluids and minerals into you:
- Eat Your Fruits and Veggies
Not to nag, but balanced diets include foods that are filled with water. Eating the recommended portions of fruits and vegetables, if fresh, can provide up to 3 cups of nutrition-packed water for the body! Fruits and veggies are also filled with dietary fiber, which helps the body retain water and aids in digestion.
- Drink Coffee or Tea
A diuretic, in theory, should dehydrate the body, as it forces the body to release more liquid than necessary. But in mild amounts, diuretics are actually healthy for the body (when there’s plenty of water to be had), as urination helps cleanse blood of toxin buildup (which is why urine turns yellow and smells), which can help the body stay better hydrated.
- Avoid Drinking Excess Alcohol
Alcohol, unfortunately, is not a mild diuretic, and does dehydrate the body. Try to avoid drinking too much to avoid feeling bloated and dehydrated. If you do have a drink, also have a glass of water with each one, to avoid drinking too much or feeling dehydrated.
- Eat Complex Carbs
Complex carbs include multi-grain baked goods, oatmeal, quinoa, and other sources of quality carbohydrates are also great sources of dietary fiber, which is water soluble and retentive. Complex carbs help the body release a steady level of energy throughout the day.
Eating a balanced diet and enjoying mild diuretics such as coffee or tea can help reduce your need to drink more than the recommended 6-8 cups per day.
Bello 2 and FITTO both offer macronutrient tracking with personalized recommendations for dietary adjustments, which can help you optimize the benefits of staying accountable to a diet. The Bello 2 or FITTO app also offers healthy and balanced recipes!