One major mistake far too many people are making in their diet plan is not tending to their hydration status. While it’s great to look at the foods you’re eating on a day to day basis and making sure you are doing everything you can to support a healthy body, don’t overlook how important it is to be drinking properly as well.
Many people are either not drinking enough or choose to drink beverages that really just don’t serve their body well. Let’s walk you through the main do’s and don’ts to know about so that you can hydrate wisely.
Do Drink Plenty Of Fresh Water
First, make sure that you’re drinking plenty of fresh water on a day to day basis. Nothing is going to be healthier and better for you than water, so this is a must. 8-10 glasses per day is what most people should strive for to get their hydration needs met.
Do keep in mind that fresh fruits and vegetables (along with broth based soups and herbal teas) will also count towards this intake, so be sure to increase your consumption of those as well.
Don’t Consume Commercially Prepared Smoothies
One thing that you don’t want to be doing is relying on commercially prepared smoothies. While these may seem healthy – they have real fruit and will also provide an excellent dose of dairy, they can also pack in hundreds of calories and far too much sugar overall.
If you want to have a smoothie, prepare it yourself. That’s the only way that you can know for certain what’s going in it and that you only use lower calorie, healthy ingredients. Many commercially prepared smoothies are loaded with high fat yogurt or even ice cream to add more taste and texture.
Do Drink More During Exercise
On those days where you’re doing intense exercise, remember to bring your fluid intake up. Whenever you are heavily sweating, you’ll be losing water far faster than normal and this water must be replaced. In some cases, you may not feel like you are sweating, but remember that you are perspiring just the same
You should aim to drink one cup before exercise and then one additional cup of water for every 15-20 minutes of exercise that you do. If you happen to be exercising outside in a sunny climate, you’ll want to nearly double this as you’ll be sweating even more with the temperature up.
Don’t Rely On Sports Drinks
One thing that you do not want to do is rely on sports drinks to meet your hydration needs around exercise however. Most sports drinks are loaded with sugar and calories that you just don’t need. Additionally, unless you are doing endurance type of events (lasting longer than one hour), you likely won’t need to worry about replacing lost electrolytes either. Water will work just fine.
If you are someone who is exercising for 90 minutes or longer (such as in a distance running race for instance), then you can consider using an electrolyte replacement beverage. But even then, be sure to watch how much total sugar it contains.
Do Add Lemon/Lime To Your Water
If you feel like drinking one more glass of water will have you scr