A 17 year old girl, fitness enthusiast and dedicated Olympic style weightlifter, Powerlifter, and non-competitive Irish dancer. I'm determined to live a healthy lifestyle and take care of my body whilst influencing other young people to do so. I never doubt my ability to achieve something; I just change what I'm doing until I succeed.
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I've been thinking about writing a post like this for a while now, since it's summer here in England and in most places (although I believe its just became Winter in Australia!). Even when it isn't hot outside, it is important to stay hydrated as being dehydrated can make you feel awful. I understand there can be problems with people not feeling thirsty or not actually liking the taste of water. This has never been a problem for me as I was never a big fan of fruit juice or squash as a very young child. Please continue reading for my tips on how to drink healthily. Apologies for lack of recent images, I wrote this purely from no plan and didn't have many relevant images to add.
Why staying hydrated is important
For those of you reading who don't have much knowledge on this subject, staying hydrated should be just as big a priority as exercising or planning what you eat when keeping fit. Whether or not you're trying to keep fit, drinking fluids is crucial in order for the bodies muscles, brain, heart and other parts to successfully function. By not drinking fluids, your brain may be unable to function throughout the day. Hence why it is even more important to regularly drink when learning or trying to recall any information. Dehydration can also occur faster when exercising, meaning that you should alway have liquids ready to guzzle near by. If you don't, due to the vast amount of exercise, you could begin to feel fatigued, dizzy or sick. This could stop you from continuing your exercise due to your body being too hot and needing regular fluids.
How to stay hydrated
Staying hydrated isn't always easy for everyone, especially when you aren't used to the amount you should be drinking. Here are my 4 tips on how to stay hydrated:
Drinking large amounts of fluids
Drinking too much water or fluids can often be a problem if you don't know the correct amount you should be drinking. However, there's no need to panic if you're over your limit by a few litres on a hot day. I'm talking about drinking gallons upon gallons of liquids (this is around 25 litres). Drinking too much water can be dangerous as your kidneys can only remove an average of a litre an hour. Many websites provide the amounts of water which should be drank depending on age and weight, however the websites can differ by almost a litre. I recommend tracking how much normally you drink within a week and comparing this to whichever site you wish to use for your example of a fluid intake goal. Personally, I aim to drink between 1500-2000 milliliters of water a day (1.5-2 litres). When attempting to set yourself a new goal with how much you drink, please don't immediately go from drinking less than 500 milliliters to nearly 2 litres! I did this and you may be needing to goto the toilet alot, may have lower abdominal pains, bloat and feel very full. That is why I suggest slowly drinking more each day before you eventually reach your goal or an amount which you're comfortable with. Many people are different and shouldn't feel pressured to drink a specific amount set by online statistics (unless they feel the need to do so).
Drinking the wrong fluids
This is usually the most common problem within people when drinking fluids. Not knowing what is good to drink and what isn't. Lets begin with what isn't good, often drinks containing caffeine and sugar are not going to help with keeping you hydrated (of course these aren't healthy either). Caffeine causes increased heart rate and blood pressure (hence why it helps keep you awake) but the caffeine amounts in energy drinks is an amount which makes drinks unhealthy. In fact, consuming energy drinks before exercise can make you more dehydrated than if you didn't drink anything in the first place. Smoothies and juices can be delicious, but drinking a lot can be awful for your teeth due to the high percentage of sugar from fruit. These drinks are still okay to drink, just not large amounts of them, perhaps viewing them as a treat would be better when setting limits. Personally, I only usually drink water, milk and the occasional treat drink. However, I am on the edge of converting to almond milk as I have heard information about milk which I am not keen on.
Not feeling the urge to drink fluids
I have spoken to many people I know who don't feel the need to drink water or don't feel thirsty. That may simply be the case that they don't drink water unless they're thirsty. However, I'm talking about those people who don't drink any water throughout the day. I've been there and once you get into habits where you don't drink water, it can be hard to get out of them. The only tip I can provide for this is to find a flavour of squash you like (although squash isn't no where near as good as water)to add to water. Perhaps change the percentage of water to squash ratio each week by eventually increasing the amount of water in your cup. Eventually, you may still be able to taste a weak amount of squash, but it could be the closest you'll get to drinking water. Even if you're drinking 1% squash and 99% water, it is better than drinking energy drinks which provide you with no or very little water amounts.
Thank you for reading this rather wordy blog post, I tried my best to explain my concepts of drinking and I understand if there are points which aren't mentioned or explained in detail. Due to the fact that my posts are nowhere near to a nutritionists level, my posts are purely written from personal experience and advice. Please do not use these nutrition posts for strict dietary advice, I suggest you seek a professional if in need of this help as I am merely a child.