July’s Tiny Change: Creative Hydration

This post is part of Kale & Chocolate’s #12tinychanges challenge. Each month, we’re implementing one super small, super doable change…over a year, it really adds up! You can read about it here and share your progress on instagram – tag @kaleandchocolate and @hamptonskiley with the hashtag #12tinychanges for a chance to win some cool prizes!

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: we should all be drinking more water. And yet here we are – many of us walking around in a state of low-grade, chronic dehydration.

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How do you know if you’re dehydrated? Perhaps you’re feeling a bit unfocused or sluggish, maybe you feel hungry all the time, or your skin isn’t looking its best. It’s entirely possible that you aren’t actually hungry, or unfocused, or having skin problems; chances are, you’re thirsty!

Our bodies are 65% water, and our brains are 73% water. No wonder we feel better when we stay hydrated! Yet it’s easy to forget to drink in the midst of our busy and active lives. This month, we’re going to fill up our cups and keep our bodies happy with more water and better hydration. If you’re not exactly keen on chugging eight glasses of lukewarm tap water every day, read on!

Make it fun (and delicious!)
Not everyone loves plain old water. If you aren’t a fan, don’t worry – there are many other ways to stay hydrated! Toss together a pitcher of spa waters (they’re so easy and colorful!) or load up the freezer with fruity ice cubes and add them to your water or herbal iced tea. Save your leftover smoothies, filling up popsicle molds, and create beautiful (and hydrating) smoothie pops!

Drink easy.
If you spend most of your time in your office, get a pretty glass that you can keep on your desk. If you’re always in the car, find a reusable water bottle and don’t leave the house without it!

Drink a superfood snack
Chia seeds are a miracle food, especially when it comes to keeping us hydrated. These teeny, tiny seeds are hydrophilic, which means that they can absorb approximately 10 to 12 times their weight in water. This powerhouse superfood can also prolong hydration and retain electrolytes in body fluids, protecting against dehydration.

Incorporating chia seeds into your diet is incredibly easy: simply stir a heaping tablespoon to your morning juice or smoothie, and you’re set! For a real treat, try peppermint mocha chia pudding or have a super yummy energy bite!

Drink your eats (no, really!)
Hydration comes in many forms, not just from water! All raw fruits and vegetables contain water, particularly cucumbers, watermelon, tomatoes, celery, and radishes. Try this watermelon cucumber cooler on for size!

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Drink your potassium
Why do we need electrolytes, including potassium, to stay hydrated? Our muscles use them with water to make sure that the electrical charges in our bodies work properly. Potassium balances the fluids and electrolytes in our bodies. All this is to say: eat plenty of bananas and drink some coconut water. These two foods are inexpensive, widely available, and they’ll help you maintain the proper nutrients after a workout or on a hot summer day.

See? Hydration can be fun and delicious! And once we fill up with the proper amount of fluid, our minds and bodies are so much more effective. We think better, look better, and feel better.

One Healthy Breakdown: create and hydrate!

Are YOU Hydrated?!

Stay hydrated! Eight glasses a day! Water, water, water! H20 all day! We hear it all the time…but why? Is hydration overrated? Do we really need that much water every single day?

Water_drop_impact_on_a_water-surface_-_(1)If you’re short on time, the answer is no, hydration is not overrated. Yes, we really need to drink a LOT of water…every single day.

So, how much water are we talkin’ here? Turns out the eight glasses a day may not actually be enough. More recent research suggests drinking half your body weight in ounces. For example, someone who ways 150 pounds should drink 75 ounces of water daily. Remember, drink even more if you’re exercising or spending long periods of time in the heat (hey, summer sun, I’m talking to you.)

Here are a few more numbers for ya: water makes up about 60% of your body weight, 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated, and hydration can increase your metabolism up to 3%. That’s more calories burned simply by drinking water!

Water also cleanses our system naturally, energizes our muscles, and averts cravings. Oh, and another thing: this just in, dehydration causes a hangover. Proper hydration prevents a hangover. So, drink up and then drink some more! If you’re going to follow just one nutrition tip, make it hydration. Get a (BPA free) water bottle or two and take it everywhere with you. Drink at least one glass first thing in the morning (lemon water, anyone?) and sip consistently throughout the day. What else counts? Great question. Seltzer, club soda, tea, iced tea, and hydrating foods (watermelon, cucumber, celery, tomatoes, radishes, etc.) If plain water bores you, spice it up with fun additions and natural concoctions.

One Healthy Breakdown: cheers to being a hydration station!