We have all heard that we should be drinking 6-8 glasses of water per day but how many of us or worse our children, are actually doing that? Do we really know what it means to be hydrated? Are we aware of the signs of dehydration?
First thing to consider is what we are currently drinking. Coffee, tea, fruit juices, sodas and even sports drinks are not what our body needs for proper hydration. It needs water, plain and simple. Caffeinated drinks actually dehydrate the body, fruit juices and sodas are filled with sugar and sports drinks are good for replacing electrolytes but are also filled with sugar and do not hydrate the same way as water.
So how do you know if you’re getting enough water? If you’re not sure, check for the following signs of dehydration:
· Bad breath
· Dry skin
· Muscle cramps
· Food cravings especially for refined carbs and sweets
· Dark colored urine
Now that you know the signs, how can you increase your intake and help your children so the same? Here are a few simple ways to make a healthier change.
Carry a Water Bottle
Don’t wait until each meal to remember your water intake. Carry a large water bottle and count how many times a day you can finish it and refill it. Add a few lemon, lime or orange slices to it for extra flavor.
Half and Half
Cut your kids fruit juice intake in half by filling their cup with half water, half juice. When they ask for a refill, offer water only.
Soft Drink Lovers
Replace one soda a day with sparkling water. There are so many flavored versions of sparkling water that have zero calories, zero sugar and zero sodium and yet still have a great taste. This is a fabulous way to start adding in more water without feeling like you are depriving yourself of fun and tasty drinks. Slowly start to make the change to sparkling water starting with once a day to as many times a day as you can.
Health and fitness coach, runner and blogger at Montreal Runner Mom, Jennifer’s easy and simple approach to clean eating makes living a healthy lifestyle manageable for busy moms on-the-go. Follow Jennifer to learn how making basic changes in your meal planning can be both delicious and nutritious.