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The Importance of Hydration

The Importance of Hydration

All of us know that drinking water or staying hydrated is a crucial part of our health, but why is it so?

Our bodies are made of up to 65% and our brains up to 75% of water. We need water to ensure proper digestion, to regulate our blood pressure, to eliminate excess waste, to assist in healthy weight management and to lubricate our joints. And as the temperatures rise during the Summer season, it becomes crucial for us to pay high attention to one particular (and often overlooked) aspect of our health: Hydration!

You might be prone to experiencing the following symptoms, when you lose too much water and don’t hydrate properly:
-Muscle cramps
-Fatigue
-Dry lips, dry mouth
-Extreme thirst
-Loss of appetite
-Constipation
-Temporary lightheadedness

One great way to check if you are sufficiently hydrated throughout the day is to check the colour of your urine. If it is pale yellow, you are doing great. However, if it is dark yellow or even orange, you really need to ingest more water asap.

The following are 10 easy tips to keep yourself hydrated during this Summer!

1. Start your day with water: After about 6-8hrs of fasting while sleeping, begin your day by re-hydrating your body. This is a great way to re-hydrate your cells and wake up your digestive system. You can also add some freshly squeezed lemon for some detox benefits.
2. Carry a re-usable water bottle: It’s a great reminder to keep on sipping throughout the day.
3. Drink before you are thirsty: Most people are so busy that they often don’t even realize that they are thirsty. Yet, once your body signals thirst, it means you are already dehydrated, so make it a habit to sip on water every hour.
4. Set up an alarm: Setting up a water reminder on your phone or desktop can be a great way to install new healthy habits if you get super forgetful.
5. Flavour your water: If water isn’t your thing, because it is “tasteless”, make it flavorful by adding citruses or even herbs such as mint.
6. Avoid salty snacks: Say no to super salty snacks and processed foods, which are often loaded with sodium and added sugars (both of which cause dehydration). Instead, focus on real whole foods to maintain a healthy internal minerals/electrolytes balance.
7. Eat hydrating foods: You don’t always have to drink water to stay hydrated. You can also eat your way to hydrating with foods such as: cucumbers, watermelon, celery, leafy greens, avocados, cantaloupe, coconut, aloe vera, tomatoes, …
8. Boost your hydration with chia seeds: By adding 1 to 2 tbsp of chia seeds to your water or juices/smoothies this summer, you can help boost your body’s hydration levels. Indeed, chia seeds are great at absorbing water and then slowly releasing it into your body once ingested.
9. Have some coconut: Coconut contains so many nutrients and its water content helps to restore your body’s internal electrolytes and minerals balance.
10. Take care of your gut: Not only do healthy bacteria help you properly digest your food and absorb nutrients, they also help you stay hydrated. Make sure you either eat some probiotic foods at every meal (such as fermented veggies…) or that you are taking a good probiotic supplement.

Christelle Bedrossian
Dietitian-Nutritionist
Beirut, Lebanon

 

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Christelle Bedrossian