How You Hydrate Matters
The best way to stay hydrated while avoiding extra bathroom breaks is to sip on 8-12 oz water glasses early in the morning until mid evening.
Wake up and start your day with 2 glasses of water.
In between meals, continuously sip on water and add an electrolyte supplement, depending on your circumstances.
While you eat your snacks and meals, forgo chugging water. It can actually dilute nutrient absorption.
Roughly 1-2 hours before bed, taper back on your hydration. This will help you avoid those midnight bathroom breaks.
Proper hydration depends on not just water but electrolytes too. Electrolytes are minerals that become capable of conducting electricity when dissolved in water. Sodium, potassium, calcium, bicarbonate, magnesium, chloride, and phosphate are all electrolytes.
The electrolytes control the osmosis of water between fluid compartments, help the body’s pH balance, carry electrical current, and serve as cofactors for enzymes. Add fruits, like watermelon or oranges, to your next meal or try supplementing with a powdered electrolyte form like Ultima Replenishers or NUUN.
Not All Fluids Are Created Equal
Water can get boring from time to time so it’s easy to replace it with other fluids like seltzer water, coffee, tea, and coconut water. These “substitutes” are not all a 1-1 swap for plain water. Let’s take a look at each:
Coffee acts as a diuretic: it promotes the formation of urine by the kidneys. Diuretics dehydrate us by causing a loss of water and inhibits the kidney’s ability to reabsorb sodium and chloride. When water should be moving back into the bloodstream, it’s now being excreted.
Tip: For every 8 ounces of coffee, add an additional 12 ounces of regular water to your daily hydration goal
There are three major forms: green, black and oolong, based on the degree of fermentation.
Tea varies in caffeination too. Caffeinated tea acts as diuretic, like coffee. Herbal teas such as hibiscus, rose, or chamomile, are naturally caffeine-free and hydrating.
Tip: Know what form of tea you drink. Keep caffeinated tea to 1-2 cups a day. Naturally caffeine-free tea is hydrating.
Sparkling water in its simplest form is carbonated water. It’s mildly acidic compared to regular water on the pH scale. Aside from being mildly more acidic than plain water, sparkling water is a great substitute in moderation.
Tip: Swap out regular water for 12 ounce seltzer 1-2 times a day.
Coconut water is another great alternative to water in moderation. It’s full of electrolytes, great for post workout replenishment, and tastes sweet too. The original, no sugar added, form is packed with minerals and breaks up the taste of regular water.
Tip: Swap in 8-12 ounces coconut water in place of plain water for post workout carb shake.
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