What are the best beverages to drink for optimal hydration?
Learn healthy optimal hydration options to hydrate upon waking and throughout the day.
Optimal Hydration Option: Water
Health Benefits of Water
Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. About 70 percent of your body is water. Over 75 percent of your brain is water. And around 80 percent of your blood consists of water. For that reason, it’s no surprise water is crucial for good health.
Drinking water helps many vital functions of your body. This includes digestion, detoxification, and even fat loss.
How do you know if you’re dehydrated?
Symptoms of dehydration:
- dry skin
- low energy or fatigue
- back or joint pain
- high blood pressure
Water supports your health in many ways. And it can also prevent you from drinking unhealthy beverages. For a healthy flavor boost, add fresh lemon or lime juice. This can also increase your absorption of water and boost nutrients!
Optimal Hydration Tip: Hydrate Upon Waking
Most people are chronically dehydrated. Proper hydration is vital for your health, including digestion, fat loss and detox.
For best results, start your day with lemon water, lime water, celery juice, cucumber juice, or coconut water. Wait about 15 minutes to eat or drink anything after hydrating. Continue hydrating throughout the day. Pack a reusable bottle to drink on the go.
Optimal Hydration Options
- Lemon or Lime Water — Squeeze 1-2 lemons or limes and add to 16 ounces of water
- Celery Juice — Juice 1 bunch of celery or enough to yield 16 ounces
- Cucumber Juice — Juice 2 cucumbers or enough to yield 16 ounces
- Coconut Water — Enjoy 1-2 cups
Mix it up so you don’t get bored with your beverages. Add variety to plain water. Try cooling cucumber slices, zesty citrus wedges, spicy grated ginger, or refreshing frozen berries.
Optimal Hydration: Amount
How much water should you drink?
Let thirst guide you.
Do you feel thirsty? Most people benefit from drinking at least half their body weight in ounces of water per day. For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, then drink 70 ounces. That’s about 8 cups of water. You can also swap water for the other optimal hydration options.
Your diet plays a big role in your hydration levels.
A plant-based diet can increase hydration.
Most fruits and vegetables are high in water. So if you follow more of a plant-based diet rich in fruits and vegetables, then you won’t need to drink as much water. To increase hydration with the foods you eat, try including more plants. Watermelon, cucumber and citrus are delicious additions.
In contrast, if you eat more animal products, then your body will need more water. Salt is often used more with animal products. The more salt that you use, the more water you’ll want to drink. This goes for sea salt too.
Eat more raw, fresh, whole foods.
Also, raw food is more hydrating than cooked food. Fresh, whole foods are more hydrating than dehydrated or processed foods. Limit your consumption of most processed foods. The shorter the shelf life, the better.
Choose beverages carefully.
Lastly, beware of caffeine, soda and alcohol. They can contribute to dehydration and replace healthier, more hydrating beverages. Avoid soda. As per caffeine and alcohol, limit your intake. And include at least one optimal hydration option after drinking alcohol.
Check your pee color.
Check the color of your pee to see if you’re hydrating well. Dark yellow urine indicates dehydration. Clear urine indicates healthy hydration. Keep in mind that supplements and other factors can change urine color.
Replenish Electrolytes Naturally
It’s a good idea to replenish electrolytes during warmer weather or intense activity. Look for a drink that contains zero sugars and artificial ingredients. You can also make your own low-sugar beverage. Check out the recipe below.
How do you know if you need electrolytes? Symptoms of low electrolytes include headaches, fatigue, leg cramps, muscle spasms and frequent urination.
Cooling Coconut Electrolyte Beverage
Quench your thirst with this refreshing recipe!
3 cups of filtered water
1 cup of plain coconut water
1 cup of 100 percent cherry, berry, or cranberry juice
1-2 teaspoons of unrefined sea salt
Instructions: Combine ingredients and enjoy over ice.
Coconut water is another great electrolyte option. Unlike many sweetened sports drinks, coconut water contains natural sugar. Although it depends on the brand, coconut water can have 15 times the electrolytes found in sports drinks! For best quality, select raw coconut water. Look for the fewest amount of ingredients. Opt for the lowest sugar content.