Monday, March 28, 2022
Drinking more water is one simple way to improve your overall health.
Water helps prevent dehydration, which happens when you lose more fluids than you take in. It is essential to keeping your body temperature normal so you do not get overheated, keeping your joints lubricated, protecting your spinal cord, ensuring clear thinking, and getting rid of waste when you sweat or go to the bathroom so you don’t develop kidney stones, urinary tract infections or constipation.
It’s especially important to drink extra water when you are physically active, live in a hot environment — or are visiting one — and when you are sick, especially if you have a fever, diarrhea or are vomiting.
Here are some tips for increasing your water intake:
- Keep a water bottle with you and refill it often.
- Trade in your sugar-sweetened, diet, caffeinated and alcoholic drinks for water, especially in hot temperatures. These beverages can cause dehydration.
- Try to drink a glass of water with each meal and between meals; before, during and after exercise; and if you are feeling hungry (thirst may be confused with feelings of hunger).
- To give you variety and a little extra flavor, try adding lemon, lime, cucumber or other healthy additives to your water.
- Eat fruits and vegetables with high water content for extra fluids. Some examples include melons, strawberries, pineapple, celery, lettuce, spinach, cooked squash and carrots.
- Also, try eating dairy products with high water content. Some examples include cottage cheese, ricotta cheese and yogurt.
In addition to drinking water, other good options for staying hydrated include low-fat or fat-free milk, 100% vegetable or fruit juices, and unflavored milk alternatives like soy or almond milk. If you are outside in the heat for too long or participating in physical activities, consider an electrolyte replacement drink like Gatorade.
If you need medical advice, Norman Regional Virtual Care can help. We will connect you with a provider anytime of the day or night from the comfort of your home or office. It’s quick, convenient and only costs $64 for each visit. Learn more about Norman Regional’s other telemedicine offerings.