From a young age we are taught that our bodies are made up of 98 percent water and that the daily recommendation of water intake is 64 ounces or eight, 8-ounce glasses of water per day. In reality, lean body mass contains about 70 to 75 percent water with fat containing much less: about 10 to 40 percent water. These variables are different for everyone, hence an individual’s required amount of water consumption to stay healthily hydrated will be dependent on their body type and body mass index.
It is very important to be aware of one’s hydration levels, especially when consuming mind-altering substances such as alcohol and marijuana. Though you never want to reach a level of dehydration, it happens easily when you are having fun in the sun here in the desert.
Signs of Dehydration
- Hunger after eating
- Dry lips/mouth
- Bladder pain
- Yellow smelly urine
- Excessive thirstiness
- Dry skin
- Bad breath
- Muscle cramps
You never want to wait until it’s too late to start drinking water, so try to balance your consumption throughout the day and night. The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake for men is roughly 13 cups (104 ounces) and for women about 9 cups (72 ounces) of total beverages a day. Yes, infused drinks and the splash of tea in your strong island is included in total beverages. Just remember alcohol is extremely dehydrating so you will have to compensate if you’re indulging in an adult beverage.
Let’s get creative!
Aside from drinking water from a glass in the regular way that you would, here are some creative suggestions to increase your fluid intake and stay well hydrated.
- Smoothies are extremely refreshing in the hot temperatures and not only have a high water content but also are high in electrolytes, and important nutrients necessary for the absorption of water. The fiber in smoothie fruit pulp helps hold water in the body so you can make every drop count.
- Try eating more soup or salad with meals. Be cautious of the sodium levels as salt depletes the body of water more quickly. Use water-rich foods in your salad and soup like squash, cucumber, zucchini, lettuce, greens, tomatoes, etc.
- Fruits are nature’s fast food and most are 90 percent water with stabilizing electrolytes. They’re also a good source of fiber and will satisfy your sweet tooth.
- Avoid processed foods that are usually high in sodium and have little water content. Instead, try consuming fresh options that won’t dry out your system and cause bloating.
- You can always add some refreshing zest to your water to get excited about drinking it. Try adding lemon, cucumber, or mint for an exciting twist. All fluids including tea, coffee, juices, milk, and soups (again excluding alcohol). According to the most recent report by the National Research Council’s Food and Nutrition Board, the amount of caffeine in tea and coffee does not discount the fluid in them.
- Use a helpful water consumption app on your smartphone to measure your water intake and set reminders to drink.
- Here in our birthplace of Southern Nevada, we are lucky enough to have IV bars like REVIV (MGM Grand Hotel & Casino) where you can get rehydrated if you’re feeling particularly parched. They don’t just specialize in IV therapy, they’ve also got hydrating tonics and booster shots.
No matter what, for the optimal enjoyment of whatever consumption you’re indulging in, make sure you enjoy it with water!