The Hydration Habit: How to Make It Easy and Funby Elise Museles
If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: you should be drinking more water.
Your skin shines brighter, your energy skyrockets, your mind stays sharp, your digestion hums, and even your cravings may dissipate when you’re properly hydrated. But despite what we know, many of us walk around in a state of low-grade, chronic dehydration. Another classic example of knowing but not actually doing.
Our bodies are 65% water, and our brains are 73% water. No wonder we feel better when we stay hydrated! Yet it’s easy to forget to drink in our busy and active lives. Over the years, I’ve coached and spoken to hundreds and hundreds of people about whether they’re drinking (or eating!) enough water, and most of the time, the answer is a frank (if discouraging), “I could do better.”
So, if you’re ready to improve your habits (and if chugging eight glasses of lukewarm tap water every day isn’t exactly appealing), there are plenty of other ways to hydrate. The best part is that you don’t have to do anything complicated to start instantly feeling the benefits of being properly hydrated. All you need is a drop of creativity and access to pure, clean water (more on that in a minute), and you’ll be on your way to your most vibrant, glowing, and energetic self.
Let’s dive in!
Follow Mother Nature
It’s amazing that just when we need to hydrate most, all the juiciest fruits and vegetables are in peak season. Simply head to your farmer’s market or look up what’s growing right now, and load your bag with tomatoes, watermelon, peaches, berries, cucumbers, cherries, peppers, radishes, zucchini, and carrots. Eating these high water-content foods will also provide your body with essential vitamins and minerals.
Eat Your Water
Fill your meals with juicy ingredients, and you’ll whip up the most delicious form of hydration! Juices, smoothies, soups, and even puddings will help you stay hydrated. Some of my favorite water-rich recipes are quinoa tabbouleh, watermelon popsicles, green soup, DIY nut milk, and gazpacho.
For some next level hydration, try my newer creations: mint matcha smoothie, berry chia overnight oats, raspberry chia seed jam, veggie-filled collard wraps, superfood salad, watermelon pizza, and a peach smoothie bowl.
Have H2O Handy
Do you spend most of your time in your office? Get a pretty glass or cup that you can keep on your desk. Are you always in the car, running to meetings and shuttling your kids around? Find the right [environmentally-friendly] water bottle and don’t leave the house without your new sidekick.
Not everyone loves plain old water. So go ahead: make it fun and delicious! Toss together some pitchers of spa waters (they’re so easy and colorful) or load up the freezer with lavender ice cubes and add them to your water and herbal iced tea. Save your leftover smoothies, and fill up popsicle molds to create beautiful (and hydrating!) smoothie pops.
Stir in Superfoods
Chia seeds are a miracle food, especially when it comes to keeping us hydrated. These teeny, tiny seeds are hydrophilic, which means that they can absorb approximately 10 to 12 times their weight in water, prolonging hydration and retaining electrolytes in body fluids. Incorporating them into your diet is incredibly easy: simply stir a heaping tablespoon to your morning juice or smoothie and you’re set! For a real treat, my chia pudding popsicles, chia parfait, or chia filled papaya boats are easy to make, cooling, and delicious.
Why do we need electrolytes, including potassium, to stay hydrated? Our muscles use them with water to make sure that the electrical charges in our bodies work properly. So: eat plenty of bananas and drink coconut water. These two foods are inexpensive, widely available, and will help you maintain proper nutrients after a workout or on a hot and humid summer day. If you’re up for a homemade version of a sports drink, try my electrolyte replacement as an easy way to replenish lost vitamins and minerals.
Know What’s In Your Water
Of course, in order to maximize the benefits of proper hydration, be sure to drink the purest, cleanest water possible.
The good news is that now you can do that right at home! Thanks to EWG, the new Tap Water Database will help you learn about contaminants in YOUR drinking water and what you can do about it. This is a resource you can trust, and one that I am beyond thrilled to share with you. As a board member, I know firsthand that EWG has worked tirelessly on this one-of-a-kind tool for years, collecting data from nearly 50,000 water utilities across all 50 states, cataloging over 250 contaminants and pairing all of this data with EWG’s consumer-friendly tips for safer drinking water.
All you have to do is type in your zip code to get started. Once you’ve identified the contaminants of concern in your drinking water, make sure you check out EWG’s Filter Guide to find a filter that works for you and is certified to remove the specific contaminants in your tap water. It’s that easy!
Whether you pour out an extra cup, snack on juicy produce, prepare more hydrating meals, keep water close by, load up on electrolytes, or purify your tap, hydration can be easy and fun. And once you fill up with the proper amount of fluid, your mind and body are so much more effective: You’ll think better. You’ll look better. And most importantly, you’ll feel better.
Now it’s your turn: If you have any favorite tricks to be sure that you’re hydrated during the hottest months of the year, share them in the comments!