Staying Hydrated: An Easy Way To Look & Feel Your Best
With the world getting back to normal and people spending more time outside again, especially with hot summer festivals and crowded concerts on the horizon, remembering to drink enough water is something to be mindful of. Dehydration can leave you feeling quite unwell from seemingly random ailments including headaches, mental fog, dry skin, dry mouth, muscle/joint aches, fatigue, weakened immunity, and even as severe as kidney stones. The worst part is, feeling thirsty might not necessarily be a symptom while all these other ones are occurring.
Water makes up 60% of the adult body and is necessary to most if not all bodily functions. On average we lose about half a gallon of water a day from peeing, sweating, and even talking. On top of that, salty foods, alcohol, and sugary drinks only make it worse. Interestingly, drinking water before meals can even reduce the feeling of hunger. If you take this one step it can not only keep you hydrated, but even help you drop a few pounds!
While how much water you should drink depends on a variety of factors, a general rule of thumb is the 8X8 rule. That is eight 8 oz. glasses of water a day. This replenishes the half a gallon of water you lose during the day. While having to drink a total of 64 oz. of water a day can seem quite daunting it is certainly manageable. I’m not suggesting carrying a gallon jug of water with you everywhere you go, although carrying a 16-32 oz. water bottle with you would be a helpful & sustainable way to remind you to continue sipping away.
It is also important to remember that it takes about 45 minutes for your body to fully rehydrate after drinking so if you have something active planned it would be a good idea to drink water 45 minutes beforehand to ensure you are hydrated, cutting this time short may cause you to get cramps. For physical activities you will also need to think about replacing the electrolytes that are lost in your sweat. Electrolytes are minerals like sodium, chloride, potassium, etc. that can carry electric charges which enable you to be able to use your muscles. Now before you reach for a sports drink like Gatorade, which claims to replace your electrolytes, you should remember that these drinks tend to have excessive amounts of sugar that wreaks havoc on your body in other ways. There are many flavored electrolyte packs for you to enhance your water that do not have added sugar. Of course you can also just use a bit of lemon juice to enhance your water as well.
Now when you are at the captivating and awe-inspiring sensory experience that is a music festival, hydration might not be at the forefront of your thoughts. When you’re front left in the crowd, watching your favorite DJ throw down and surrounded by thousands of other people all sharing in that feeling of positivity and excitement that only festivals can create, the thought of how many glasses of water you have consumed has a tendency to get upstaged. On top of that, if you are an Electronic Dance Music festival, you are going to be dancing and burning off a lot of energy. So how can you apply this 8x8 method when Jauz can’t seem to calm down. You average camelback, which can hold up to 100 oz. of fluid, can definitely cover you. Be careful though, if you are in a group of 4 and you are the only one carrying water, then make sure you divide your intake by 4. On top of that, make sure if you are drinking, shuffling, or just love to f***ing jump that you increase your water accordingly.
Some good news is that we don’t necessarily need to consume this amount of water directly. Some animals, even ones as massive as gorillas, barely drink water because they get all they need from the plants they eat. Like most animals, fruits and vegetables are mostly made up of water which can definitely count towards your daily goal. Fruits like watermelon, strawberries, oranges, and peaches all have a very high water content (85+%) while also having a more reasonable amount of sugar. Leafy greens like lettuce along with tomatoes and cucumbers also have high water contents (95+%). So quite unsurprisingly, having a salad with water for lunch may just be the health boost you didn’t know you needed in your life. So, pack some oranges and fruits for your next fest and you won’t have to keep backing to the filling stations.
Overall, when it comes to hydration levels, everyone is different. The key is t know your body, what you have done, and be real with yourself. If you feel like you haven’t drunk enough water, it's ok to dip from a set for 10 minutes to refill. Once you get back to the set and your body is running at peak performance because you’ve been taking care of it, you’ll thank yourself that you stayed hydrated, I guarantee it.