Hydration is an extremely important, yet often overlooked aspect of staying mentally and physically healthy. A recent Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health study has found that more than 50 percent of American children and adolescents are not properly hydrated. That means HALF of our children are not consuming an adequate amount of water throughout the day, and most likely aren’t even aware of the price they’re paying for it.
Though dehydration may not seem like a very substantial problem, the truth is that even a little dehydration can dramatically affect your quality of life, as dehydration literally has a shrinking effect on the brain. The Harvard study cites “headaches, irritability, poorer physical performance, and reduced cognitive functioning,” as possible consequences of dehydration, all of which can directly impact your health, happiness, and general ability to perform at your highest potential.
The effects of improper hydration are various and can significantly affect the functioning of our bodies and minds (dehydration literally has a shrinking effect on the brain) so stay on the lookout for signs or symptoms, which include:
- Thirst sensations
- Dry or cracked skin
- Constant headaches
- Major food cravings, especially sweets
- High temperatures and/or the chills
- Muscles seizing
- Bad breath
- Abnormal colored urine (I.E. extremely yellow, orange)
It can be tough to stay hydrated during the hotter months, but here are a few simple ways to help keep you and your friends on track:
- Drink a glass of water as soon as you wake up (try adding lemon for other health reasons)
- Keep a water bottle with you all day and keep on filling ‘er up! You will feel the difference in your energy levels and general ability to function.
- Add flavor to your water with any of the True Lemon products. True Lemon lets you love your water your way, so you can stay hydrated without getting bored.
- Choose food with high water content such as fruits and vegetables, soups and smoothies.
- Balance your caffeine and alcohol intake with proportional water intake.
- Drink before, during and after any physical activity, especially if exercising outside in the sun.
- Cut down on your sodium intake to decrease chances of dehydration.
- Sip water while you eat to ensure you are getting enough liquid with dry food.