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How To Stay Hydrated Besides Drinking Water (+10 Recipes)

How To Stay Hydrated Besides Drinking Water (+10 Recipes)

Dehydration is one of the most overlooked health issues people suffer from today. Most of us are so busy going about our work day that we completely forget to drink enough fluids each day. It’s true that keeping a water bottle with you can increase the chances that you’ll drink more water, but there are other ways to stay hydrated besides drinking water you might like to be aware of. Before we take a look at those, let’s look at a few key signs of dehydration. Because you can’t address a problem until you learn how to spot it, right?

Common Signs of Dehydration:

  • Hungry after eating
  • Dry lips/mouth
  • Bladder pain
  • Anxiety
  • Kidney problems
  • Yellow urine
  • Excessive thirstiness
  • Constipation

These are just some of the most common signs you may not be drinking enough water, and most people don’t realize they need more liquids until they’re way past the point of being dehydrated. So, the best way to stay on top of your hydration needs is to find ways to consume more liquids and water-rich foods throughout the day.

Taking in enough fluids can help lower cortisol in the body, prevent false hunger signals, keep your bladder healthy, ensure your kidneys filter toxins as they should, and your lips should stay moist and supple. You may also notice you have less headaches throughout the day and are more energetic. Your kidneys shouldn’t cause issues for you when you consume enough water, and you may even have a flatter tummy since your body can filter wastes more effectively. Drinking enough water is a great place to start when you want to start hydrating more effectively, but you can also consume more water-rich foods too.

8 ways to increase your water intake throughout the day:

  1. Drink a smoothie for breakfast, and feel free to enjoy coffee. Although coffee is a diuretic, it can also count as a liquid and will hydrate you temporarily. (It may also be necessary for some of us!). Having a smoothie is also a great way to get in some water and fiber from your ingredients. Fiber helps hold water in the body and also uses the water to keep you regular. If you need some ideas, check out these healthy smoothie ideas!
  2. Consume a salad or soup with your lunch. You can turn them into your main meal if you wish, but even if you don’t have a salad or soup as the main star of your meal, at least consume a small side of one of them. Make sure you don’t have a lot of sodium in the soup or in the dressing. Salt depletes the body from water more quickly. Use water rich foods in your salad and soup like squash, cucumber, zucchini, lettuce, greens, tomatoes, etc.
  3. Have at least two pieces of fruit per day. Most fruits are 90 percent water and they will help stabilize your electrolytes. They’re also a good source of fiber and will satisfy your sweet tooth.
  4. Avoid take-out and processed meals which are packed with sodium and not much water. They dry out the system and can increase levels of dehydration more quickly (not to mention causing bloating).
  5. Eat less sugar and eat more fiber. Sugar can put excessive strain on the kidneys while fiber slows down blood sugar levels and holds water in the body. This one tip may even help you lose a little weight!
  6. Aim to eat produce with every meal. It’s a natural source of water and an easy way to work some into your day.
  7. Drink herbal tea throughout the day if you get tired of water, or have a few cups after dinner or in place of coffee in the morning.
  8. Use an app on your phone to notify you to drink a glass of water every single hour or every hour and a half. You can use your alerts and there are other special apps catered to drinking more water.

You may be surprised at how much better you feel after you incorporate these ways to stay hydrated besides drinking water. But if you are still not sure exactly how to do that, here are some meal ideas you might enjoy incorporating into your day.

10 Hydrating Recipes to Try:

1. Blueberry Chia Oatmeal

    Source: Lauren Kelly Nutrition

    Oatmeal is one of the best foods you can eat in order to prevent hydration because oats help keep you hydrated due to their unique beta-glucan fibers that also soak up cholesterol and excrete it from the body. Try this recipe for Blueberry Chia Oatmeal by Lauren Kelly which also features chia seeds. Chia seeds also help keep you hydrated since they act like grains as they soak and also help hold water in the body.

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    2. The Best Ever Green Smoothie

      Image Source: Iowa Girl Eats

      Smoothies are a fantastic way to consume more liquids throughout the day, but they’re especially helpful to drink at breakfast to ensure you start your day off right. So enjoy the Best Ever Green Smoothie by Iowa Girl Eats with your oatmeal at breakfast. Or, have it for a quick snack on the go!

      3. Pear Ginger Smoothie

      Pear-Ginger-Smoothie3

        Source: Pear Ginger Smoothie

        This smoothie acts like a meal since it contains protein and healthy fats along with greens and fruit. So on those mornings you can’t fix a breakfast for yourself, or when you need a quick lunch, make this Pear Ginger Smoothie by Recipe Runner. It features pears and yogurt which are naturally rich in water and can help establish healthy fluid levels. They also make a great smoothie too!

        4. Refreshing Tomato Avocado Salad

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        Refreshing-Avocado-Tomato-Salad

          Source: Hurry the Food Up

          Full of fruits and veggies, this refreshing salad by Hurry the Food Up would make a great addition to any lunch or serve as the perfect bed of nutrition for some lean protein. The ingredients in this salad are full of water, not to mention they are also packed with vitamins and minerals to help keep you feeling great.

          5. Berry Watermelon Fruit Salad

          Fork_Knife_Swoon_Berry_Watermelon_Fruit_Salad_01

            Source: Fork, Knife Swoon

            For snacks, have a bowl of fruit such as watermelon which is mostly all water and a few vitamins and antioxidants. Watermelon is one of the best foods to eat in order to increase hydration, plus, it’s pretty fun and delicious to eat too! Berry Watermelon Fruit Salad by Fork Knife Swoon would also make a great dessert or addition to any meal. Berries are a great source of fiber that will also help keep you regular and reduce your risk of heart disease.

            6. Zucchini Summer Soup

            Summer-Soup-with-peas-carrots-and-zucchini_-7

              Source: Primavera Kitchen

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              Soup doesn’t sound appealing to most of us during the warmer months, but a summer soup can be a great way to take in more water and it can also be delicious too. Try this Zucchini Summer Soup by Primavera Kitchen which is not only filled with hydrating ingredients but also free of added sodium so it won’t cause dehydration.

              7. Greek Yogurt Power Bowl

              photo 1-36

                Source: Nutritious Kitchen

                Greek yogurt is a great source of protein and it’s full of water and probiotics. Fruits and chia seeds included in this bowl also help supply the body with vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fiber. These benefits help you establish not only lean and healthy muscles and a healthy digestive tract, but it will also support your body’s natural hydration levels. Get the recipe here from Nutritious Kitchen.

                8. Coconut Mango Overnight Oats

                coconut-mango-overnight-oats-4

                  Source: The Busy Baker

                  Mango is a great source of water and Vitamin C, and it’s a natural way to increase your water intake through your meals. Other water-rich fruits you can enjoy with oatmeal are melons, pineapple, apples, and pears. Pair a few of your favorite fruits together with some oats, chia, yogurt, and soak them overnight for a quick porridge. Here’s a great recipe to start with from The Busy Baker.

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                  9. Berry Avocado Salad With Raspberry Poppyseed Dressing

                  berryavocadosalad61-650x975

                    Source: The Recipe Critic

                    This refreshing salad recipe is a fantastic option to enjoy at lunch with your favorite source of protein or as a light lunch. It’s filled with water-rich greens, fibrous berries, and avocado which is a great source of water and potassium plus fiber too. Potassium found in fruits and vegetables is one of the most important minerals to combat excessive water weight, but it’s also one that helps ensure you stay hydrated too.

                    10. Vegan Creamy Zucchini Soup

                    zucchini-soup

                      Source: Avocado Pesto

                      This summertime soup is not only comforting and nourishing but also filled with one of the most hydrating types of produce you can eat: zucchini! Zucchini is packed with water along with Vitamin C and fiber so it’s a great ingredient to include in meals wherever you can. When blended, it also turns into a scrumptious, creamy soup that helps keep you satisfied. Check out this vegan and gluten-free recipe from Avocado Pesto and whip up a batch soon!

                      By incorporating these tips and recipes into each day, you’ll be more hydrated in no time. However, if you still need some motivation to consume more liquids and water-rich foods throughout the day, check out these 10 reasons you should be drinking more water. Now, grab some H2O and get started!

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                      Published on November 14, 2018

                      Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

                      Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

                      With our busy, always on lives, it seems that more and more of us are facing constant tiredness and fatigue on a regular basis.

                      For many people, they just take this in their stride as part of modern life, but for others the impact can be crippling and can have a serious effect on their sense of wellbeing, health and productivity.

                      In this article, I’ll share some of the most common causes of constant tiredness and fatigue and give you some guidance and action steps you can take to overcome some of the symptoms of fatigue.

                      Why Am I Feeling Fatigued?

                      Fatigue is extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.  It is a reduction in the efficiency of a muscle or organ after prolonged activity.[1]

                      It can affect anyone, and most adults will experience fatigue at some point in their life. 

                      For many people, fatigue is caused by a combination of lifestyle, social, psychological and general wellbeing issues rather than an underlying medical condition.

                      Although fatigue is sometimes described as tiredness, it is different to just feeling tired or sleepy. Everyone feels tired at some point, but this is usually resolved with a nap or a few nights of good sleep. Someone who is sleepy may also feel temporarily refreshed after exercising. If you are getting enough sleep, good nutrition and exercising regularly but still find it hard to perform, concentrate or be motivated at your normal levels, you may be experiencing a level of fatigue that needs further investigation. 

                      Symptoms of Fatigue

                      Fatigue can cause a vast range of physical, mental and emotional symptoms including:

                      • chronic tiredness, exhaustion or sleepiness
                      • mental blocks
                      • lack of motivation
                      • headache
                      • dizziness
                      • muscle weakness
                      • slowed reflexes and responses
                      • impaired decision-making and judgement
                      • moodiness, such as irritability
                      • impaired hand-to-eye coordination
                      • reduced immune system function
                      • blurry vision
                      • short-term memory problems
                      • poor concentration
                      • reduced ability to pay attention to the situation at hand

                      Causes of Fatigue

                      The wide range of causes that can trigger fatigue include:

                      • Medical causes: Constant exhaustion, tiredness and fatigue may be a sign of an underlying illness, such as a thyroid disorder, heart disease, anemia or diabetes.
                      • Lifestyle-related causes: Being overweight and a lack of regular exercise can lead to feelings of fatigue.  Lack of sleep and overcommitting can also create feelings of excessive tiredness and fatigue.
                      • Workplace-related causes: Workplace and financial stress in a variety of forms can lead to feelings of fatigue.
                      • Emotional concerns and stress: Fatigue is a common symptom of mental health problems, such as depression and grief, and may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms, including irritability and lack of motivation.

                      Fatigue can also be caused by a number of factors working in combination.

                      Medical Causes of Fatigue

                      If you have made lifestyle changes to increase your energy and still feel exhausted and fatigued, it may be time to seek guidance from your doctor.

                      Here are a few examples of illnesses that can cause ongoing fatigue. Seek medical advice if you suspect you have a health problem:

                      Anemia

                      Anemia is a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues. It is a common cause of fatigue in women.

                      Having anemia may make you feel tired and weak.

                      There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe.[2]

                      Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

                      Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition that can cause persistent, unexplained fatigue that interferes with daily activities for more than six months.

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                      This is a chronic condition with no one-size-fits-all treatment, but lifestyle changes can often help ease some symptoms of fatigue.[3]

                      Diabetes

                      Diabetes can cause fatigue with either high or low blood sugars. When your sugars are high, they remain in the bloodstream instead of being used for energy, which makes you feel fatigued. Low blood sugar (glucose) means you may not have enough fuel for energy, also causing fatigue.[4]

                      Sleep Apnea

                      Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where sufferers briefly stop breathing for short periods during sleep. Most people are not aware this is happening, but it can cause loud snoring, and daytime fatigue.

                      Being overweight, smoking, and drinking alcohol can all worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea.[5]

                      Thyroid disease

                      An underactive thyroid gland means you have too little thyroid hormone (thyroxine) in your body. This makes you feel tired and you could also put on weight and have aching muscles and dry skin.[6]

                      Common lifestyle factors that can cause fatigue include:

                      • Lack of sleep
                      • Too much sleep 
                      • Alcohol and drugs 
                      • Sleep disturbances 
                      • Lack of regular exercise and sedentary behaviour 
                      • Poor diet 

                      Common workplace issues that can cause fatigue include:

                      • Shift work: Our body is designed to sleep during the night. A shift worker may confuse their circadian clock by working when their body is programmed to be asleep.
                      • Poor workplace practices: This may include long work hours, hard physical labour, irregular working hours (such as rotating shifts), a stressful work environment, boredom or working alone. 
                      • Workplace stress – This can be caused by a wide range of factors including job dissatisfaction, heavy workload, conflicts with bosses or colleagues, bullying, or threats to job security.
                      • Burnout: This could be striving too hard on one area of your life while neglecting others, which leads to a life that feels out of balance.

                      Psychological Causes of Fatigue

                      Psychological factors are present in many cases of extreme tiredness and fatigue.  These may include:

                      • Depression: Depression is characterised by severe and prolonged feelings of sadness, dejection and hopelessness. People who are depressed commonly experience chronic fatigue.
                      • Anxiety and stress: Someone who is constantly anxious or stressed keeps their body in overdrive. The constant flooding of adrenaline exhausts the body, and fatigue sets in.
                      • Grief: Losing a loved one causes a wide range of emotions including shock, guilt, depression, despair and loneliness.

                      How to Tackle Constant Fatigue

                      Here are 12 ways you can start tackling the causes of fatigue and start feeling more energetic.

                      1. Tell The Truth

                      Some people can numb themselves to the fact that they are overtired or fatigued all the time. In the long run, this won’t help you.

                      To give you the best chance to overcome or eliminate fatigue, you must diagnose and tell the truth about the things that are draining your energy, making you tired or causing constant fatigue.

                      Once you’re honest with yourself about the activities you’re doing in your life that you find irritating, energy-draining, and make you tired on a regular basis you can make a commitment to stop doing them.

                      The help that you need to overcome fatigue is available to you, but not until you tell the truth about it. The first person you have to sell on getting rid of the causes of fatigue is yourself.

                      One starting point is to diagnose the symptoms. When you start feeling stressed, overtired or just not operating at your normal energy levels make a note of:

                      • How you feel
                      • What time of day it is
                      • What may have contributed to your fatigue
                      • How your mind and body reacts

                      This analysis may help you identify, understand and then eliminate very specific causes.

                      2. Reduce Your Commitments

                      When we have too many things on our plate personally and professionally, we can feel overstretched, causing physical and mental fatigue.

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                      If you have committed to things you really don’t want to do, this causes irritability and low emotional engagement. Stack these up throughout your day and week, then your stress levels will rise.

                      When these commitments have deadlines associated with them, you may be trying to cram in far too much in a short period of time.  This creates more stress and can affect your decision making ability.

                      Start being realistic about how much you can get done. Either reduce the commitments you have or give yourself more time to complete them in.

                      3. Get Clear On Your Priorities

                      If working on your list of to-do’s or goals becomes too overwhelming, start reducing and prioritizing the things that matter most.

                      Start with prioritizing just 3 things every day. When you complete those 3 things, you’ll get a rush of energy and your confidence will grow.

                      If you’re trying to juggle too many things and are multi-tasking, your energy levels will drop and you’ll struggle to maintain focus.

                      Unfinished projects can make you self-critical and feel guilty which drops energy levels further, creating inaction.

                      Make a list of your 3 MIT (Most Important Tasks) for the next day before you go to bed. This will stop you overcommitting and get you excited about what the next day can bring.

                      4. Express More Gratitude

                      Gratitude and confidence are heavily linked. Just being thankful for what you have and what you’ve achieved increases confidence and makes you feel more optimistic.

                      It can help you improve your sense of wellbeing, which can bring on feelings of joy and enthusiasm.

                      Try starting a gratitude journal or just note down 3 things you’re grateful for every day.

                      5. Focus On Yourself

                      Exhaustion and fatigue can arrive by focusing solely on other people’s needs all the time, rather than worrying about and focusing on what you need (and want).

                      There are work commitments, family commitments, social commitments. You may start with the best intentions, to put in your best performance at work, to be an amazing parent and friend, to simply help others.

                      But sometimes, we extend ourselves too much and go beyond our personal limits to help others. That’s when constant exhaustion can creep up on us.  Which can make us more fatigued.

                      We all want to help and do our best for others, but there needs to be some balance. We also need to take some time out just for ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate.

                      6. Set Aside Rest and Recovery Time

                      Whether it’s a couple of hours, a day off, a mini-break or a proper holiday, time off is essential to help us recover, recharge and refocus.

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                      Recovery time helps fend off mental fatigue and allows us to simply kick back and relax.

                      The key here, though, is to remove ourselves from the daily challenges that bring on tiredness and fatigue. Here’s how.

                      Can you free yourself up completely from work and personal obligations to just rest and recover?

                      7. Take a Power Nap

                      When you’re feeling tired or fatigued and you have the ability to take a quick 20-minute nap, it could make a big difference to your performance for the rest of the day.

                      Napping can improve learning, memory and boost your energy levels quickly.

                      This article on the benefit of napping is a useful place to start if you want to learn more: How a 20-Minute Nap at Work Makes You Awake and Productive the Whole Day

                      8. Take More Exercise

                      The simple act of introducing some form of physical activity into your day can make a huge difference. It can boost energy levels, make you feel much better about yourself and can help you avoid fatigue.

                      Find something that fits into your life, be that walking, going to the gym, running or swimming. 

                      The key is to ensure the exercise is regular and that you are emotionally engaged and committed to stick with it.

                      You could also walk more which will help clear your head and shift your focus away from stressful thoughts.

                      9. Get More Quality Sleep

                      To avoid tiredness, exhaustion and fatigue, getting enough quality sleep matters. 

                      Your body needs sleep to recharge.  Getting the right amount of sleep every night can improve your health, reduce stress levels and help us improve our memory and learning skills.

                      My previous article on The Benefits of Sleep You Need to Know will give you some action steps to start improving your sleep. 

                      10. Improve Your Diet

                      Heavy or fatty meals can make you feel sluggish and tired, whilst some foods or eating strategies do just the opposite.

                      Our always on lives have us reaching for sweets or other sugary snacks to give us a burst of energy to keep going. Unfortunately, that boost fades quickly which can leave you feeling depleted and wanting more.

                      On the other hand, whole grains and healthy unsaturated fats supply the reserves you can draw on throughout the day.

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                      To keep energy up and steady, it’s a good idea to limit refined sugar and starches.

                      Eating small meals and healthy snacks every few hours throughout the day provides a steady supply of nutrients to body and brain. It’s also important not to skip breakfast.

                      Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar in a normal range and prevents that sluggish feeling when your blood sugar drops.

                      11. Manage Your Stress Levels

                      Stress is one of the leading causes of exhaustion and fatigue, and can seriously affect your health.

                      When you have increased levels of stress at work and at home, it’s easy to feel exhausted all the time. 

                      Identifying the causes of stress and then tackling the problems should be a priority. 

                      My article on How to Help Anxiety When Life is Stressing You Out shares 16 strategies you can use to overcome stress.

                      12. Get Hydrated

                      Sometimes we can be so busy that we forget to keep ourselves fully hydrated.

                      Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight and is essential in maintaining our body’s basic functions.

                      If we don’t have enough water, it can adversely affect our mental and physical performance, which leads to tiredness and fatigue.

                      The recommended daily amount is around two litres a day, so to stay well hydrated keep a water bottle with you as much as possible.

                      The Bottom Line

                      These 12 tips can help you reduce your tiredness and feeling of fatigue.  Some will work better than others as we are all different, whilst others can be incorporated together in your daily life.

                      If you’ve tried to make positive changes to reduce fatigue and you still feel tired and exhausted, it may be time to consider making an appointment with your doctor to discuss your condition.

                      Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      [1]Oxford English Dictionary: Definition of fatigue
                      [2]NHS Choices: 10 Reasons for feeling tired
                      [3]Verywellhealth: What is chronic fatigue syndrome
                      [4]Everyday Health: Why does type 2 diabetes make you feel tired
                      [5]Mayo Clinic: Sleep apnea
                      [6]Harvard Health: The lowdown on thyroid slowdown

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