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Easy, Clever Ways to Prevent Dehydration

Easy, Clever Ways to Prevent Dehydration

    According to my local weather forecast, today’s highs will top 95 degrees. For my little corner of New England, that’s brutally hot (and rather early in the year for such high temps, all things considered.) Factoring in the humidity, I can assure you that I will be hot, cross, and concerned about staying hydrated all day today.

    Which brings me to the main point of today’s post: how to stay hydrated during the hottest months of the year.

    Staying properly hydrated ensures that all of your bodily functions are…well…functioning. You can only go three days or so without water, and as your body loses its hydration, you will experience all kinds of awful side effects. Dehydration can cause irritability, lethargy, dangerously low blood pressure, rapid heart rate, headaches, shock, and even death.

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    The average adult can usually maintain proper levels of hydration by drinking enough water. That being said, extreme heat or exertion can be draining on even a healthy adult. Kids and senior citizens are more susceptible to extreme dehydration than the average adult…so if you have kids or older adults in your life that are important to you, the tips outlined below can be especially important for them (and for you!)

    1. Pick the right water.

    As a general rule, I try to avoid hydrating beverages that have added sugar. In addition to having fewer calories, I think it’s also important to choose hydrating beverages that don’t have sugar in order to prevent spikes in insulin levels. Going into a sugar crash compounded with the already-unpleasant sensation of dehydration? Count me out. Plus, if you happen to be sick with diarrhea during a hot summer day, sugary beverages can actually worsen your symptoms.

    I’m a fan of electrolyte-enhanced waters: SmartWater and Metroelectro are my go-to brands, but there are many options out there. I also really dig flavored waters such as Hint Water (which is all-natural and has zero calories) and Ayala’s Herbal Water. The waters from Ayala are USDA Organic, and come in unique flavor combinations like Lemongrass Mint Vanilla, Lavender Mint, and Lemon Verbena Geranium. If you hate the taste of plain water, these all-natural, zero cal waters are a smart choice (and taste so good you’ll actually WANT to drink them.)

    2. Snack on the right foods

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    Fresh veggies and fruits are good snacks this time of year, and not just for dieters. Fresh produce has a very high water content, so it’s a great way to hydrate without having to drink a ton of water. For example, an apple is up to 85% of water by volume.

    Pickles (and pickle juice) are higher in electrolytes than beverages like Gatorade or Powerade, and have been shown to reduce cramping cause by exertion in high temperatures. The acetic acid in pickles and pickle juice are considered superior to the citric acid found in commercial sports drinks, at least when it comes to rehydration properties.

    Another food you should add into your diet when staying properly hydrated is a concern are chia seeds. In addition to being high in protein, the seeds themselves help you to retain water by absorbing many times their own weight in water. If you can’t find the actual seeds, you may be able to find a chia seed gel at runner’s/sporting good stores or health food stores.

    3. Drink constantly, not occasionally.

    You should be constantly drinking fluids, rather than guzzling multiple liters of water all at once.

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    Let me put it this way: when you go to the hospital and get an IV drip, it’s a DRIP… meaning that you get a slow but steady introduction of fluids. You never see anyone getting an IV drip at the speed of a gushing fire hose.

    It is better to have frequent, small amounts of fluid…especially if the dehydration is severe. Too much fluids at once can induce stomach upset or vomiting.

    The amount of water you need in a given day depends on the environment, your activity level, and what other food and drink you have consumed. That being said, work towards drinking 2-3 liters of water per day.

    Break up that amount of water into a cup or so every hour, and you’ll have a good, healthy intake of water. Drinking too much water in a very short period of time can put too much strain on your eliminatory processes, so finding the right balance is important.

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    4. Avoid diuretic behaviors.

    By which I mean, don’t do anything that you know will dehydrate you. In addition to exercise, also watch out for alcohol and caffeine. You might feel groggy when you get to the office… avoid your usual cup of coffee and go for a large glass of water. You might be surprised at how much more effectively the water perks you up.

    5. Make it easy on yourself.

    It’s hard to stay hydrated when you don’t have water nearby. Keep a couple bottles of water in the fridge at work, or in the trunk of your car (you never know when you’ll be stranded somewhere in hot weather.) Pick up a small sports bottle that will fit in your purse or briefcase, and you’ll always have water close at hand. When the water is close to you, you’ll actually remember to drink it. (And don’t be afraid to set an alarm on your watch or phone every 30 minutes to remind you to drink!)

    Closing Thoughts

    The Dos Equis spokesman, “The Most Interesting Man in the World,” has a catchphrase: “Stay thirsty, my friends.”

    Friends of Stepcase Lifehack, we hope that you’ll ignore his advice, and stay hydrated instead.

    How do you stay hydrated in the summer? Tell us in the comments below!

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    Last Updated on October 16, 2018

    What Your Fear of Being Alone Is Really About and How to Get over It

    What Your Fear of Being Alone Is Really About and How to Get over It

    Are you afraid of being alone?  Do you worry about your physical safety or do you fear loneliness? These are strong negative feelings that can impact your health.

    One study found that when older people are socially isolated, there is an increased risk of an earlier death,[1] by as much as 26%.

    If you experience loneliness and are worried about your fear of being alone, study these 6 ways to help you find your comfort zone.

    But first, the good news!

    How many times have you said to yourself, ‘I just can’t wait to be alone’? This might be after a day’s work, an argument with your partner or after a noisy dinner with friends. You need time to be yourself, gather your thoughts, relish the silence and just totally chill out. These are precious moments and are very important for your own peace of mind and mental refreshment.

    But for many people, this feeling is not often present and loneliness takes over. As Joss Whedon once said,

    ‘Loneliness is about the scariest thing out there’.

    Read on and discover how you can exploit being alone to your own advantage and how you can defeat loneliness.

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    1. Embrace loneliness

    When you are alone, it is important to embrace it and enjoy it to the full.

    Wallow in the feeling that you do not have to be accountable for anything you do. Pursue your interests and hobbies. Take up new ones. Learn new skills. Lie on the couch. Leave the kitchen in a mess. The list can go on and on, but finding the right balance is crucial.

    There will be times when being on your own is perfect, but then there will be a creeping feeling that you should not be so isolated.

    When you start to enjoy being alone, these 10 amazing things will happen.

    Once you start feeling loneliness, then it is time to take action.

    2. Facebook is not the answer

    Have you noticed how people seek virtual contacts instead of a live, face-to-face interaction? It is true that social networking can provide an initial contact, but the chances of that becoming a real life personal contact is pretty slim.

    Being wrapped up in a cloud of sharing, liking and commenting (and insulting!) can only increase loneliness.

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    When you really want company, no one on Facebook will phone you to invite you out.

    3. Stop tolerating unhappy relationships

    It is a cruel fact of life that people are so scared of loneliness that they often opt into a relationship with the wrong person.

    There is enormous pressure from peers, family and society in general to get married or to be in a stable, long-term relationship. When this happens, people start making wrong decisions, such as:

    • hanging out with toxic company such as dishonest or untrustworthy people;
    • getting involved with unsuitable partners because of the fear of being alone or lonesome;
    • accepting inappropriate behavior just because of loneliness;
    • seeking a temporary remedy instead of making a long-term decision.

    The main problem is that you need to pause, reflect and get advice. Recognize that your fear of being alone is taking over. A rash decision now could lead to endless unhappiness.

    4. Go out and meet people

    It was the poet John Donne (1572 – 1631) who wrote:

    ‘No man is an island, entire of itself, every man is a piece of the continent’.

    Human contact is essential to surviving in this world. Instead of wallowing in boredom and sadness, you need to get out as much as possible and seek contacts.

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    Being a member of a group, however tenuous, is a great way. So when you are in the gym, at church or simply at a club meeting, exploit these contacts to enlarge your social circle.

    There is no point in staying at home all the time. You will not meet any new people there!

    Social contacts are rather like delicate plants. You have to look after them. That means telephoning, using Skype and being there when needed.

    Take a look at this guide on How to Meet New People and Make Friends with The Best.

    5. Reach out to help someone in need

    A burden shared is a burden halved.

    Dag Hammarskjold was keenly aware of this fact when he said:

    ‘What makes loneliness an anguish is not that I have no one to share my burden but this: I have only my own burden to bear’.

    Simply put, it is a two-way street. Helping others actually helps yourself, here’s why.

    Reach out to help and people will be there when you need them.

    6. Be grateful and count your blessings

    Study after study shows that if people show gratitude, they will reap a bountiful harvest. These include a stronger immune system, better health, more positive energy and most important of all, feeling less lonely and isolated.

    If you do not believe me, watch the video below, ‘What good is gratitude?’  Now here is the path to hope and happiness:

    Featured photo credit: Anthony Tran via unsplash.com

    Reference

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