Being dehydrated can affect you in many ways. Side effects of dehydration include headaches, poor concentration and fatigue. Staying well hydrated can bring many positive effects such as increased energy and stamina, improved digestion and decreased water weight (and resulting bloating). Staying hydrated may also help keep you from overeating -- we often tend to reach for food when we're actually thirsty (we think we are hungry).
Waiting until you feel thirsty to drink something isn't the best way to prevent dehydration. In fact, you could be dehydrated right now and not even realize it. The best way to begin the habit of staying better hydrated is to do just that -- create habits. For instance, I began feeling much better throughout my mornings when I started drinking a full glass of water upon waking.
Here are some ways to work more water into you day:
- Drink a glass before every meal.
- Alternate other beverages with one glass of water.
- Ask for a glass of water alongside soda, coffee or tea at restaurants.
- Keep a bottle of water at your desk.
- Drink water in the afternoon when your energy level dips (and before you hit the vending machine!).
- Drink a full glass of water both before and after exercising.
- If you start feeling a little off (slightly nauseated) or a headache coming on (a sign of dehydration), drink a glass of water.
- Switch to 12-oz. water glasses at home instead of 8-oz. ones.
- Keep a bottle of water in your car when the weather is mild.