How to hydrate your body

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Did you know that an adult can go weeks without food, but will die after about 10 days without water?

Did you know that an adult can go weeks without food, but will die after about 10 days without water? Water is the essence of life – your brain is 76% water, your blood is 84% water and even your bones are 25% water. It’s essential for basic human functions like maintaining temperature, protecting the brain, spine and tissues, building new cells and detoxing the body.

So why do 77% of Americans say they don’t drink enough water during a typical workday? It often comes down to having the time and also knowing how to hydrate your body – plus remembering to do so.

Even mild dehydration can sabotage your health, productivity, mind and emotions. According to the CDC, dehydration can cause physical symptoms like kidney stones, constipation and overheating, as well as mental symptoms like brain fog and mood swings. So what can you do about it? Discover the best ways to stay hydrated – and develop healthy habits for life.

Signs of dehydration

Most of us are familiar with the signs of severe dehydration: dry mouth, thirst, lack of urination or dark yellow urine and headaches, to name a few. Typically when we feel these symptoms, we have a glass of water and continue on with our day.

Yet other signs are more subtle. So how do you know if you really need to learn how to hydrate your body? Some symptoms of dehydration you may not know about include:

  • Food cravings
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness and fainting
  • Dry skin
  • Bad breath
  • Headaches
  • Muscle cramps
  • Irritability

So, how long does it take to hydrate your body? The answer depends on how dehydrated you are, as well as your body weight and gender, but one study came up with 45 minutes as the magic number. You’ll want to focus not only on short-term rehydration, but incorporating healthier habits into your overall lifestyle.

How to hydrate your body

While the guidelines differ by body weight, age and gender, experts generally recommend adults drink eight, 8-ounce glasses of water per day. If you’re not drinking this much water, it’s time to familiarize yourself with the best ways to stay hydrated.

1. Reach for electrolytes

Wondering “How long does it take to hydrate your body?” You likely want a quick fix – and you can reach for an oral hydration solution, a mixture that contains electrolytes like sodium and potassium. Wait, sodium? Yes! Salt actually plays an important role in regulating the water content of your cells, as does potassium.

Other electrolytes are also essential, like magnesium and chloride. When you lose water, you lose these electrolytes as well, and replenishing them is key to how to super hydrate your body.

2. Eat the right diet

Once you’ve super-hydrated your body to alleviate your immediate dehydration symptoms, you can begin building a diet that will keep you hydrated over the long term. The right diet will consist of 70% water-rich foods, such as:

  • Lettuce (96% water)
  • Cucumber (94% water)
  • Tomatoes (93% water)
  • Spinach (92% water)
  • Broccoli (92% water)
3. Drink fluids – the right way

You probably think you know how to hydrate your body – just drink water, right? Wrong. The truth is that you need to drink the right kind of water. Tap water may contain contaminants. Opt for ionized alkaline water in bottles, or you can buy an alkalizer for your tap water system. Always start your day with a glass of water, and don’t go more than 20 minutes without taking a sip of water. Set a timer if you need to!

Keep in mind that the best hydrating drink isn’t necessarily water. Coconut water provides electrolytes, celery juice may have anti-inflammatory properties, green drinks provide vitamins and minerals along with hydration, and green tea has antioxidants that fuel your brain. Avoid soda, alcohol, coffee and energy drinks. They’re packed with sugar and caffeine, which cause dehydration.

Discovering the best ways to stay hydrated is part of an overall healthy lifestyle, which includes a balanced diet, exercise and self-care. When you incorporate hydration into your daily routine, you’ll have more energy and focus to achieve your goals.


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