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How to Rehydrate

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Find out the best way to rehydrate for your lifestyle. You’ll learn:

  • How to check if you’re dehydrated
  • Daily fluid intake guidelines based on gender, age and lifestyle
  • Ways to avoid electrolyte imbalance
  • How to stay hydrated on the go

Your Guide to Personalized Hydration

Chapter 1

Hydration Definition and
Science-backed Tips

Chapter 2

How to Rehydrate
Your Body

Chapter 3

What’s the Best Drink
for Hydration?

Chapter 4

Hydration On the Go

Special Thanks
to Dr. Michael D. O’Leary Ph.D. for his expert opinions

Scroll down
to read the guide!

Chapter One:
Hydration Definition and Science-backed Tips

  • Hydration definition

  • Recommended daily fluid intake

  • Dangers of dehydration

  • Dehydration pinch test


Water is an essential ingredient for personalized wellness. Sixty percent of the average adult body is made of water, and it’s a well-known fact that we can only survive a few days without water. Studies also suggest that dehydration can affect our mood and cognition, leading to a range of symptoms such as anxiety, fatigue and lapses in short term memory.

 

Though it plays a fundamental role in health, hydration often gets overlooked. We eat overly salty foods and drink dehydrating drinks that create imbalances in our bodies. It’s easy to forget to routinely replenish our bodies with nourishing fluids.

 

Dr. Michael D. O’Leary Ph.D., a dietary supplement industry expert and lead formulator and researcher for numerous health products and ingredients, thinks it's best to make hydration fun. He suggests going beyond drinking plain water by flavoring your water with fruits and vegetables like cucumbers, making teas either warm or cold, and using supplements.

 

Dr. O’Leary is currently working with us at Healthy Human to develop a line of hydration supplements to target a variety of wellness needs. Throughout this guide, we consult with him about how to overcome the challenge to stay hydrated.  

 

Making good choices about how, when and how often we intake fluids depends on our lifestyles. Each person has different hydration needs, which is why we’ve created this guide. By looking at hydration from a holistic perspective, based on your specific health conditions and level of physical activity, our guide will help you customize a hydration routine to match your health needs.

Hydration definition

Hydration is the physical process of absorbing water from food or drink. Roughly 20-30 percent of our hydration comes from food, whereas 70-80 percent comes from drinks.

 

Our body uses water for many different functions. It helps with bodily temperature regulation, joint lubrication, digestion and waste removal, cell functioning and moisturizing our bodily tissues including our muscles and sensory organs.  

When dehydration sets in, Dr. O’Leary explains how a series of internal changes occur:

 

As you continue to dehydrate your body starts to conserve water in the kidneys which in turn will have you urinating less, one sign that you need to start consuming more water.

 

As dehydration continues the changes keep getting worse inside your body. Your blood becomes thicker making it harder to move around the body. If you are exercising or just moving around, this puts a large strain on your heart and can quickly lead to exhaustion and risk of collapse.

 

At this phase since the body needs any water, it will start to borrow it at the cellular level. Once the water is taken from your cells they shrink, again triggering your brain into thirst sensations.

 

The reverse occurs when we have an excess of fluid in our bodies. Then, our brains communicate with our kidneys, notifying them it’s time to release water as urine. Hydration improves healthy kidney functioning, helping this important organ to regulate the fluids in our body.

The importance of electrolytes

Hydration not only implies drinking enough water, but maintaining a balance of electrolytes such as sodium because of the different ways we lose fluid. In addition to urination, we also lose fluid through our skin as sweat and through our respiratory tracts and digestive systems.

 

On average, non-athletic adults lose 65 to 100 fluid ounces of water per day as sweat, which also depletes our electrolytes.Learn more about the important role electrolytes play in hydration by scrolling down to Chapter Three.

Recommended daily fluid intake

Your daily fluid intake needs depend on a lot of factors such as your diet, gender, age, body weight, metabolism, physical activity and climate. Let’s take a look at how some of these factors influence water intake needs for average, non-active people. Physical activity and climate are covered in Chapter Two.

Your diet

Your eating and drinking habits can greatly impact your overall ability to stay hydrated. Foods high in sugar require extra fluid to process, while excess salt can overload our bodies with electrolytes that need to be diluted with water. “With high salt levels in the blood, it can cause disruption with your muscles contraction and nerve functions. Following proper food intake guidelines should regulate your salt intake and have it within a healthy range,” says Dr. O’leary.

As for sugar, he warns that “Excess sugar causes high blood glucose levels, and in turn causes higher rates of urination, which can quickly cause a loss of excess water and electrolytes, thus causing dehydration.” On the other hand, Dr. O’Leary suggests that the standard nutritional guidelines may not go far enough in helping us achieve all of the electrolytes or minerals we need. Foods and drinks to avoid include soda, candy, salty chips, french fries and cured meats which have added salt and sugar.

 

Another thing to watch out for are foods and drinks that have diuretic properties. This means they flush fluids from your body more quickly than your body absorbs the new water. Examples include coffee, alcoholic beverages, beets, artichokes and asparagus.

Your gender

On average, adult men have greater water intake needs than adult women. Keep in mind that about 20 percent of that need is met by food, so rest depends on drinking fluid. Men should drink roughly 13-14 cups of water per day and women should drink roughly 8-9 cups of water per day.  

 

Women have differing physical conditions related to childbirth, so at times, they require more water than usual. These include when women are on their periods, pregnant or breastfeeding.

Your age

Meeting your daily water needs also depends on your age. One of the reasons is that the percentage of water in our bodies by weight is different at different ages. Infants contain 75 percent water, adults are about 60 percent water and elderly people are made of around 55 percent water.

 

Babies and the elderly are at a greater risk of dehydration. For the elderly, the required fluid intake for adults doesn’t change much, but their sensation of thirst may be diminished. This makes it harder to gauge when to drink water.

 

For babies, children and adolescents, the average daily fluid needs are as follows (measured in 8 oz cups):

 

All children:

Less than one years old: 3-3.5 cups

1-3 years old: 5.5 cups (about 1 cup from food)

4-8 years old: 7 cups (about 1.5 cups from food)

 

Female adolescents:

9-13 years old: 9 cups (2 cups from food)

14-18 years old: 10 cups (2 cups from food)

 

Male adolescents:

9-13 years old: 10 cups (2.5 cups from food)

14-18 years old: 14 cups (3 cups from food)

Your bodyweight and metabolism

Your daily fluid intake can also vary based on your weight and metabolic rate. In a temperate climate, adults with an average level of physical activity should drink about 2-3 ounces of water for every 3 pounds of body weight each day. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, that’s about 75-150 ounces (about 10-15 cups) of water.

 

Dieters may be interested to know that when you’re dehydrated, your metabolism does not work as well. Staying hydrated can actually improve your ability to lose weight.

 

Your body can also confuse hunger and thirst, so drinking water when you feel hungry between meals could help you minimize unnecessary caloric intake.

Dangers of dehydration

Dehydration (the loss of water) and hypohydration (the failure to replace water lost by sweat) lead to a variety of negative impacts on both our health and mood. Keep in mind that these impacts can vary widely depending on age and other factors.

 

According to Dr. O’Leary, the dietary supplement industry expert we’re working with to create personalized hydration supplements, “As little as one percent dehydration can negatively affect your mood, attention, memory, and motor coordination. It is also thought that brain tissue fluid decreases with dehydration, thus reducing brain volume and temporarily affecting cell function. This can be incredibly dangerous to contact sport athletes.”

 

Here’s a summary of the many impacts of dehydration:

Diminished athletic performance

  • Lowered endurance
  • Greater fatigue and sense of effort
  • Reduced ability to regulate body temperature
  • Lowered motivation

Cognitive wellness

  • Reduced short-term memory recall
  • Lowered ability to calculate using arithmetic
  • Diminished visual and other forms of perception
  • Reduced coordination
  • Can contribute to delirium and dementia, particularly for older populations

Mood

  • Increased fatigue
  • Greater irritability and anger

Digestive and internal health

  • Can lead to more constipation and urinary tract infections
  • Diminished kidney function
  • Blood volume losses, related reduced blood pressure, increased heart rate and occasional fainting

Possible signs and symptoms of dehydration

  • Thirst and/or dry mouth and tongue
  • Headache and dizziness
  • No tears when crying (for babies)
  • Dark urine or less frequent urination
  • Sunken eyes and cheeks
  • Back pain and joint pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Feeling of sleepiness or exhaustion

 

When you notice these symptoms, check your hydration levels. Dr. O’Leary cautions against ignoring the signs of dehydration, “If not treated rather quickly, moderate dehydration can turn into chronic dehydration which takes much longer to treat and has even deadly consequences.”

Chronic dehydration

Many people are dehydrated without realizing it. Extended periods of dehydration can lead to chronic dehydration, when it becomes difficult to replenish your hydration needs, even when you drink enough water each day.

 

Chronic dehydration can affect those who work for extended periods in the heat or people who do not drink enough water regularly. It can lead to longer term impacts of high blood pressure, hypertension, kidney stones and dementia.

To assess and treat chronic dehydration, it helps to consult with a medical professional to accurately assess your body’s hydration level and address the root cause of the condition. They can also help track and monitor your electrolyte and water levels over a period of several weeks, as you undergo a well-planned treatment.

Dehydration pinch test

When you pinch your skin, you can tell if your body is dehydrated by how fast the skin returns to its original position.

 

Here’s how to do a dehydration pinch test:

  • Pinch the skin on your lower arm or abdomen between two fingers--not so it hurts, but enough to lift it from your body.
  • Hold for three seconds then release your skin.
  • Check how long it takes for your skin to return to its original position.
  • If your skin returns slowly, you’re probably dehydrated.

The dehydration pinch test checks your skin turgor. This is the medical term for skin elasticity, which indicates how well it can move and return back to its normal position.

 

You can also detect dehydration using the acronym WUT, which stands for weight, urine and thirst:

  • First, check for weight changes of more than 1% throughout the day. Higher fluctuations indicate possible dehydration.
  • Second, observe how dark your urine appears. Dark urine indicates dehydration.
  • Third, notice how dry the inside of your mouth feels. A dry mouth and throat or thirst suggest dehydration.

More ways to check for dehydration include blood tests and urinalysis. You can schedule these tests with your family doctor.

 

A blood test will tell you additional information such as how many electrolytes appear in your blood and how well your body absorbs essential nutrients. On the other hand, a urinalysis test can also help you check for a bladder infection.

Chapter Two: How to Rehydrate Your Body

    • How to rehydrate everyday

    • 7 crucial reasons to rehydrate

    • How long does it take to get rehydrated?

    • The 7 most hydrating drinks besides water


How to rehydrate everyday

For most situations, you can use your sense of thirst to gauge when you need to drink water. But sometimes you can’t always access water or other drinks when you need it most. Other times our sense of thirst can be deceptive, because it may indicate that we’re already dehydrated. Here are some tips to avoid drying up during the day.

 

“Chances have it that when you feel dehydrated you have been that way for about 45 min to one hour already. The signals of dehydration actually lag behind the body’s level of hydration,” says Dr. Michael D. O’Leary Ph.D., an expert in the dietary supplements industry, specializing in natural medicine.

Keep a regular hydration routine

Think about your daily routines. You probably have a routine for getting ready in the morning, eating meals throughout the day and preparing for bed. Do any of your routines include drinking water? If not, a great way to meet your daily fluid needs is to add beverages into the structure of your day.

Here are some great times to drink a hydrating beverage or glass of water:

  • When you wake up and before you go to sleep
  • Before and after breakfast lunch and dinner
  • When you go to work and when you return home
  • Before, during and after workouts
  • In place of a cup of coffee or tea

Pencil in your water breaks and you’ll have a much better chance of staying hydrated. “It is recommended that you drink either water or an Oral Hydration Solution, and take small sips, as to not overload the body,” says Dr. O’Leary.

He recommends starting your day with water is ideal and keeping a constant schedule of consuming water or food that is high in water content. For instance, by choosing hydrating snacks such as cucumbers, melons, or celery you’ll replenish your fluids throughout the day.

Don’t drink your daily needs all at once

Drinking too much water at once is not an efficient way to stay hydrated. “Hydration does not happen immediately, and if you try to do so, in the worst cases this can shut down parts of your body due to an overload and cause shock,” Dr. O’Leary tells us, while adding that it only happens in rare cases.

 

For example, in the summer if you go for a 45 minute run, he explains, you could go home and drink excess water that your body will just urinate. It’s very unlikely that you’ll experience shock in this case.

 

The scientific term for this shock is hyponatremia, and though it is uncommon, it gives us insights about hydration. At the cellular level, drinking too much water disrupts the ratio of water to electrolytes in your blood in the case of severe dehydration.Without enough sodium, an important electrolyte for hydration, your cells will start to swell.

 

In the brain, cell swelling from hyponatremia can cause headaches, confusion, coma and even death. Please note, it is very uncommon to self-induce water intoxication, but having the right balance of electrolytes to water in your body is always important.

 

“Essentially, the body can only do so much at once. It can only process so much water and so many vitamins and minerals, so it is best to slowly rehydrate yourself with small sips and allow the body to use the water and electrolytes wisely,” says Dr. O’Leary.

 

To avoid drinking too much water, try not to drink more than about 3-4 cups (24-32 ounces) of water per hour on average depending on your water needs and body weight.

Prepare for electrolyte replacement

As you drink water throughout the day you should plan to replace your electrolytes in line with your water intake. You can do this a number of ways.

  • Add an electrolyte supplement to your water
  • Drink beverages that contain electrolytes such as milk
  • Eat water-rich foods like fruits and vegetables
  • Drink water alongside meals

7 crucial reasons to rehydrate

If you’ve become dehydrated because you’ve lost some of your body fluid, it’s time to rehydrate.

Here are a few of the reasons you may need to do so.

You’re working out or competing in sports

People who regularly train athletically or endure rigorous workouts need to monitor their thirst and water needs carefully to avoid hypohydration. Whereas dehydration refers to the process of water loss, hypohydration occurs when water lost from sweat is not replenished after water loss.

 

Athletes can lose around 6-10 percent of their body weight in sweat loss as they workout or compete in sports. On average a male athlete would lose the following amounts of fluid during an hour of activity in warm weather for the following sports (these amounts are slightly lower for females):

  • Swimming - 13 fl oz
  • Soccer - 50 fl oz
  • Tennis - 54 fl oz
  • Cross country running - 61 fl oz

It’s important for athletes to stay hydrated because their performance can decrease as they experience hypohydration when they don’t replace the water and nutrients lost through sweat. It helps for them to prepare for loss of fluids from sweat loss by drinking before, during and after strenuous activities.

You’re experiencing a new climate or altitude

In hot climates, we sweat more to help our bodies remain cool, so our water needs may increase. Higher altitudes and humidity can also increase our water intake needs.

 

This is especially true for people who are not acclimatized to a particular climate while traveling or due to the change of seasons. That’s why it’s important to rehydrate regularly when you travel or explore areas at different altitudes.

 

Climate makes the impacts of dehydration worse. For example, athletes competing in hot weather show even lower performance when dehydrated than they do in temperate climates. Working for prolonged periods in hot climates can also lead to chronic dehydration.

You’re pregnant or breastfeeding

Women’s bodies undergo miraculous changes as their bodies prepare for birth. One of those changes is an increase in overall water for the amniotic fluid, the placenta, the fetus (which is mostly water) and even for increased blood volume.

 

Pregnant women need to rehydrate more frequently and drink a 10-15% higher daily intake of fluids (12.5 cups) than average women.

 

After birth, when women lactate and breastfeed, they need even more water than during pregnancy. This is because breastmilk is made of 87% water that comes from the mother’s body. Compared with average women, breastfeeding women need about 40% more water per day (16 cups). The best way for a lactating woman to rehydrate is by drinking a cup of water before and after breastfeeding.  

You’ve consumed alcohol or caffeine

If you’re experiencing a hangover, chances are you’re dehydrated. Alcohol is a diuretic that causes our kidneys, livers and bladders to flush fluid from our bodies. This is because it reduces vasopressin, the hormone that controls water retention and limits urine production in the kidneys. As a result, alcohol leads to a greater loss of fluid than it provides, causing dehydration.

 

Caffeine is another diuretic that can dehydrate your body, in spite of the temporary energy boost it brings. “It is important that you try to limit your caffeine and alcohol intake. An easy rule to follow for this can be the 1:1 rule. For every cup of coffee or alcohol drink one cup of water,” says Dr. O’Leary.

 

To overcome dehydration from drinking alcohol, drink electrolyte-rich drinks, which can help you rehydrate more quickly than plain water. See the next chapter for more information.

You have diabetes

Diabetes Types 1 and 2 cause excess glucose in the blood, which is difficult for the kidneys to filter. Therefore, people with these types of diabetes often need to urinate more than average people as the kidneys flush the filtered glucose.

 

As the body adjusts to its increased need for water, people with diabetes can feel excessively thirsty, indicating their greater need for rehydration.

 

Diabetes insipidus, a rare form of diabetes, directly impacts kidney functioning, which leads to greater water losses through urine. It likewise requires additional rehydration throughout the day.

You’re taking prescription medication

Many common prescription medications can lead to side effects that require more rehydration throughout the day. Carefully check the label on your meds or ask your doctor.

You’re ill

Fever and illness can cause us to sweat more than usual, vomit or have diarrhea. All of these physical responses to illness cause dehydration. Remember to rehydrate often when you’re feeling sick.

How long does it take to get rehydrated?

If you think that you can immediately recover from fluid loss, think again. You’ll need to plan time for rest and rehydration from lost fluids after exercise or other water depleting activities.

 

A study in the Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition showed that recovery from 3% body mass loss during physical sports activity took 42 minutes on average for women and 40 minutes on average for men drinking mineral spring water. These results came from testing unstimulated saliva samples.

Another study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research shows how dehydration impacts muscular strength. It suggests that recovery from a 1.5% body mass loss during weight training could be met with a 2-hour period of rest and water consumption.

 

These differing results suggest that the time it takes to recover from dehydration depends on a lot of factors. For instance, it may depend on the intensity of the work out, the individual’s body weight and other health and diet factors.

 

As a general rule, Dr. O’Leary, Ph.D. in natural medicine notes “If you are dehydrated from a day outside this will usually be moderate dehydration and you will usually recover fully within hours if treated properly.”

How to rehydrate quickly

When comparing the different ways to rehydrate quickly, Dr. O’Leary notes that the most common way to rehydrate is by drinking plain water when you’re thirsty: “While this can be effective, it is not the fastest way to rehydrate yourself as the water will pass through your stomach, small and then large intestine before entering your bloodstream."

 

This is how using a hydration supplement can speed up the hydration process. We have created a blend called RHM containing cane sugar (glucose) and sodium, which increase absorption in the small intestine when combined. How this works, according to O’Leary, is this brings the water along with it, allowing water to easily enter the bloodstream. As a result, rehydration starts many steps earlier than if you’re just drinking normal water.

 

Dr. O’Leary notes the quickest, but most expensive method of hydration is through an IV, “[w]hich nowadays can be done at home through an order service. . . . The solution is slowly dripped through an IV injection directly into your bloodstream, delivering electrolytes and nutrients needed. This can cost several hundred dollars.”

 

For an affordable, quick hydration supplement, drop a hydration supplement tablet in a glass of water and you’ll quickly revitalize your body.

The 7 most hydrating drinks besides water

What do you reach for when you’re thirsty? If it’s water, you may be surprised to learn that other drinks can actually keep you hydrated longer than water. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition tested a variety of drinks to see which ones not only help people retain hydration levels but do so for longer periods of time.

 

The aim was to use this research to develop a metric, the beverage hydration index, that could be used to classify and potentially label beverages according to their hydration benefits.

 

The results? Added nutrients and electrolytes improve longer term hydration, whereas plain water can dilute our blood and upset the chemical balance. Here are the beverages from the study that rank higher than plain water for their ability to keep us hydrated for a long time:

  • Skim milk
  • Oral rehydration solutions (ORS)*
  • Whole milk
  • Orange juice
  • Cold tea
  • Hot tea
  • Sports drink
  • Still water

*Supplements created for rehydration that contain small amounts of electrolytes and sugar (i.e., Pedialyte or other electrolyte water supplements)

 

Drinks at the top of the list like milk have the opposite effect from diuretic drinks like coffee and alcoholic beverages which cause our kidneys to flush water from our body. Drinks such as milk and ORS have a nutrient composition that slows the body from releasing fluid as urine because of their calories. They also replenish the electrolytes necessary for proper cell functioning and hydration.

 

ORS supplements contain a level of sugar that helps the body absorb water. “Carbohydrates in the simple form of sugar and in our supplements cane sugar actually help you as they assist in the update of water and the electrolytes. However, you don’t need a lot of added sugar to do this, which is why we have added as little as cane sugar is needed to get the job done. Additional added sugar which is not needed then becomes to us inefficient,” says Dr. O’Leary.

 

Drinks with high concentrations of sugar and carbohydrates can have adverse effects on hydration because they require more fluid to break down the sugars. To deal with excess sugar, water in our bodies that should be used for hydration, gets pulled aside for digestion.

 

Next, we’ll take a closer look at why electrolytes are so important for maintaining hydration.  

Chapter Three: What’s the Best Drink for Hydration? It Depends on You

    • What are electrolytes?

    • How drinks with electrolytes prevent dehydration

    • When you should drink electrolyte water

    • The best drink for hydration is a personalized solution


Choosing the best drink for hydration depends on a lot of factors. We have to consider our age, diet, body weight, level of physical activity, climate and other health conditions like illness and diseases. This is why personalized wellness is the future for hydration.

 

When it comes to our diet, the most important essential nutrients in our bodies for hydration are electrolytes. Understanding these key ingredients to hydration helps us understand our hydration needs better.

What are electrolytes?

At the molecular level, electrolytes are “ionic conductors”: particles that carry a positive or negative charge. From a nutritional standpoint, electrolytes are minerals that serve important metabolic functions in our bodies, helping cells regulate the flow of fluids and wastes.

 

These are the most important electrolytes used in our bodies: Sodium, Potassium, Chloride, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Bicarbonate. These minerals are essential nutrients for our bodies, because they help with hydration, keep the pH balance in our bodies stable and regulate muscle and nerve functions.

For hydration, sodium plays a very important role. The fluids in our body are constantly getting depleted whether we’re sweating to regulate our temperature, urinating or even breathing. Our cells use electrolytes to maintain the right water levels in spite of the fluctuation of incoming and outgoing water supplies.

 

Sodium maintains the balance of fluid on the inside and outside of our cells. It does so through the process of osmosis. This is when the relative electrolyte balance attracts water inside or pulls it outside the cell’s membrane to maintain an equal concentration of electrolytes on the outside and inside of a cell.  

 

From a broader perspective, Dr. O’Leary explains: “Electrolytes are needed to maintain vitamin body functions. They support nervous system functions, muscle function, regulating proper hydration, and assisting with proper internal pH levels.”

 

Disturbances in our diet and hydration levels can cause electrolyte imbalances. “Imbalances often do occur due to dehydration and cause common symptoms of dehydration like vomiting, headaches, and fatigue. More severe symptoms of electrolyte imbalances are severe fatigue, irregular heartbeat, numbness and tingling, seizures and mental confusion,” says Dr. O’Leary.

 

Mild electrolyte imbalances often go unnoticed, while more severe imbalances lead to symptoms like fatigue, a racing or inconsistent heartbeat, confusion, muscle cramps, muscle weakness, headache and convulsions.

How drinks with electrolytes prevent dehydration

Electrolyte balance is not something that should be taken for granted. “Since electrolytes are essential to human life, making sure that your hydration levels are correct is key to your wellbeing. Ensuring proper electrolyte balance can have amazing benefits to your heart, never, muscle, digestive, and cognitive health,” affirms Dr. O’Leary.

 

For athletes, electrolyte balance can make or break their performance. Dr. O’Leary explains, “One of the common ways people think of electrolyte benefits is their assistance in athletics, as we sweat and lose electrolytes, being dehydrated can decrease strength, speed, and focus, thus being hydrated can counteract these negative aspects.”

When our bodies sweat, we lose both water and sodium, as well as chloride. This is why water alone after intense workouts or after spending time in hot or humid climates is not enough to keep you hydrated. You’ll also need to compensate for the loss of electrolytes.

 

Sweat contains roughly 40-60 mmol of sodium per liter, or 1.2-1.8 mmol of sodium per fluid ounce. Of course, each person sweats at different rates and the level of salt in their sweat varies as well.

 

Electrolyte water and oral rehydration solutions are made specifically for athletes and people facing severe dehydration who have lost a lot of electrolytes. Drinks with electrolytes reintroduce these necessary nutrients into the body.

 

Using an oral rehydration solution (ORS) supplement is the easiest way to maintain electrolyte balance. “They [ORSs} involve drinking water with modest amounts of sugar and salts, specifically sodium and potassium, they also routinely recommend the use of zinc,” says Dr. O’Leary.

 

If you’re wondering how to choose the best ORS for your needs, Dr. O’Leary recommends the following guidelines: “When choosing a good rehydration drink or solution, I always recommend making sure they include electrolytes, zinc and low sugar, as not too much is needed to increase the absorption of electrolytes and additional ingredients into the body. Aside from that, it would be key to make sure your choice does not include artificial colors, sweeteners, and stabilizers.”

When you should drink electrolyte water

Most Americans have more than enough sodium to balance their sweat losses. This is because roughly 90 percent of Americans consume more than the highest recommended intake of sodium each day (2,300 mg). If you have a high sodium intake and you’re not undergoing lots of physical activity outdoors, plain water is a great option for hydration.

 

However, many Americans also endure intense physical workouts for periods of time longer than an hour. People who run marathons, compete in long-distance cycling races, endure long, sweaty weight training sessions or go hiking on long backpacking trips with extended heat exposure are all great candidates for electrolyte replacement.

In this case, electrolyte water, which contains a healthy amount of essential nutrients for electrolyte replacement, is a good solution. Not only does it improve athletic performance after water losses of just 1-2 percent of body mass due to sweat, it prevents the negative effects of dehydration after intense periods of activity.

 

Use these guidelines to help you determine whether you should drink electrolyte enhanced water:

  • You’ve exercised longer than an hour
  • You’re a heavy sweater
  • You’re ill and vomiting or experiencing diarrhea
  • You’ve had a long period of heat exposure

All of these variables show that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to hydration. This is why electrolyte blends that are designed for personalized wellness are the best option.

How to choose the best drink for personalized hydration

For most people, boosting hydration is necessary for improved wellness. According to a recent survey, 77 percent of working Americans report that they don’t drink enough water to meet their daily needs. Yet, most of the respondents in the survey also stated that they didn’t drink enough because they generally don’t feel thirsty.

 

It’s important to quench your thirst regularly to prevent dehydration early, though, because thirst isn’t a reliable indicator of hydration needs.

 

Hydration provides many benefits that can be enhanced even further with appropriate natural herbs and supplements. By pairing a daily hydration routine with supplements, you can boost your chances of achieving optimal wellness.

Immune boost

Since the COVID-19 virus pandemic took hold, one thing has been on everyone’s minds: preventing the spread of illness. Thankfully, your own body already possesses powerful defenses against pathogens through your immune system.

 

You can also help your immune system defend the body against bacteria and germs through adequate hydration and the help of common immune fighting vitamins and nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin D and zinc as well as natural immune boosters like elderberry, echinacea and garlic.

Mind and clarity

Concentration and focus are hard to achieve with our high paced lifestyles that invite constant distractions in the form of social media and instant messaging. Apart from turning off our computers, it’s important to meet our physical needs for improving mental productivity.

 

Drinking enough fluids helps mental clarity by diminishing confusion that comes with dehydration. Natural herbs like ginkgo biloba used in Chinese medicine or Omega-3 fatty acids are commonly used to improve alertness and memory. Combining these supplements with your daily water intake could improve your mental clarity.  

Sleep

If you’re not able to get enough sleep, dehydration may be one of the underlying causes. Improving sleep also comes with a range of improvements in other areas of wellness from improved mental clarity, immunity and even physical appearance.

 

Those who struggle with insomnia know that sleep loss can be devastating for their health. Combining your hydration routine with a sleep wellness supplement can doubly improve your chances for recovery. Natural sleep aids include melatonin, valerian root, magnesium, lavender, passion flower and glycine.

Workout recovery

Athletes are at particular risk from dehydration because it diminishes physical performance. However, they are also at risk of diluting their bodies with too much water, if they don’t supplement their electrolytes when rehydrating.

 

Intense, long workouts deplete both our fluid and electrolyte levels when we sweat. That’s why combining a workout hydration routine with electrolytes can help preserve the essential nutrients that sustain our overall hydration.

Collagen (joint and skin)

Hydration is known to buffer our joints with fluid and increase the thickness and plumpness of our skin. As we age, our skin also produces less collagen, making it prone to wrinkles and dryness.

 

Combining collagen supplements with a hydration routine can help you improve your skin’s youthful suppleness and elasticity, which often diminish as we age.

Stress relief

Anxiety and irritability are common symptoms of dehydration. Using hydration to soothe your nerves is an excellent way to diminish stress. Combining hydration with stress and anxiety reducing supplements can help you get through pressures brought on by work, family or other triggers.

 

Calming natural vitamin supplements include vitamins A, C, D and E as well as B-complex vitamins, while natural herbal remedies like chamomile, kava kava and lavender can also help.

 

At Healthy Human, we’re in the process of creating a variety of wellness blends that you can add to water to improve each of these wellness factors as you get hydrated everyday. This way, you’ll have an incentive to drink water while you improve other aspects of personal wellness.

 

By focussing on how improved hydration and personalized wellness go hand in hand, we hope to help you to tune into your personal needs and support you with blends that you can easily add to water and supplement your daily hydration with added benefits.

Chapter Four: Hydration on the go

    • Take a refillable water bottle to go

    • Plan ahead for extra hydration needs

    • Get the right accessories for your lifestyle


Take your hydration to go by stocking up on the best gear for hydration. Nothing will slow you down when you leave home with the essentials: a durable refillable Stein water bottle that’s easy to carry, a Cruiser tumbler to keep at your desk or to tote in your car and bring along hydration supplements.

Take a refillable water bottle to go

When you take a refillable water bottle with you to work or school everyday, you’ll have a constant reminder at your side to drink enough water.

 

You can easily refill your bottle with water and add an electrolyte-rich supplement if you want to maintain the right balance of nutrients.

 

WIth Healthy Human’s insulated stainless steel bottles, you’ll get loads of added benefits.

  • Healthy Human water bottles are made of high-quality durable 18/8 food grade stainless steel that’s easy to clean and won’t rust, so you’ll be able to use it for years.
  • You can save money by refilling on tap water at water fountains as you go from place to place.
  • Getting the right daily intake of water is easy to track with a 32 oz bottle. Up to three refills will meet most people’s daily needs.
  • You’ll prevent unnecessary purchases of single-use plastic and eliminate trash and pollution that harms our planet.
  • With a Healthy Human vacuum insulated water bottle, you can keep your cool drinks cold for up to 24 hours and hot drinks warm for 12 hours. Your drinks will stay fresh and ready to drink when you need them.

Plan ahead for extra hydration needs

If you’re the type who loves a hot drink in the morning on the drive to work, try out our Healthy Human Cruiser Tumbler.

 

Available in 12, 20 and 32 oz sizes, your favorite barista will have no difficulties filling it up with your favorite tea or coffee drink. It uses the same vacuum insulation technology as our bottles and will keep that drink warm for up to 12 hours.

 

If you want to get really creative, you can use all of our products to design a custom hydration station at home with supplements, stainless steel metal straws, bottles and cruisers. This way, you’ll create a convenient central place to store your hydration supplies.

Get the right accessories for your lifestyle

Flip N Sip Lid - Designed with active athletes, runners and backpackers in mind, this convenient lid fits all of our Healthy Human water bottles. With the click of a button, you can easily flip open the lid and drink from your bottle.

 

Water Bottle Take Me With U Sling - You can easily carry your Healthy Human water bottle with our shoulder strap sling that allows you to carry your bottle with you comfortably. It includes a side pocket large enough to store your cell phone or wallet, to minimize the need for extra bags and pockets.

5-Pack Stainless Steel Straw Travel Set - Great for sharing drinks or sipping from our Cruiser Tumbler, our stainless steel straws come in a handy travel set that you can wrap up and tote in your backpack or purse. You’ll not only cut down on the need for disposable plastic straws, you’ll prevent the spread of bacteria by ensuring everyone has their own straw.

 

On the Go Cruiser Straw Lid - Because Cruisers are not only meant for hot drinks but also for smoothies and juice blends, top your tumbler with a straw lid that prevents spills.

 

Grip N Sip Cruiser Handle - Adding a handle to your Cruiser Tumbler makes drinking even easier. It slides on and off so you can still tote your Tumbler in the bottle holder pocket of your backpack or your car cup holder when needed.

Achieving Personalized Hydration

As research has shown, dehydration brings health risks that negatively impact our physical and mental performance as well as our mood.

 

Personalizing hydration is the perfect way to ensure you get your daily intake. As we’ve shown throughout this guide, a wide range of factors impact your hydration needs. Gender, age, body weight, diet, activity level and even the types of drinks you consume all play a part.

 

At the molecular level, the need to replenish electrolytes is especially clear for athletes. However, small levels of electrolyte replacement for custom needs like immune boost, mind and clarity and stress relief can also improve your overall wellness, improving your daily life in dramatic ways.

 

We encourage you to develop our own hydration routine that matches your daily needs. Stock up on all of the supplies you need to stay hydrated in every circumstance whether for work, leisure, travel or family time.

Special thanks to Dr. Michael D. O’Leary Ph.D.

We’d like to thank Dr. Michael D. O’Leary Ph.D., lead researcher and formulator for a forthcoming line of Healthy Human hydration supplements, for contributing his expert opinions throughout this guide.

 

Dr. O’Leary is an expert in the dietary supplement industry having seven-plus years of experience leading research into products and ingredients, along with being a lead formulator for numerous companies.

 

During his doctorate, Dr. O’Leary led a research study into the effects of herbal extracts on the symptoms of learning disabilities. He is an expert in herbal medicine for cognitive enhancement, and also works intensively developing natural and holistic strategies for muscular development.

 

Of the numerous supplements developed, Dr. O’Leary has worked on the skin, hair, detoxification, allergy, diabetic, nootropic, joint support, and sports supplements to name a few.

 

Dr. O’Leary has a Bachelor's in Exercise Science from the University of Minnesota – Moorhead, and Masters and Doctorate degrees in Natural Medicine from The International Quantum University of Integrative Medicine.

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