With summer just around the corner, the mercury will soon be rising. If you plan to work, exercise, or play outdoors in the warm weather, you need to think about hydration.
During strenuous exercise, the average person can lose up to 47 ounces of fluid per hour through perspiration. That’s nearly a quart and a half of water! And when you sweat you’re not just losing water—you’re also losing valuable electrolytes like calcium, potassium, magnesium, and sodium that help your nerves and muscles function as they should. Failure to replenish your body’s stores of water and these key minerals can result in muscle fatigue, cramping, rapid heart rate, dizziness, confusion, and headache. In severe cases, dehydration can even cause heat exhaustion and death.
So what’s the best way to ensure that your body stays hydrated? Here are a 5 Keys to Hydration you can put to work for you today.
1. Stay Aware of Fluid Loss
Dehydration can sneak up on you quickly, especially in warm weather. You may not even feel thirsty or be aware that you are dangerously low on fluids and electrolytes. Try to stay aware of how much water you’re consuming and how much you’re passing in the form of urine. Dark urine is a sign that your kidneys are not receiving sufficient fluid to perform optimally.
The time to hydrate is before you experience symptoms like muscle cramping or dizziness. If you are working or exercising outdoors in the heat, take frequent breaks and remember to keep water (NOT soda) handy as a quick refresher.
2. Sip Water (Don’t Gulp) while You Work or Exercise
During strenuous exercise or work, your body needs more water than it does at rest. So why not gulp down a 16oz bottle of water and get back to what you were doing?
Well, it turns out that the body absorbs water better when fluids are consumed more slowly. Flooding your system with water can cause sudden spikes in urine output, without sufficiently rehydrating your cells. If you give your body more fluid than it can handle, it simply discards the rest as urine. By sipping water throughout the day, you allow your body to absorb the water it needs at its own pace—and you spare yourself the frequent trips to the bathroom.
3. Mix Natural Sugars and Salty Snacks
Drinking water isn’t the only way to stay hydrated. Eating fruits like apples, pears, and bananas can replace some of the fluids we lose through exercise or work. Plus, these foods contain the simple sugars our bodies can process quickly, giving us the energy we need to complete our workout or hike.
Salty snacks (in moderation) can also help the body retain water. Your body needs between 1500 and 2300 mg of salt daily to function. Just 400 mg of sodium (just over a quarter of your daily minimum requirement) can cause your body to retain an extra 4 cups of fluid. If you’ve ever wondered why trail mix includes both dried fruits (like apricots and raisins) and salty snacks (like peanuts and pretzels), it’s because the sugars and salts work in tandem to provide the nutrients and water-binding capacity you need to keep going when the weather’s warm and the trail is steep.
4. Boost Your Electrolytes
Giving your body an electrolyte boost can help you work or exercise longer. Remember that our nerves and muscles need electrolytes such as sodium, magnesium, and potassium in order to function at their best. An electrolyte supplement can help ensure that your body’s stores of these crucial minerals do not dip to dangerously low levels.
5. Hydrate at the Cellular Level
So far we’ve looked at the human body as a whole. But what about hydration at the cellular level? Each one of our billions of cells needs water to survive. It serves as a coolant (perspiration), a lubricant (in the joints), a transportation network (the lymphatic system), and as nourishment for soft tissues like eyes and gums.
So what can you do to keep your cells hydrated?
There’s a miraculous molecule that can help. Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a long-chain sugar molecule that our bodies produce naturally. HA has an amazing affinity for water. In fact a single HA molecule can bind up to 1000 times its weight in water! When HA combines with water, it creates a thick, viscous liquid that is ideal for cushioning and lubricating our joints. It also helps our bodies keep water where it’s needed most. In the skin, for example, HA helps maintain elasticity and resilience, helping protect us against UV rays, wind, and environmental toxins. It also supports the health and hydration of crucial connective tissue in the tendons, ligaments, and cartilage.
At Hyalogic, we’ve spent decades studying the science of hydration. Our consumable hyaluronic acid products contain the same high-molecular-weight HA that our own bodies make—ensuring that the HA you receive is in a form your body can put to work immediately. And because Hyalogic products use HA derived from plant fermentation, our products contain no animal byproducts and are considered vegan friendly.
Check out our products page and learn how our supplements and topicals can help you stay healthy and hydrated!
Hyalogic is The Leader in Hyaluronic Acid, launching their line of premium HA products in 2000. Today, Hyalogic offers hyaluronic acid joint support, hair and scalp, ligament and tendon, and skin care products for men and women of all ages.