Finding Your Perfect Hydration Pattern
Regardless of your health habits, there's nothing more important than staying hydrated. Just like eating healthy and exercising regularly, maintaining your hydration levels is critical to your body’s ability to work, rest, relax, sleep, and even digest food properly.
Of course, there are medical standards for staying hydrated, including consuming at least 64 - 80 ounces of water per day, or more if you’ve been exercising or eating a diet especially high in sodium-rich foods.
That said, how you hydrate throughout the day is a less-common topic. Particularly for active, working adults, figuring out the best way to reach your optimal hydration levels can be difficult amidst all of your other commitments. To help you figure out your own personal hydration rhythm, we’ve compiled a few simple tips that will equip you to take your hydration to the next level.
First Things First: Set a Goal
There are several different opinions out there on how much to drink to hydrate effectively, but most resources will advocate for consuming somewhere between 64 - 80 ounces of fluids, not including the fluid gained from foods. This averages out to about 8 - 10 glasses of water a day. For your own personal hydration goals, we recommend breaking it down into a figure that helps you to track your own hydration habits. If you drink out of a Nalgene, keep track of your water in number of Nalgenes you drink down, keeping in mind the ounces particular to your hydration vessel. Depending on whether or not you intersperse Liquid I.V. throughout your day, it’s possible your goal may fluctuate a little bit, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself to hit the exact number of ounces every single day.
Notable fact: Behind on your hydration goal? Adding Liquid I.V. to your water can take the pressure of your glass count. When mixed with water, a serving of Liquid I.V. can equal two to three bottles of water alone. That’s two-for-one hydration!
In the AM: Hydrate Before You Caffeinate
The first step to establishing your ideal hydration balance is finding a morning routine. Whether you’re a morning exercise person (the night-owls salute you!) or a 15-minutes-and-out-the-door type, the morning is critical when setting yourself up for a hydration-positive day. And we get it--the first thing you reach for in the morning might not be your water bottle. However, science has shown that sleeping is one of the times when the body tends to lose water, whether through the regular expulsion of carbon atoms through breathing, or the exhaling of water vapor (assuming your room is colder than your body temperature). In fact, turning to coffee first thing in the morning can often prolong the symptoms of dehydration, which will have the adverse effect of negating some of that caffeine-fueled energy.
Although the general recommendation would be to drink at least one glass of water prior to consuming anything caffeine-related, if that’s just not possible for you, then at least try to drink two glasses of water (or one serving of Liquid I.V.’s electrolyte powder) for every cup of coffee or other caffeinated beverage consumed
During the Day: More (Frequent) Is Better
For the average working person, consuming the benchmark 8 - 10 glasses of water per day can be a challenge, particularly if you consider the fact that meetings, appointments, and other scheduled events often take up the bulk of one’s time. Our recommendation? Try setting timers for the times during your day that aren’t booked solid, and take a few sips of water every 15 minutes or so. If you’re into carrying a water bottle from meeting to meeting, that works too, but if you focus on consuming a full glass of water every hour or so, you’ll likely hit your baseline hydration goals at the very least.
As we mentioned above, you can also consider adding a serving or two of Liquid I.V. into your hydration pattern, particularly if you’re prone to falling behind. Rather than gulping down two glasses of water to catch up on your goal, take your time drinking a serving of Liquid I.V., which can allow your body to soak up the hydrating nutrients it needs without getting oversaturated too quickly.
There are also apps that can help you to track your water intake, including sending push notifications when it’s time to take a sip or two. Check out Waterlogged (iOS & Android), Hydro Coach (Android only), and Gulp (Android only) for helpful resources on tracking your personal hydration.
In the Evening: Don't Wait Till It's Late
Settling in for the evening with a glass of wine or another beverage of choice? Happy hour-ing it with coworkers? Whatever you choose to do, the same rule applies in the evening as it does in the morning: hydrate often, and pair each non-hydrating beverage with something that’ll replenish your system with vital nutrients. As it gets closer to bedtime, the more non-hydrating fluids you consume, the more difficult it will be to fall asleep and stay asleep, and the more likely you’ll be to find yourself waking up dehydrated. We’re not discouraging a little post-work fun, but keeping careful track of your hydration will ensure you don’t regret the new craft brews you tried. Even if you’re not planning to imbibe, your body needs a little extra to get through the night without becoming dehydrated (find out how to tell if you’re dehydrated), so maintaining an even pattern of hydrating throughout your evening is crucial to a full night’s rest.
When it’s all said and done, staying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do for your body, whether through regular water consumption or a few gulps of Liquid I.V.
Have a process that works for you? Let your friends at Liquid I.V. know! We’re always down for some hydration wisdom.