I remember trying really hard follow the recommendation of drinking 8 glasses of water per day. But all that did was make me feel uncomfortable with water sloshing around in my belly. Can you relate? It's so hard to try and stay hydrated, especially when you're not thirsty.
I didn't really stop to think what it meant to be dehydrated and what the alternatives to drinking water could be. Little did I know, the diet I had was lacking in fluids in general, and drinking more liquids wasn't the best remedy.
When you hear experts tell you to stay hydrated, what they mean is that your body needs more fluids. So, carrying around a 2 liter bottle of water with you all day and drinking even though you aren't thirsty isn't necessarily the best way to go about hydrating yourself.
Actually, in eastern philosophies and food energetics, water is considered very cooling to the body. You don't want to drink much of it because you want to keep your body warm. Instead, herbal teas or grain coffee are better alternatives for getting in your liquid without overcooling your body.
Anyways, my diet itself was quite drying -- I ate mostly breads, meats, dairy and little vegetables. I didn't realize that I was missing an opportunity to stay hydrated by picking foods with more moisture.
So as you go through this list, I want you to ask yourself if the foods you have been eating for breakfast, lunch, and dinner have been hydrating or dehydrating. Chances are, all you need to do is follow these steps and not have to bother with chugging more water to get the same results.
Here are 5 ways to stay hydrated that don't involve drinking more water:
1) Opt for foods that have more water content
Foods like fruits and vegetables contain a high water content (where as animal products don't hydrate the body, at all). So if hydration is a concern for you, adding a smoothie as a drink along with your breakfast or adding in some more fruits and veggies can do you some good in more ways than one.
2) Change up your cooking techniques
Baking extracts water from foods, so if your aim is to stay hydrated, then you want to opt for other methods of cooking. The idea is that you want to add more fluids into your cooking, so try steaming, broiling, and boiling for more moisture.
3) Swap dry foods such as grains for wet foods
This could be as easy as eating rice instead of bread. Just baking bread itself is already taking out all the water content that had been in the dough, where as rice or porridge are grains that are actually cooked in water, thereby making them more hydrating.
4) Add soups to your meals for an extra boost of hydration
Soup is a super easy way to add in more fluids to your body. And if you're in a situation where the only grain option is to have dry bread, then ordering soup is a good way to counter balance the lack of moisture.
5) Reduce dehydrating fluids like caffeine
Imagine a dehydrated man who drinks 8 cups of coffee a day. The caffeine is causing dehydration, but to force him to drink more water might be tough because he is already taking in a lot of liquids which could make him feel uncomfortable.
What would be more efficient is having him switch out his coffee for water or other hydrating beverages. Even someone addicted to coffee should be able to switch a few of those out for water while still getting their fix, while still transitioning to a more hydrating diet.
You don't have to quit caffeine or other dehydrating beverages - just swap out the ones you have mindlessly for something hydrating like herbal teas and infused water.