The All-In-One Hydration Cheat Sheet: Part One It’s estimated that at least 75 percent of Americans suffer from chronic dehydration. Yes, 75 percent. That’s a whole lot of people, and the effects of dehydration on the body, especially over a long period of time, are no joke. Is your body getting the water it needs?

How to Tell If You’re Dehydrated

There are a ton of symptoms that indicate dehydration, and they range from mild/moderate to severe. Mercola.com lists the common symptoms as:

Mild/Moderate Dehydration: Dry, sticky mouth; lethargy; dry skin; headaches; constipation; dizziness or feeling lightheaded; minimal urination; muscle cramps

Severe Dehydration: Extreme thirst; irritability and confusion; sunken eyes; dry skin that doesn’t bounce back when pinched; low blood pressure; rapid heartbeat and breathing; fever; delirium or unconsciousness

And this doesn’t even cover the ramifications of chronic dehydration, which can affect your organs, leading to kidney stones, constipation and cholesterol problems. It can also cause joint and muscle damage.

How to Hydrate and Stay Hydrated

It seems obvious, but it isn’t. There are many ways to hydrate, even outside of simply drinking water.

  1. Water-rich foods like watermelon, celery, strawberries and cucumbers are great sources of hydration—in fact about 20 percent of your daily intake of water should be eaten.
  2. Coffee… really? Yep. Contrary to popular belief, although coffee is a mild diuretic, it doesn’t lead to dehydration. Eight ounces of coffee equals out to about four ounces of water.
  3. Coconut water is a very beneficial method of hydration. It’s low in carbohydrates but contains a great deal of potassium which helps regulate bodily fluids.
  4. Vegetable juice is an amazing alternative to water, because it’s structured—meaning very high quality because of how it replenishes the cell. In addition to hydration, vegetable juice also provides all of the nutrients and good-health staples that its solid counterparts have to offer.
The All-In-One Hydration Cheat Sheet: Part One

And then you have to STAY hydrated. Keep in mind that sickness, physical activity, pregnancy, the temperature of your environment and how many liquids you’re losing through sweat or urination (which should be immediately replaced) play a part in how much water you’ll need. As the old saying goes, 8 glasses a day… well, that’s not exactly true, because the daily amount varies from person to person, but it could be a good place to start! Your body will tell you when it needs more water. You just need to listen.

Stay tuned for more tomorrow with The All-In-One Hydration Cheat Sheet: Part Two, where we’ll get to explore some of the amazing benefits associated with staying well-hydrated!