Hydration is critical for maintaining your health and feeling your best. Dehydration can lead to weakness and affect all kinds of important body functions like consciousness, heart rate, and blood pressure.¹ We often think of water as the key to hydration. However, electrolytes also play an essential role in keeping us hydrated. Electrolyte balance is critical for our bodies to feel and work their best, down to the cellular level. When they’re off balance, electrolytes can throw our bodies off track.² Here you can learn tips on how to stay hydrated and how you can use electrolytes to promote hydration and support your overall health.
Why is Hydration So Important?
Water makes up more than half of our body weight,³ and it contributes to many body functions, including metabolism, circulation, and more.⁴ It’s the fluid that facilitates important biological interactions, including the absorption of water-soluble vitamins.³ ⁵ Without enough water in our system, these functions simply can’t run smoothly.
Thirst is the body’s primary way of letting us know that it needs more water, however most people will not feel thirsty until they are already dehydrated. That is why it is important to recognize common signs of mild-to-moderate dehydration such as light-headedness, headache, fatigue, decreased urine output, and dry mouth.¹
Adults lose about 50 to 95 ounces of water each day through normal functions like sweat and urination.³ Our bodies cannot generate enough water to make up for those losses on its own, so it is important that we rehydrate as soon as our body sends us these signs.¹ And even when we don’t have signs of dehydration, we should proactively drink water all day. Research shows that dehydration occurs in all age groups, but affects older adults in particular, with up to 83% of females and 95% of males over the age of 71 not meeting the average recommended water intake.⁵
How Much Water Do I Really Need Each Day?
The amount of water you should be drinking depends on several factors, including your age, weight, sex, activity level, diet, and even the temperature and humidity around you.⁶ However, there are general recommendations for daily water intake for different age groups. For instance, for men and women between the ages of 19 and 30, the recommendation is about 125 ounces per day and 90 ounces per day, respectively.⁶
There’s not one clear answer from professional organizations and research teams on how much water we need daily. That’s because water is complexly intertwined with many body processes, and individuals process water differently.⁴ That's why it’s essential that you pay attention to your body so you can drink as much water as you need to keep yourself well hydrated and performing at your peak.
What Are Electrolytes?
Electrolytes are essential minerals that are vital for normal functioning. Some of the most significant electrolytes are sodium, potassium, chloride, magnesium, calcium, and phosphate.⁷ Each electrolyte has a different function. For instance, calcium promotes healthy bones.⁵
Like water, we need to get electrolytes through what we eat and drink, and there are recommendations for the intake of different electrolytes. For example, the recommendation for sodium intake is 2,300 mg per day for adults, while adults require closer to 4,700 mg per day of potassium.⁸
How Can Electrolytes Promote Hydration?
Electrolytes can improve the ability of your drinks to hydrate you. How that happens depends on the specific electrolytes and other ingredients in each drink.⁷
You may have read that and paused with confusion: doesn’t the water in what we eat and drink keeps the body hydrated? Yes, but without electrolytes, the water we bring in wouldn’t go where it needs to go to support different body processes.
A simple way to think of how electrolytes work to support hydration is to think of electrolytes as charged substances that attract water. Wherever there is more charge – or more electrolytes – is where water will go. When an electrolyte imbalance occurs, fluids shift accordingly.² ⁵
Consuming electrolytes helps with fluid balance and hydration. Charged particles – such as salt – added to water can help to restore fluid balance after someone has lost electrolytes through sweat.⁹
2 Key Tips to Stay Hydrated & Replenish Your Electrolytes
1. Understand that one size does not fit all.
Everybody (and every body) is different – take care of yours! The optimal amount of water and electrolytes for one person to drink each day may not be the optimal amount of water and electrolytes for you to drink each day. It is important to listen to our bodies and talk to trusted healthcare professionals to determine the amount of these substances that we need.
Research has shown that tailored hydration plans can be helpful because people sweat different amounts and lose different amounts of electrolytes – especially sodium – in their sweat.⁶ This individual variation makes it impossible to apply one rule around water and electrolyte needs to all people, so make sure you’re following a plan that fits what’s right for you!
2. Know that your own water and electrolyte needs can change day to day.
If you listen to your body, you should be able to figure out about how much water you need each day. However, it is important to keep in mind that you will need to be deliberate about drinking more water – and adding electrolytes – if you are engaging in activities that will increase the rate at which you lose water and electrolytes.
Eating more and exercising are two common ways that you may increase your water needs. As such, experts agree you need to drink more water if you consume more calories or if you exercise for more than an hour. It has also been shown that consuming beverages with electrolytes during exercise in hot weather can help people to exercise longer.¹⁰
Drinking enough fluids is critical to hydration, and consuming electrolytes can promote that hydration. The best ways to stay hydrated and healthy are to listen to your body so that you understand how much water your body needs and to consume more water and electrolytes in contexts where your requirements may go up – such as during large meals, while exercising, or after a day spent in a hot environment.
How to Support Healthy Hydration and Electrolyte Habits With VÖOST Supplements
VÖOST Hydration effervescent vitamin supplement tablets are an effizing amazing way to support healthy hydration* with Electrolytes + B Vitamins. Dropping one tablet into the water you’re already drinking turns it into a delicious fruit punch-flavored pick-me-up packed with invigorating nutrients that help you perform at your peak without any extra calories or sugar. VÖOST turns your boring water into an H2O-mazing vitamin boost, to help keep you hydrated and living your best life!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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