by Blake Herzog
Are you just tired of carrying water around with you all the time?
The axiom that people should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of plain water (about 2 liters) every day to stay hydrated is of uncertain origin and has been subject to dispute. The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine recommends women get 2.7 liters of water per day while men aim for 3.5 liters, from any source including other beverages and food.
Of course, other factors like weather, body size and even altitude affect how often you need to hydrate. At higher altitudes, beginning at around 5,000 feet your body works harder and loses more water to respiration than it would at sea level.
We’re not suggesting at all that you can or should eliminate basic, unflavored water from your diet, but there are other ways to make sure your system is hydrated enough to regulate body temperature, remove waste, aid brain function and handle other essential bodily functions.
Oatmeal for breakfast: This hearty whole grain soaks up whatever water, milk or other liquids you soak it in, then releases it into your body upon consumption. Depending on the consistency you prefer and the type of oats you’re using, a half-cup of oats can absorb more than 1 cup of liquid.
Milk: not only can you add this to your oatmeal, it can be a fantastic standalone hydration tool, especially for kids. Its nutrients and electrolytes help the body retain the liquid longer, while the proteins and natural sugars bring other benefits. However, it’s still not a good idea for the lactose-intolerant to drink it.
Soup: Especially in winter, there’s nothing like a warm cup or bowl of broth-based soup to keep you hydrated as well as comfy. Choose or make low-sodium varieties whenever possible for better heart health.
Substitute dry carbs with veggies: The old “zoodles” trick is good not only for carb-cutting but for adding hydration to traditionally carb-heavy meals. Swapping out a bed of rice for a bed of vegetables (almost any will do) has the same effect.