Whether it’s a hot summer day out or an energy-demanding physical activity, your body needs to stay hydrated. This makes the body stay healthy and function well. Getting hydrated is as simple as consuming water and other fluids.
The most obvious sign of dehydration is thirst. However, if you are dehydrated for some time, you may not feel thirsty anymore. In general, dehydration is not a life-threatening condition. However, extended dehydration may lead to many complications, most commonly low blood pressure.
Dehydration is usually caused by increased fluid loss. This may be because of vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and sweating, or physical activity.
Common Symptoms of Dehydration
While feeling thirst is the first symptom of low water content in the body, there are other less common symptoms of the condition as well. Extended dehydration may reflect some or all of the following symptoms:
- Dark yellow urine.
- Higher density urine.
- Muscle cramps.
Best Hydrating Drinks to Consume
Best hydrating drinks are the ones that contain water as their primary ingredient. Iced tea (unsweetened), water, and coffee (no sugar or cream) is the best hydrating drinks. If you do not have access to one of those, a sports drink that is low in sodium and high in potassium is acceptable.
1. Fruit Juice
If you’re in a pinch and need to rehydrate, fruit juice is your best bet. It’s best to look for 100 percent fruit juice and make sure your juice of choice isn’t loaded with extra sugar.
2. Hydrating Drinks: Gatorade
To hydrate, you need to maintain your electrolytes. Gatorade has the highest electrolyte concentration of any sports drink, so it’s a great option for staying hydrated even if you’re not working out.
3. Coconut Water
Coconut water has been touted as the new sports drink because it has fewer calories and less sugar than most sports drinks like Gatorade. Its electrolyte-rich properties help you stay hydrated, without the guilt.
4. Sparkling Water
The bubbles can help you stay hydrated and they taste so good! The carbonation adds a little effervescence that makes plain water seem fun and interesting.
5. Hydrating Drinks: Watermelon
Watermelon is also an excellent option to stay hydrated. It has naturally occurring electrolytes and is 92 percent water.
6. Tea (hot or iced)
Tea is one of the most hydrating beverages, so it’s a great option for staying hydrated. Green tea is said to be the best—it’s chock-full of vitamins and minerals that can help you stay hydrated. Plus, it tastes delicious.
Related: 5 Best Fat-Burning Drinks to Speed up Weight Loss
Worst Dehydrating Drinks to Avoid
You might think any drink that contains water will hydrate you. Well, that’s not the case. Many seemingly hydrating drinks have a dehydrating effect on the body. Below are the drinks you may want to avoid if you are going out on a hot summer day or doing a physical exertion.
1. Alcohol and Alcohol-based drinks
This includes beer, wine, and cocktails. Alcohol is a diuretic that makes you pee more, and sweat more. Alcohol is in fact, one of the strongest dehydrating drinks to avoid.
2. Dehydrating Drinks: Coffee
This is something you might not have thought of. Coffee does have a diuretic effect, so it’s actually dehydrating you, and it doesn’t matter if you’re drinking it with soy milk or almond milk.
3. Sugary Soda
If you’re drinking O’Douls or other nonalcoholic beer, or anything that’s all sugar and no water, then it’s definitely going to dehydrate you. This is why it’s really important to keep that water per drink ratio in mind so you don’t unknowingly harm your body.
4. Carbonated Drinks
Soda, seltzer, club soda, and any other carbonated drink are very dehydrating. They also have too much sugar to be considered healthy for you.
5. Energy Drinks
This is a no-brainer, but most people don’t realize that energy drinks are dehydrating. Even if you’re using one to wake you up in the morning, the high concentration of sugar in the drink makes you dehydrate.