We all need to be adequately hydrated, but did you know that the female body may need to have more water? Different hormones in the body lead to varying hydration reactions, and for women, that can mean a need for increased water intake.
How does this work? Why is hydration so important to the human body, and what can you do to ensure you are taking care of your health?
Hormones and Hydration: How They’re Intertwined
Two hormones in the body that may affect hydration are estrogen and progesterone. These two hormones are also a significant part of a woman’s menstrual cycle, meaning hydration needs can vary weekly.
Estrogen and progesterone both fluctuate heavily throughout the menstrual cycle. The two hormones have opposing effects on water intake and sodium regulation. These two processes both affect overall hydration.
When estrogen levels are high, the body tends to retain more water. Progesterone affects sodium retention and can either relieve or add to this phenomenon. Women who experience bloating before their period may be familiar with this effect, though it does not affect everyone equally.
Hydration is essential. It affects how well hormones function inside the body. Blood flows best whenever it has enough volume, and the volume is affected by water intake. If you aren’t drinking enough water, your blood circulation and associated hormone uptake will be altered.
Health Boosting Effect of Properly Hydrating
There are so many benefits to properly hydrating your body; it would be impossible to list them all, as water is essential to many bodily processes.
These are some of the most noticeable benefits of ensuring your drink enough water:
- Clear, smooth skin; less dullness
- Great energy levels
- Mental clarity and mood improvement
- Reduced fatigue and better sleep
- Fewer headaches
- Easier bowel movements
- Fewer aches and pains
- Improved long-term joint functionality
- Better fitness, including cardiovascular health
How to Stay Hydrated: 5 Easy Tips
What do you need to do to be more hydrated? The obvious answer is simple: drink more water!
However, enacting that advice isn’t always as easy. You live a busy life; here are five easy tips for incorporating more water into your daily diet.
#1: Invest in a Water Bottle You Love
Silly as it may be, you should invest in a water bottle that you love. Do you like water bottles with a straw, a sip top, or another design? Think about what you’ll enjoy drinking out of most and what makes sense for your lifestyle.
Then, go shopping! Investing in this water bottle is investing in your long-term health. If possible, choose a water bottle with measurements so you can easily track how much your water intake increases as you try to drink more frequently.
#2: Eat Water-Rich Foods
Many fruits and vegetables are rich in water content. Tomatoes, apples, watermelon, celery, peaches, and many more are great options. By simply eating these foods, you’ll be more hydrated.
Those that find it challenging to drink more water throughout the day for one reason or another may find that changing their diet to include more of these foods is a better option for hydration.
#3: Flavor Your Water
Getting tired of the taste of straight water?
It’s okay to prefer infused water or water that has fruits like lemon added to it. There’s nothing wrong with this! In some situations, well-balanced infused water can do more to hydrate you than straight water. Choose what works best for you and your taste buds!
#4: Not All Liquids are Created Equal
Drinking any beverage is better than drinking nothing at all. Though coffee and tea aren’t as dehydrating as science once suggested, they still may contain sugars and other ingredients that your body will need to process to access the water.
Drinking straight water, infused water, or similar hydrating beverages that your body can efficiently process is best. If you cannot do this, it’s OK to substitute some of your daily intake with juice, milk, or other liquids. They all contain some water, but remember that plain water will be substantially better at hydrating you.
#5: Keep Water Nearby
It’s easier to drink water when it is easily accessible.
Setting up a water bottle near your workout station is the best method to ensure proper hydration while working out at home. Keep a glass of water at your desk and near your bed so that you never need to get up to find water. When the water is already there, you will drink it before you are thirsty.
And that’s key! Once you feel thirsty, your body is already lacking proper hydration. Try to get one step ahead by keeping water nearby as much as possible.