If your body came with a how-to manual, hydration would be one of the first items on the maintenance checklist. Right up there with sleep, food, and exercise, hydration is an essential pillar of health that tends to get overlooked. By the time you’re feeling the effects of dehydration, you’re already in a deficit—how do you get back on track with proper hydration ASAP?
It turns out that hydration is a bit more complex than the “just drink water” advice would suggest. You need to stick to a schedule, use cues and reminders, and make healthy dietary choices that go beyond water alone. In other words, if you want to hydrate fast and stay that way throughout the day, you need a plan.
In this article, we’re discussing the keys to complete hydration, how to fix dehydration quickly, and the best ways to maintain the hydration you’ve earned through good habits. We’ll also point to some helpful concepts and products that can make your journey that much easier.
Why is proper hydration so important?
By now, you’ve probably encountered all of the common-sense reasons why hydration is so important. Maybe you’ve heard that the body is 60% water or that you need to hit eight glasses a day. While these ideas aren’t wrong by scientific standards, there’s more to the story if you really want to understand the importance of hydration.
For starters, it’s worth noting that hydration supports hundreds of functions throughout the body. It’s not just about the discomfort that comes with dehydration—failing to get enough fluids and electrolytes is a full-on hazard for your body and mind.
What are some of the systems and functions hydration supports? Let’s list a few of the main ones here:
- Cognition and mental acuity: Your ability to think clearly and concentrate. The feeling of “brain fog” is often attributed to poor hydration.
- Digestion and nutrient transport: Your body needs water to break down food, extract nutrients, and transport these molecules to cells for energy utilization.
- Joint lubrication: Water helps keep joints healthy and cushioned so you can move comfortably, avoid joint discomfort, and make the most of your physical abilities.
- Skin health and appearance: While not essential to survival, proper hydration supports healthy, glowing skin to help you look more vibrant and youthful.
- Temperature regulation: Water keeps you cool from the inside out, especially during periods of intense exercise and extreme temperatures.
- Muscle support and recovery: Proper hydration supports healthy muscle contraction, motor skills, and recovery after exercise while limiting twitching and aches.
In addition to these points, the psychological aspects of dehydration are worth considering. You simply don’t feel like yourself when you lack sufficient water and electrolytes in the body and brain. It’s no wonder that the first signals of dehydration include low mood, irritability, and the dissolution of willpower.
Do your body and mind a favor and stay hydrated from the moment you wake up until your head hits the pillow at night! You’ll feel better, look better, and make the most of your waking hours each day.
8 tips for staying hydrated
We’ve outlined the most compelling reasons why you need to stay hydrated by any means necessary. The good news is that achieving quick, sustainable hydration isn’t that hard.
If you care about your performance, looks, and overall health, the reasons to stay hydrated should be clear enough. Now, let’s explore eight essential tips for getting hydrated fast and maintaining optimal levels throughout the day.
1. Sip water throughout the day
The best thing you can do for your hydration is to ensure a consistent intake of fresh water each day. Step one sounds easy, but sticking to the commitment isn’t always easy in practice. We suggest setting small goals for water consumption, starting first thing in the morning with a tall glass or portion of a bottle. This will set you on the right track and reduce that initial mental resistance.
From there, keep your water bottle close by throughout the day as you work through your personal and professional task list. Keep a written log or a file on your phone to track the amount of water you’re drinking, and enjoy the feeling of progress you get from small wins and improvements. Treat hydration like a daily game to be won and reap the benefits.
2. Include hydrating foods in your diet
It’s common to confuse hunger for dehydration, so we often reach for a snack rather than reloading on water. But there are ways to address both hunger and thirst at the same time—by eating foods containing higher water and mineral content. Fruits and veggies are a great option for restoring hydration levels quickly and reducing hunger pangs concurrently. Melon, cucumber, and celery are just a few options that can hydrate you more quickly, especially when paired with water.
Also, look for ways to include hydration-focused foods into your diet, from smoothies with ice to soups, stews, and bone broth. Natural, healthy food is bound to have more water than processed and artificial alternatives. Find the right balance of hydrating foods and drinks to keep your levels optimized from morning to night.
3. Opt for electrolyte-rich beverages
We often focus on water as the key to staying hydrated, but electrolytes are the unsung heroes that make all that water worthwhile. Electrolytes are minerals that maintain various functions in the body, from blood pressure and muscle contractions to pH and fluid balance. They’re called electrolytes because they support the electrical activity of the nervous system—the “control panel” that keeps everything connected and moving along.
Electrolytes are the reason why you sometimes feel like water isn’t quite doing the trick, even after you down an entire liter in a sitting. Your body just doesn’t work properly without support from electrolytes like sodium, magnesium, and B vitamins.
The problem is that addressing mineral deficiencies isn’t as simple as sipping water. You might not know the mineral profiles of different foods, either, meaning it’s easy to miss the mark.
That’s why our Broad Spectrum Hydrate Water Enhancer is a lifesaver for rapid hydration and replenishment on the go. It covers all your electrolyte bases, from sodium and chloride to calcium, potassium, and magnesium. It also features B vitamins and 10mg of non-psychoactive cannabinoids per serving. It’s a simple, lemon-lime kickstart your hydration and address mineral deficits without the guesswork.*
4. Monitor your urine color
The human body wasn’t made with a hydration meter like our phone battery or gas tank. However, you can gauge your hydration level by observing the color of your urine when you visit the bathroom.
When urine is clear or very pale and copious, you can be sure you're on the right track to complete hydration. On the other hand, darker and scarce urine is a sign you need to prioritize water and electrolytes as soon as possible.
This won’t always be the most accurate indicator of your hydration status, but it’s a good way to get back on track if you see something wrong. Also, be sure to track other indicators like your mood, energy levels, digestion, and overall sense of wellness.
By the time you experience the symptoms of dehydration, you’re already behind—have a rapid hydration plan in your pocket so you can get back in the game fast and avoid making the same mistake twice.
5. Set hydration reminders
Life can take you on a roller coaster ride on any given day, making it easy to forget your hydration goals.
From work to family and so much more, how can you make good on the promise to yourself to stay hydrated at all times? Setting hydration reminders is a perfect way to tilt the odds in your favor, whether with digital, physical, or mental cues.
For example, you can post a note on your fridge or use a small whiteboard to track the amount of water consumed throughout the day. If you’re a tech lover, many smartphone apps are available that do the same thing and send push notifications that you can’t ignore. You can even set alarms every couple of hours to remind you that it’s time to take a break from whatever you’re doing and reload that water bottle.
Hydration can sometimes feel like a chore, but it’s a key step to keep yourself healthy and happy. Use these strategies to get accustomed to reaching a certain hydration level daily, and it will shortly become an ingrained habit.
6. Limit dehydrating beverages
Some of our favorite beverages can have a dehydrating effect—we’re talking about coffee, soda, and alcoholic drinks. Aiming to limit these “special occasion” beverages can be especially helpful if you’re making hydration a priority in your life.
Caffeine is a known diuretic, even in lower amounts, so be sure to restore your fluids after a cup of coffee (or tea).
You don’t need to give up your morning joe or an evening glass of wine quite yet, but if you often find yourself frequently reaching for a second or third round, dehydration will soon follow.
7. Hydrate before, during, and after exercise
Exercise is a key to health that you should aim to incorporate daily. But with vigorous exercise comes dehydration, even if you don’t feel like you’re sweating everything out. Make the promise to hydrate before you hit the gym or the running trail, especially if the weather is hot.
Keep your water bottle close by, and be sure to double down on hydration once your workout is complete. It’s always better to get ahead of your hydration goals instead of waiting until your water and electrolytes are depleted. A proactive approach always wins out when it comes to exercise and proper hydration.
8. Enhance hydration with infused water and herbal teas
Using a water enhancer or fresh fruit and veggies to infuse your water is a great way to avoid the boredom of daily H2O. Keep things fresh and novel by experimenting with different flavors, or try herbal tea that introduces new tastes and therapeutic properties.*
Just a squeeze of lemon or a fresh sliced cucumber can go a long way in mixing up your routine and keeping you on track. Use all these tools to your advantage to make hydration a lifelong habit that sets an example for everyone around you.
Hydration starts with an understanding of water and electrolytes and getting to know your body’s signs. As you embark on your journey, you’ll find that it takes more effort and willpower than you might have thought.
Thankfully, with the right approach and a few key tools, you can hydrate fast, stay consistent, and get the full benefits of hydration in every aspect of your life.