Water is an essential part of our lives. It lubricates our joints, regulates our body temperatures, helps us focus, gives us energy, and helps our digestive systems to function correctly. We emphasize many health benefits when it comes to staying hydrated. However, there are still debates on how to hydrate ourselves, with many myths in circulation.
So, what are these myths? In this article, we’ll go over seven hydration myths.
Myth 1. You Need 8 Glasses of Water Every Day
Although there is no debate about drinking enough water, every person’s water needs are different. For example, an avid athlete may need more water than someone who has a desk job. That’s because their activity levels are different from each other. You will need to consider some other factors to determine how much water should keep you hydrated. For instance, you may need more or less water depending on the climate or environment you live in, your health conditions (diabetes, kidney failure, heart disease, etc.), or how much you sweat.
Myth 2. Caffeine Dehydrates You
Caffeine dehydrates you to a small degree due to its slight diuretic properties, but it does not have enough impact to cause significant or severe dehydration. You can consume too much caffeine if you’re not careful, which can cause headaches or even anxiety. Yet, the amount of water in coffee, tea, or 16oz mixed into our GO creates a delicious way to rehydrate, with a bit of caffeine to stay energized.
Myth 3. Sugar Is Required to Hydrate You
Sugar is not required to hydrate you. It can help with rehydration, but there are other essential minerals (electrolytes) that handle this. Electrolytes, for example, are a mixture of essential minerals (sodium, magnesium, calcium, and potassium) that help transport water through your body. When you sweat, you lose these minerals and need to replenish them. Electrolytes help maintain a balance of fluids throughout your body and prevent muscle cramping.
Sugar is also an energy source for your body; we get enough of it through what we eat. Just as too much salt can make you thirsty (your body’s natural way of telling you to drink more water to compensate for the salt), sugar can also have the same effect. Eating or consuming too much sugar has been known to cause health problems such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Your kidneys also have to work twice as hard to excrete the extra amount, which requires water intake to do so. Because of this, you end up dehydrating yourself faster.
Myth 4. You Can’t Have Too Much Water
False. Believe it or not, you can drink too much water. We frequently overlook this issue because we’re focused on avoiding dehydration. Consuming too much water is just as dangerous as dehydration. If you guzzle more than what your body can handle, it can lead to life-threatening side effects or symptoms. These symptoms may manifest themselves as headaches, muscle cramps, dizziness, swelling in the lips, hands, feet, brain, and more.
Too much water causes your cells to swell, leading to an imbalance of electrolytes that your body needs to regulate itself properly. In general, it’s safe to listen to what your body is telling you. If you’re thirsty, drink some water until your thirst is quenched.
Myth 5. If Your Pee Is Not Clear, You’re Not Drinking Enough
If your pee is yellow, it means you are not drinking enough water. True or false? False. If your pee is a pale yellow, it is a good indicator that you are hydrated. If your pee is clear, you’re likely drinking more than you need and should cut back (or you may need some B vitamins). Your urine can change colors depending on what you ingest. Taking B vitamins can change the color of your pee to a bright yellow, for example. Sometimes, the foods we eat (beets, rhubarb, etc.) or the medications we take will also change the color of our urine. So, don’t always be alarmed if it’s not perfectly clear. If your pee is a dark orange or brown, however, it could mean not only dehydration but an underlying health condition that requires medical attention.
Myth 6. If You’re Thirsty, You’re Already Dehydrated
Being thirsty is normal and not a sign that you are already dehydrated. It’s your body’s way of telling you that you should drink some water. The problem occurs when you ignore your thirst for too long that you start experiencing headaches, dizziness, or fatigue. If this happens, you should start drinking some water with electrolytes right away.
Myth 7. Hydration Stops You From Getting Heatstroke
Staying hydrated plays a huge role in preventing you from getting heatstroke, but it does not make you immune to it. Heatstroke occurs when your body temperature rises above 104 degrees Fahrenheit. The intensity of a workout, how much you sweat, the air temperature, your age, and current health are all contributing factors to heatstroke. If you drink plenty of water, you are less likely to experience heatstroke than someone with dehydration, but still, don’t assume hydration automatically prevents it.
Hydrate with MANTRA Labs
Understanding how to hydrate yourself the right way is critical. When done right, not only will you enjoy a multitude of health benefits, but you will prevent dehydration and its associated symptoms or complications. Recognizing the myths about how you should hydrate is one step to protecting yourself and achieving appropriate hydration levels. If you want to take it to the next level, our great-tasting, sugar-free drink, HYDRATE, will help you to achieve ultimate hydration while providing an electrolyte blend of Aquamin™ and deep-ocean minerals to support your health and hydration needs.