How to get hydrated

How to get hydrated

by Dr. Natasha Turner ND

According to the Dietitians of Canada, our bodies are comprised of 60 to 70 percent water, which we need to, “digest food, carry nutrients, remove waste, cushion organs and maintain fluid and electrolyte balance.” But studies show we are just not hydrated enough. If you lose more fluid than you take in, you get dehydrated. Young children and seniors are at higher risk of becoming dehydrated. They need to drink fluids throughout the day. With the first heat wave of 2021 recently soaking us in sweat and what is touted to be a hot summer ahead, now is the perfect time to keep these tips handy.

1. Calculate Your Specific Daily Water Intake

Dr. Turner ND uses this formula to calculate daily intake for her patients.

Your weight (lbs) x .55 = x

X divided by 8 = amount of cups (if you prefer litres then divide this number by 4)

2. Eat Water?

When I tell my patients their body is dehydrated, they often admit they don’t drink enough water. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) suggests for males to consume 3.7 litres of water per day, while women should consume 2.7 litres. With this suggestion, you might consider installing a hose at your desk! Nonetheless, there are plenty of other ways we can get our daily intake of water that doesn’t require being a slave to the water bottle. And yes, it’s chewable! In a study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers showed that eating foods with high water content satisfies our appetites more than drinking a glass of water on its own or with solid food. A whopping 20% of your daily water intake should actually come from food! This study shows that cucumbers have the highest water content, rolling in at 96.7%! A suggested trick in the past has been to have a glass of water before eating, but a study done by the Clinical Journal of Nutrition claims it won’t make a difference. On the contrary, eating foods that contain water naturally will make you more full. As you can see, including these foods in your daily regiment is not only satisfying but hydra-licious!

Recommendation: Focusing on fruits and vegetables can be your saving grace. High-water fruits such as watermelon, cantaloupe and blueberries, and vegetables such as cucumber, zucchini, and tomato are all very high in water content. These low-glycemic foods also tend to be low in calories, which means we can eat significant amounts of them to control hunger. They also balance our hormones because high-water, high-fiber, low-calorie, low-glycemic foods limit insulin release and also stretch our stomachs, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The Mayo Clinic suggests the appetite-suppressing hormone CCK is released from that stretched stomach, which sends the message to our brain that we are full.

3. Sea Salt

When we consume heavily salty foods (think Chinese takeout), we have the tendency to feel even thirstier. This is no surprise to Health Canada. They state that Canadians consume 3,400 mg of sodium per day, which is double the amount our bodies require. We do not recommend eating processed foods or too much take out BUT we are a fan of sea salt.

Not all salt is made the same, for instance, sea salt contains over 80 traces of minerals that will work deep within your system to replenish your cells through electrolytes while helping your body to quickly become hydrated.

Health Canada recommends 1,000 to 1,500 mg of sodium daily, so only a small pinch is required. As an added bonus, sea salt provides additional benefits such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium to keep your bones strong and maintain great health. Drinking water with sea salt to replenish electrolytes is a much better option than grabbing a sugary sports drink which we do NOT recommend.

Recommendation: One small pinch of Celtic Sea Salt with water after waking up or mid-afternoon. This will allow the salt to retain some water, providing you instant hydration.

4. Natural Flavour

The biggest complaint people have with water is the taste. It can especially be hard for people to swap in water if they’re used to juice or pop because the flavour is lackluster in comparison. With both juice and pop being filled with sugar the question is, how do we make water taste good?

You could go to any grocery store and come across flavours to add to your water, but you might find yourself with a chemical-based liquid in the end. This study found that the majority of commercially available water with flavourings caused a significant amount of dental erosion while containing several chemicals that can lead to more physical damage. The best option is to stick with natural flavourings to perk up your taste buds.

Bottom line: Make some “Delicious Water” by adding fresh fruits to your water and let the natural sweetness come through. Citrus peels, such as lemon and lime, can improve the taste. Don’t be scared to mix in fruits and fresh herbs like watermelon and mint or raspberry and basil to add an extra “pop”! If you’re looking to add some flavour and vitamins, try an ATP and Energy Support , a great-tasting strength, and energy formula to help fuel your body during your workout. Call Clear Medicine to see what we have for energy support especially during this hotter months.

Other Great Reasons to Chug H20:

  • Our hormones don’t just dictate when and what we want to eat, they also control our thirst. If we’re dehydrated, the stress hormone NPY increases and tells us to drink. Beware: dehydration can also cause us to reach for a snack instead of a thirst-quenching beverage. So, get plenty of water! Or snack on foods that have a lot of water content.
  • Health experts say that water indirectly aids fat loss by keeping the kidneys functioning at their best. Optimal kidney function leaves the liver free to do its job as one of our primary fat-burning engines. If the kidneys are stressed, the liver has to pick up the slack. In other words – keep chugging to keep your liver happy!
  • Boost brain power. A recent April 2018 study, presented at the American Physiological Society (APS) annual meeting at Experimental Biology in San Diego, explored the association between hydration status before exercising and exercise-enhanced cognition in older adults. Dehydration was shown to impair exercise performance and brain function in young people, but less is known about its impact on older populations. “Middle-age and older adults often display a blunted thirst perception, which places them at risk for dehydration and subsequently may reduce the cognitive health-related benefits of exercise,” a team of New England-based researchers wrote. The research team tested the volunteers’ urine before they exercised and divided them into two groups — normal hydration and dehydrated — based on their hydration status. The hydrated group showed noticeable improvement in the completion time of the cognitive test after cycling when compared to their pre-cycling test. The dehydration group also completed their post-cycling test more quickly, but the time reduction was not significant. The researchers found that older adults should adopt adequate drinking behaviors to reduce cognitive fatigue and potentially enhance the cognitive benefits of regular exercise participation. Tip – remember to schedule in your water break! Put reminders on your phone OR get a free app – try Daily Water or My Water Balance.

Water can set the foundation for your health. Always keep some water on hand to benefit from all the reasons above. In both the long and short term, your body will thank you!

We often get asked how to get hydrated quickly, so here we break it down for you and debunk some of the hydration myths out there.

IV Hydration – the fastest way to hydrate?

Many people assume that the fastest way to rehydrate is intravenously, using an IV bag of saline. This is what ambulances use when someone has lost a lot of fluids, or been found wandering lost in the desert for months. It’s what hospitals use, it’s what field hospitals use, so it must be the fastest way to rehydrate, right?

How to get hydrated

Well, technically, yes. In studies IV rehydration has been shown to be the fastest, when you start the different treatments at the same time. This is because the fluids go straight into the bloodstream where they can then get to your cells as needed. But there are two important caveats:

  1. Most of us do not have access to the necessary gear to rehydrate intravenously
  2. Most of us are not qualified to set up IV hydration

Because of these issues, IV hydration is arguably a lot slower for most lifestyle use cases. For example, if you’re trying to rehydrate fast after a long night of drinking alcohol ( which does dehydrate you — learn more here ), you might call one of these IV businesses, where they send a doctor or nurse to hook you up to a drip. That’s likely 45 minutes at a minimum until you can even start getting hydrated, and then you have to wait for the IV drip to actually flow into your body, which is usually another

Thus, IV hydration is not the fastest way to rehydrate at home.

Instead, we recommend using an Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) like Hydrant for instant hydration. Let’s break it down:

Back in the 70s, doctors in the developing world were dealing with thousands of people suffering from dehydration caused by diseases like cholera and dysentery. They didn’t have enough IV drips or medical staff to rehydrate everyone that way, so they set out to find another solution.

In 1978, they discovered what we now call Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS): Water, sugar, and salt in the right combinations could effectively rehydrate even the most dehydrated patients. As long as the patients weren’t also vomiting, the health outcomes of people rehydrating using ORS vs intravenously were the SAME !

Are you well hydrated?

Are you concerned about your own hydration levels? Take the quiz below to find the best Hydrant for your hydration routine.

How fast is rehydrating with ORS?

Only as long as it takes you to mix the powder in water and drink it down! And because that liquid needs to travel to your gut and be absorbed, you’ll usually have another 20-30 minutes before the hydration kicks in.

Compare that to waiting for a doctor/nurse to show up, and then having to sit there hooked up to a needle for 30 minutes (plus the high costs of healthcare). We know which one we prefer.

If you’re using Hydrant to rehydrate after drinking alcohol, we recommend drinking 2 packets mixed according to the instructions before bed. That way your body can already be hydrated by the time you wake up, so you wake up feeling fresh.

Then you can smugly walk past any of those friends who wanted to spend 50-100x the money on an IV. And hey, if you want to be sure you’re totally hydrated, drink another pack or two in the morning!

Conclusion: the fastest way to rehydrate at home is ORS

If a doctor tells you that you need an IV, obviously you should rehydrate that way. Same if you’re at a hospital. But outside of those scenarios, it’s a waste of your time and money when ORS has been shown to be just as effective.

Oral Rehydration Solutions contain electrolyte levels (sodium, potassium and magnesium) that mimic your body’s natural electrolyte makeup to replenish them faster and more efficiently.

Other stories about hydration

If you want to read more about what (de)hydration does to the human body, click here.

Health and Wellness

How to get hydrated

How to get hydrated

As the temperature rises, our bodies adjust to stay cool and balanced. Staying hydrated is a critical part of maintaining that balance.

How do you know when you’re properly hydrated? Begin by paying attention to feelings of thirst as well as your water intake throughout the day. If you’re not sure, just look at your urine; if it’s light and clear, you’re probably well hydrated; if it’s dark or concentrated, you’re most likely dehydrated.

Our body is composed of up to 50 to 75 percent water; the body uses water for almost every function: it carries oxygen and nutrients, transports hormones, moistens tissues, protects organs, regulates body temperature, lubricates joints, and uses it to eliminate toxins through the colon, skin, and bladder.

Symptoms of Chronic Dehydration

When you don’t take in enough water, your body can become chronically dehydrated.

Chronic dehydration can cause symptoms that include lack of energy, migraine, or other chronic pains such as joint pain, difficulty concentrating, lack of mental clarity, and insomnia. Even anxiety and depression have been linked to chronic dehydration. According to preliminary research, chronic dehydration can also slow the body’s metabolism.

Our body loses water every day through breathing, sweating, and digestion, and above all, by eliminating toxins through urine. Daily water loss varies from person to person; it depends on your body weight, activity level, diet, climate (temperature and humidity), and water intake.

Special attention must be paid if you’re experiencing any illness that may enhance your water requirements, including high fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. You’ll likely require more water on hot, humid days, while breastfeeding, or during vigorous exercise.

Foods and Drinks with High-Water Content

Many people don’t like to drink plain water, or just don’t have the habit of doing it. However, much of the water we take in each day comes from food. You can ensure proper hydration by drinking other fluids and by eating foods that have a high-water content.

  1. Cucumber: This veggie has the highest water content of any solid food at 95 percent. It’s very versatile; you can consume it in salads, smoothies, as a snack, or in chilled soups. It also contains vitamin E and essential oils.
  2. Celery: Apart from its high water content, celery has fiber, folate, and vitamins A, C, and K.
  3. Radishes: This food also contains antioxidants and their crunchy texture makes them perfect for summer salads.
  4. Tomatoes: This fruit contains 94 percent water, vitamin C, and is packed with antioxidants, especially lycopene, a cancer-fighting antioxidant.
  5. Cauliflower: It contains up to 92 percent water and is also packed with antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins—mostly C and group B.
  6. Spinach: Spinach has more than 92 percent water and a high content in potassium and calcium. It also contains many other minerals and vitamins, mainly group B vitamins. Because of its antioxidant content, it’s known as an anti-cancerous food.
  7. Broccoli: Broccoli also has high water content and it’s packed with minerals and vitamins, mainly A, D, and K. Broccoli contains phytonutrients that have a strong impact on the body’s detox system. It also has cancer-fighting and immune-boosting properties.
  8. Fruits: All fruits have a very high-water content. Most of them are an excellent source of vitamins and fiber as well. In addition to tomatoes, referenced above, other fruits with the highest water content include watermelon, strawberries, grapefruit, kiwi, oranges, and cantaloupe.
  9. Coconut water: This popular drink has a high electrolyte content and potassium, which plays a crucial role in regulating body fluids. You can drink it straight or add it to a smoothie. You may want to pay attention to the sugar content and choose a variety without added sweeteners. Be aware that coconut water doesn’t have any fiber content.

Remember that these fruits and veggies are better consumed raw because they lose their water content when cooked or broiled. You may also want to include bananas in your diet because they have high potassium and magnesium levels, which helps regulate fluids in your body.
It’s still important to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, especially in the summertime, but you can also quench your thirst with these super hydrating foods.

*Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only; does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Chopra Center’s Mind-Body Medical Group; and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.

How to get hydrated

How to get hydrated

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Staying hydrated is a key to health and well-being—but it doesn’t take much to mess up the water balance in our bodies. In healthy adults with a normal Body Mass Index (BMI), water accounts for 60% of body weight, and dehydration can occur if as little as 3% of that weight is lost from water depletion. In fact, water can even be considered a critical nutrient since going without it can be fatal within days. Among water’s many important responsibilities: regulating body temperature, aiding in digestion, keeping skin supple, and supporting cognitive and cardiac function—and those duties are just for starters.

Still, getting down adequate amounts of water can be less than appetizing, and many alternative beverages are packed with health-harming sugar. But don’t worry, below we have six drink suggestions that will elevate your hydration status in a healthy way. And if you need more motivation to up your fluid intake, read about what happens to your body when you stop drinking enough water. Spoiler alert: It’s not good.

Flavored Seltzers

Just like with dinner party guests, bubbly water is a lot more fun than flat versions. That’s even more true if you go for a flavored seltzer. Just be sure to look for varieties without any added sugar, such as Rishi Sparking Botanicals and Poland Spring (you might want to check out the sodium content too). If all else fails, you can flavor plain seltzer yourself with a squeeze of citrus or even a dash of vanilla extract. Note: Spiked or hard seltzers shouldn’t be what you turn to when your main mission is to hydrate. Nice try, though.

Iced Teas

Whether you opt for fresh leaves (like mint) steeped in hot water or you brew a bag of an herbal, black or green variety, tea is hydrating and also packed with antioxidants. Hot tea does the job just as well, but it’s easier to consume more ounces of an iced tea than a hot one. Skip the sweetener, if you can, and definitely steer clear of these particular iced teas, which do more harm than good.

Sports Drinks

How to get hydrated

It seems antithetical, but drinks made for athletes (pro and weekend warriors alike) often contain harmful added sugars. So if you go the sports drink route, be sure to look for ones that replenish your fluids and electrolytes healthfully, such as Halo Sport and the just-add-water brand LMNT.


Hydrate while you dehydrate? This may come as a shock, but for caffeine to have a significant diuretic effect, studies show that you need to consume the equivalent of five cups of brewed coffee.

As registered dietitian Keri Glassman notes: The National Academies of Medicine recommends 15.5 cups of fluids a day for men and 11.5 cups of fluids a day for women… but they’re talking about “fluids,” not glasses of water. Adds Glassman: “While I definitely want [clients] to drink plain old water throughout the day, hydration comes in many other forms—teas, juices, soups, smoothies, and yes, even a couple cups of coffee.”

Read this to learn the healthiest way to drink your coffee, according to nutritionists.

Vegetable Juices

Vegetable juices (without added sugars) are a fine choice when it comes to shaking up your hydration strategy—and probably a healthier choice than fruit juices, which contain natural sugars that hit your bloodstream quickly when they’re stripped of their fiber during juicing. If liquified veggies aren’t your thing, eating water-dense vegetables, such as cucumbers, bell peppers, lettuce and celery can also keep you hydrated.

Water Drops

You can kick your glass of tap up a notch with water drops, such as the detoxifying ones from Sakara, which they say makes your water more “functional” with ingredients such as chlorophyll. Or, try the coconut flavor drops from Pure Inventions. Bonus: Dropper or squeeze bottles are fairly portable, which helps you stay hydrated when you’re on the go.

For more hydrating tips, check out these 23 water-rich foods you should be eating regularly, and sign up for our newsletter for daily healthy eating advice.

How to get hydrated

This is What Happened When We Drank More Water

Is the secret to glowing skin, more energy and better health . water?

We all know the old recommendation to drink eight glasses a day. But since the science on that is mixed, we wondered if we could actually feel and see a difference if we were properly hydrated.

To find out if water was the magical answer to all of our skin, sleep and mid-day slump dilemmas, two of my co-workers and I tried out three different methods to help us drink more water throughout the day for two weeks straight.

We spoke to Dr. Joshua Zeichner, a board-certified dermatologist with the American Academy of Dermatology, who gave us the standard eight glasses as a benchmark. Depending on lifestyle, weight, age, activity, medical conditions and other factors, the amount of water that each person needs will vary, but eight glasses a day should be the absolute minimum.

So we decided to set our goals at 3 liters per day for men (12 cups) and 2 liters (8 cups) for women.

Nick’s challenge was to drink water every time he went to a new place. Go to the gym? Drink. Get to a meeting? Drink.

Gereldine’s method was to set an alarm on her phone every two hours, reminding her to drink water.

I tried out the smart wattle bottle method, H20 pal, which tracked how much water I was drinking throughout the day and reminded me to drink more.

How to get hydrated

These 5 Smart Water Gadgets Will Help You Stay Hydrated This Summer

The Challenges:

Our different methods had their pros and cons. Nick’s activity trigger didn’t always work for him. He had a hard time remembering to drink at certain times, so would force himself to drink extra water later.

Geraldine found the alarms inconvenient and annoying. She had a hard time keeping up her water intake at work — she had unexpected projects come up and found herself without a water bottle. And oddly enough on some days as she drank more water, she sometimes felt thirsty, so it made her drink even more water. She’s not sure why.

For me, having my water bottle with me at all times was one of the most difficult parts of this challenge. I found it easiest to drink water when the bottle was quite literally in front of me, on my desk. When I was out and about, it was a bit harder for me to carry my water bottle everywhere.

Across the board, all of us felt that drinking more water improved our skin after two weeks.

Geraldine said her morning glass of water woke her up and made her feel so refreshed “it was amazing.” She and Nick both felt more full from all the water, helping them cut down on snacks between meals.

Personally, I found that two liters of water didn’t make a huge difference for me. Toward the end of the challenge, I tried to drink four liters of water a day, which is when I really started to see a difference.

Pre-water challenge, whenever the clock would strike 2 pm, I’d have a headache. The afternoon slump and caffeine withdrawals were certainly real for me. Drinking more water throughout my day helped make my afternoons much more pleasant and headache-free, which made me more productive.

I didn’t realize that I wasn’t drinking enough water until this challenge. Being able to track how much water I’m drinking and assess how I’m feeling based on that has helped me realize that my body needs more water than I expected and that my afternoon headaches aren’t from stress or a coffee (or three) too many, but were actually from being dehydrated.

After two weeks of this challenge, I’m still using H2O Pal. Despite how much I liked this water bottle, it is pricey at $99 and doesn’t keep my water cold for the entire day, like my beloved S’well bottle. The bottom of the bottle, where the tracker is, wasn’t the most secure, either — it fell off numerous times.

Still, Geraldine liked the effects of water so much — and disliked the alarms so intensely — that she’s thinking of getting one, too.

Being an avid Apple Watch fan, I do love the connectivity of health trackers and found that using a smart water bottle was easy. Having a goal to reach, whether it be steps or glasses of water, has become part of my day and I like monitoring my progress.

2 More Stay-Hydrated Strategies

  • What You Should Know About Drinking Water, but Probably Don’t
  • 10 Infused Water Recipes to Keep You Hydrated All Day Long

Want more tips like these? NBC News BETTER is obsessed with finding easier, healthier and smarter ways to live. Sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

How to get hydrated

Written By Pound Kakar On January 29, 2020

This blog post is based on scientific evidence, written and fact checked by our doctors.

Our team of dermatologists and formulators strive to be objective, unbiased and honest.

This article contains scientific references. The numbers in the parentheses are clickable links to research papers from reputed academic organizations.

How to get hydrated


  • What Is Hydrated Skin?
  • Dehydrated Skin Vs Dry Skin
  • Hydration vs Moisturization
  • How To Hydrate Your Skin: 7 Steps
  • Which Is The Best Moisturizer For You?
  • When Should You Visit A Dermatologist?

What Is Hydrated Skin?

It’s natural to think of water when you hear the word ‘hydration’. Rightly so, hydrating your skin means increasing its water content. If your skin is dehydrated, it can appear flaky, dull and dry.

Hydrated skin is smooth, radiant and has an even tone. To achieve this, you need to quench your skin’s thirst from time to time.

However, people often tend to confuse dehydrated skin with dry skin. Although used synonymously, there is an underlying difference between the two.

Dehydrated Skin Vs Dry Skin

Dehydrated skin lacks water, whereas dry skin lacks a fair amount of sebum. Dry skin can also be the result of certain medications or diseases.

Factors like climate, lifestyle, age and the products you use on your skin can contribute to a change in your skin type.

1. Symptoms Of Dry Skin

  • Itchiness
  • Redness
  • Flaky skin
  • Skin irritation

2. Symptoms Of Dehydrated Skin

  • Dull/dark looking skin
  • Prominent dark circles and shadows around eyes
  • Itchiness
  • Appearance of fine lines/wrinkles
  • Dry mouth
  • Puffy eyes

Hydration vs Moisturization

While hydrating your skin requires you to add water to it, moisturizing your skin implies adding ingredients that lock the water inside. Moisturization and hydration go hand in hand.

If you only add water to your skin, it may temporarily feel plump. However, the water will escape from your skin if there is nothing to retain it.

Moisturization involves adding ingredients that lock in the moisture and repair your skin’s barrier. This prevents water loss and improves your skin’s texture and health.

How To Hydrate Your Skin: 7 Steps

1. Drink An Adequate Amount Of Water

The first step to hydrating your skin is hydrating your body. It is recommended for you to drink at least 8 glasses of water every day. Your body may require more, depending on your daily activities and weight.

2. Use Hydrating Skincare Products

Water-based creams are recommended if you have dehydrated skin. Products that penetrate through your skin and deliver water are vital if you have dehydrated skin. Look for the following hydrating ingredients:

A. Hyaluronic Acid

Plays an important role in hydrating your skin and maintaining its elasticity (1). Hyaluronic acid’s water-binding properties help replenish your skin and also prevents early signs of aging (2).

B. Glycerin

A popular ingredient of the beauty industry, glycerin has hydrating properties that can relieve your skin from feeling dry and itchy. This is because glycerin is a humectant. So it works by attracting moisture from the environment onto the surface of your skin (3).

C. Urea

Another widely used ingredient in the dermatological world, urea loosens and breaks down hardened protein, relieving your skin of roughness and itchiness (4).

D. Ceramides

These are skin replenishing ingredients, like the cement that supports the bricks of a building. They make up and repair your skin’s barrier, which prevents water loss and retains moisture (5).

E. Panthenol

Panthenol is an ingredient that penetrates through the skin and imparts moisture to the cells. It also prevents trans-epidermal water loss. This means that it improves skin barrier functions by stimulating cells that boost the same.

3. Avoid Very Hot And Long Showers

As contradictory as it may sound, bathing for long hours can eradicate your skin’s barrier. This may result in loss of moisture content and necessary oils which can dehydrate your skin. Using lukewarm water while bathing is ideal.

4. Pamper Yourself With Face Masks/Sheets

Face masks are packed with hydrating ingredients. Incorporating a hydrating face mask into your daily skincare regimen will keep your skin plump and moist. It can also reduce the appearance of fine lines and dark circles.

5. Use A Humidifier

A humidifier can be used when the moisture content in the air around you is low. This can especially helpful during dry winter months.

6. A Sunscreen Is A Must

Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen to prevent UVA and UVB skin damage every time you step out in the day. Sun exposure can dehydrate your skin, causing it to lose moisture and break down its collagen and elastin, which are responsible for its strength and elasticity. This can cause premature signs of aging.

7. Eat Foods Rich In Water

Fruits and vegetables are not only hydrating but are beneficial for your skin in many other ways. Citrus-based fruits like oranges and lemons are packed with juice and are rich in Vitamin C, which is vital to maintain your skin’s texture. Foods rich in Vitamin A and B3 are also essential to improve your overall skin health.

Which Is The Best Moisturizer For You?

How to get hydrated

Choose your moisturizer based on your skin type. Cream-based moisturizers work well for dry skin. If you have oily skin, a light lotion-based moisturizer will prevent your skin from feeling heavy.

Choose a barrier-repair moisturizer as they work their way into the deeper layers of your skin and repair it from within, preventing it from getting dehydrated.

When Should You Visit A Dermatologist?

Dehydrated skin usually isn’t a serious skin condition. Hydrating serums, creams and lotions can help you improve your skin’s texture. However, if your skin’s overall health doesn’t improve even after your hydration attempt and if you experience any of these symptoms, visit a dermatologist:

  • White flakes
  • Red patches
  • Itchy, irritated skin
  • Inflammation
  • If dry patches continue to spread on your body/face


It’s a beautiful weekend, and you spend a full day outside in the fresh air. The sun and activity feel great after a week spent cooped up inside. But as evening falls, you start to feel deeply fatigued, even dizzy, and slightly nauseous. It might be a virus. But after a day of yard work or playing sports, it’s more likely to be dehydration.

Dehydration happens when you lose more fluid than you take in and your body can’t function properly. Normally, your thirst reflex nudges you to drink something to compensate for the water lost through sweating, urinating and breathing. Sometimes, diarrhea or vomiting can make it hard to replace your fluids. But the main reason people get dehydrated? You guessed it: too much fun in the sun.

“When it’s hot, your metabolism goes up as your body works hard to cool itself,” says John Moore, DO, an Aetna medical director. You’re losing fluids even if you don’t notice excessive sweating.

Kids and seniors are at greater risk of dehydration than teens and younger adults. Read on to learn how to keep your family and yourself safe and healthy.

Special risks: Children under 9 lose fluids more quickly than adults. They often don’t recognize why they’re feeling bad or may not articulate it. Mild dehydration can turn severe during outdoor activities in warm weather or a bout of stomach illness.

Warning signs: Keep close tabs on your kids on hot days, and be alert to the following:

  • Chapped lips
  • Flushing
  • Less frequent bathroom breaks
  • Cold or dry skin
  • Sleepiness or low energy
  • Fast breathing or heart rate

For babies and toddlers, look for unusual fussiness, sunken eyes, sunken soft spot on the head, or a lack of tears. Read more about how to get quick, reliable answers on family health questions.

Drink this, not that: Children should drink 8 ounces of water for each year of their age — in addition to other beverages — according to the Children’s Hospital of Orange County in Irvine, CA . For instance, 2-year-olds should drink 16 ounces, 3-year-olds need 24 ounces, and so on. After age 8, kids can continue to drink 64 ounces per day.

Other recommended drinks: Pedialyte or Hydralyte, fruit, low-sugar ice pops, milk

Avoid drinking: sport drinks, full-strength juice, soda

Teens and adults

Special risks: Dehydration is rare among healthy adults. Some exceptions are athletes, workers who spend a lot of time outdoors or in hot conditions, and people with diabetes. Another reason to drink up: Chronic mild dehydration is a major contributor to kidney stones.

Warning signs:

  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Flushed skin
  • Dry or sticky mouth
  • Infrequent urination

Drink this, not that: “Although the eight 8-ounce glass rule isn’t supported by hard evidence, it remains popular because it’s easy to remember,” says Joni Jefferson, DO, a primary care physician in New Jersey. “A person’s real water requirements vary depending on factors such as age, climate, activity level, pregnancy and health status.” Dr. Moore agrees. “If you work or play outside, you probably need far more than eight glasses,” he says. “Experts recommend four to six glasses per hour in extremely hot conditions.” Read about hydration reminder apps and other digital tools to help you reach your health goals.

Other recommended drinks: electrolyte-enhanced water, flavored seltzer, decaf iced tea

Avoid drinking: sport drinks, soda and other sweetened beverages, caffeine, alcohol


Special risks: Older adults have a smaller fluid reserve and a weakened sense of thirst. They also overheat more easily, so dehydration can have more serious consequences. If you suspect that an elderly person is dehydrated, get them somewhere cool and shady, and give them water to drink. Cold compresses, cool showers and baths can also help.

Warning signs:

  • Confusion
  • Difficulty walking
  • Dizziness or headache
  • Flushed skin
  • Sunken eyes
  • Inability to sweat or produce tears
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Low blood pressure

Drink this, not that: The National Institute on Aging recommends that seniors make drinking water a part of their routine. The organization suggests committing to drinking a full glass before you leave the house or each time you take a pill. During heat waves, spend as much time as possible in air-conditioning — at home, a senior center or public library. Read about the biggest health questions affecting seniors.

Other recommended drinks: electrolyte-enhanced water, flavored seltzer, decaf iced tea, nutrition shakes like Ensure

Avoid drinking: sugary beverages, caffeine, alcohol

Severe dehydration requires medical attention. “If someone is experiencing an alteration in their mental status or feels dizzy, or if they’re not keeping anything down by mouth, you’d want to come to the emergency department,” says George Becker, MD, medical director for the Department of Emergency Medicine at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, New Jersey. A doctor can administer intravenous saline solution, which rehydrates faster than drinking water.

By all means, enjoy your time outdoors and stay active. Just remember to take a break to cool off and drink up every hour or so, and remind kids and seniors to do the same.

You often hear the old “eight glasses of water a day” adage as a way to stay hydrated. But unfortunately, hydration is not as simple as refilling your Nalgene. It’s possible to still be dehydrated after drinking water. This may be discouraging for avid H2O drinkers, but if you drink a lot of water and still feel dehydrated, you can pinpoint the source of the problem and become hydrated again.

“Hydration is essential to overall health,” board-certified rehabilitation specialist Scott Michael Schreiber, D.C., tells Bustle. “Many Americans are chronically dehydrated, which means they have been drinking less than optimal for a long period of time. When this occurs, you need to slowly rehydrate, as your body has been in survival mode, adjusted to not consuming enough water. In addition, as you drink more, you will go to the bathroom more. This will pass with time as your body becomes more hydrated.”

The biggest signs that you’re dehydrated include inability to sweat, dry skin, bad breath, dark pee, and urination less than six times a day. It might be confusing if you’re experiencing these signs even after drinking lots of water, but drinking water isn’t all that it takes to stay hydrated. Here are some reasons you might be dehydrated despite seemingly adequate water intake, according to experts.

You’re Missing Electrolytes

“You may be drinking enough water but still have feelings of dehydration if you have an electrolyte imbalance,” Dr. Natasha Trentacosta M.D., a sports medicine specialist and orthopedic surgeon at Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute, tells Bustle. Electrolytes like sodium, chloride, magnesium, and potassium are necessary to deliver fluids to your cells. “Consuming water, especially in excess, can flush out electrolytes and fiber,” Dr. Trentacosta says. “Similarly, excessive sweating from strenuous exercise results in a loss of electrolytes.” She recommends focusing on drinks with a lot of electrolytes, like coconut water, and eating fruits and vegetables with a lot of fiber to combat these losses.

You’re Not Drinking Often Enough

If you drink a ton of water in one sitting, that won’t hydrate you as well as drinking often throughout the day. “When you are thirsty, you are already heading down the road to dehydration,” says Schreiber. “You need to be drinking water all day long, as opposed to only when you are thirsty. Your body will absorb more water over the course of the day, rather than at one shot!”

“It can be helpful to keep track of the amount of water intake throughout the day to make sure you are taking in enough fluids,” Dr. Trentacosta says. Think about getting a water container that marks off fluid amounts, or using an app.

It Could Be A Sign Of Diabetes

“If you are constantly feeling dehydrated and urinating excessively, this may be the first sign of diabetes,” Dr. Trentacosta says. Because their bodies are trying to get rid of sugar, people with diabetes pee frequently, which can dehydrate them. If you find yourself always thirsty and peeing a lot, it may be worth it to get tested for diabetes.

You’re Drinking Dehydrating Fluids

Even if you’re drinking water, you can still be dehydrated, because certain drinks can cancel it out: coffee and soda are particular culprits. The National Health Service notes that while a small amount of coffee won’t dehydrate you, caffeine operates as a diuretic, meaning that it can cause you to lose liquid more quickly. A study on rats published in the American Journal of Physiology in 2016 also found that rehydrating with soft drinks can actually make dehydration worse. Stick to electrolyte-rich drinks and plain water if you’re feeling very dry-mouthed.

You’re Consuming An Imbalanced Amount Of Salt

Sodium is one of those Goldilocks substances: too much and too little can both create difficulties. If you ingest very little salt, your body stops conserving as much water in its organs, leading to a higher rate of dehydration, according to Harvard Health. On the other hand, consuming too much salt can make you urinate more, which can also make you dehydrated.

You’ve Been Sick

Being sick can make you dehydrated, depending on the kind of illness. For example, you may lose fluids if you have diarrhea. Certain meds can also dehydrate you, Dr. Trentacosta says. “Some medications purposely flush water and electrolytes out of the body,” she says. Diuretics, laxatives, antacids, and blood pressure medication can all cause dehydration as a side effect.

You’re Not Actually Drinking Enough Water

Even if you’re drinking eight glasses a day or more, that may still not be enough for you, depending on your size and level of physical activity. “You may not actually be getting as much water as you think,” Dr. Trentacosta says. “The general recommendation is to drink about eight glasses of water a day, but this should be tailored to individual’s weight and activity levels.”

If you’re experiencing signs of chronic dehydration despite drinking lots of water, talk to your doctor about what might be going on and how to stay hydrated.