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Hydration is not flashy. If done right, it should be integrated into your life as something that is almost as invisible as you breathing. Let’s get you on the path to integrating proper hydration into your life!

As a life-long athlete, the importance of hydration was more of a personal experience, rather than a lesson I learned from textbooks. If you have ever had the painful occurrence of a calf or quad cramp, you will know exactly the experience I am talking about. I battled with spontaneous muscle cramps throughout two decades of my athletic career. It wasn’t until I started to do my own research on hydration, and how it impacts the body, that I started to find some solutions. 

Instead of jumping right into the deep end and telling you what to do for your own hydration needs, I feel it is more important to raise awareness to the long-term negative consequences of poor hydration. We are human after all, and we often look towards change once there is pain. So, if I focus on the pain points first, it may guide you down a path to stay hydrated so that you avoid the problems dehydration can cause.

Here are some signs to look out for as well as some consequences of long-term dehydration:

Signs of Dehydration in Adults:

  • Muscle fatigue

  • Reduced cognitive processing

  • Dizziness

  • Confused or dazed states of awareness

  • Thirst

  • Infrequent urination and dark colored urine

  • Dry mouth


Signs of Dehydration in Children and Infants:

  • Easily irritable

  • The top of the skull has a sunken soft spot

  • Tearless crying

  • Dry tongue and dry mouth

  • Sunken cheeks and eyes

  • Infrequent urination (no wet diapers for three hours)


Ongoing dehydration has been linked to:

  • Decreased kidney function

  • Kidney stones

  • Hypertension

  • Urinary tract infections

  • Intestinal failure

  • Dementia


The goal is to not let any of the above happen to you. In today’s fast paced world though, it can be easier said than done. 

You may not be experiencing anything drastic like in the bullets presented. Yet, maybe sometimes your mind seems foggy, your digestion seems off, and you don’t feel as strong or energetic as you normally would. Before rushing to the conclusion that something is “wrong” with you, take note of the volume of water you are consuming each day, and think of hydration as one of the most important factors to getting yourself back on track. 


Quick ways to incorporate more water into your day:

  1. Switch out the morning caffeine for water. Add a little bit of lemon and sea salt for electrolytes.

  2. Invest in a large water bottle that you carry EVERYWHERE. Everywhere you go, it goes. I personally like my YETI 36 ounce rambler.

  3. Drink before you get thirsty. Set a timer on your phone if you have to! 

  4. Before every meal, drink 8-12oz of water. This ensures two will be hydrated, and you won’t overeat. 

  5. Drink 8-12oz of water before, during, and after any type of exercise. 

How do I know this? Because the above was me, that is, until I decided to change my bad habits. Much like everything else in life, if you want better hydration, it starts with better habits. 

Start hydrating today. 

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