When it comes to hydration, there’s a lot of information that exists. While some of it is true and factual, much of it is fabricated or maybe even downright wrong. Hydration is important, so understanding what’s fact and what’s fiction is critical for taking control of how you hydrate.
We’re busting four common myths associated with hydration.
Myth 1: “Everyone needs eight glasses of water to be considered hydrated”
This is probably one of the more frequent myths associated with hydration. Everyone is created different and everyone’s body has different needs. There are several factors that come into play when thinking about hydration and how much an individual should drink: climate, gender, exercise, overall health and more. While eight glasses of water is an OK goal, this will not work for everyone. Talk to your doctor and Ppay attention to your body and your individual needs and know when you’re not drinking enough (or maybe even too much!).
Myth 2: “I worked out today so I should replenish my electrolytes with a sports drink”
While sports drinks have several benefits to them, these drinks are not the only answer. Replenishing salt and other key nutrients like potassium and chloride is critical, but many sports drinks also come with a lot of added sugar which can cause other health issues. A good general rule of thumb is to know what is inside your sports drink and opt for one with less sugar. You can even replenish some of these electrolytes through other methods like healthy snacks and hydrating foods.
Myth 3: “Caffeine makes you dehydrated”
A common misconception of caffeine is that it makes you dehydrated. The truth is, caffeinated beverages consumed in moderation can be just as hydrating as non-caffeinated drinks. Although caffeinated beverages are considered a mild diuretic, meaning they put off the need to urinate more, they do not appear to increase the risk of dehydration and can actually count toward your hydration goals.
Myth 4: “Monitoring my hydration is easy!”
Individuals believe they can easily read their body to discern whether or not they’re dehydrated. For example, you should only hydrate if you feel thirsty, right? Wrong. Actually, the sensation of thirst is the early stages of dehydration, so hydrating before that sensation develops is important. Another myth is believing that the darker the color of urine, the more dehydrate an individual is. While it might be a quick fix for knowing if you should consume more water, it’s not always the most precise. The color of urine is usually associated with the way your kidneys are releasing water in order to keep your blood’s water-sodium level balanced. Although most healthy people have urine that’s clear or light yellow, it shouldn’t be the only form of monitoring hydration as other factors can be at play. Experts recommend looking at the concentration of sodium in your blood to see an accurate reading.