Author: James O’Sullivan • Fact checked by: Gainful Registered Dietitians • April 6, 2022
Are you staying hydrated?
Statistics indicate that a whopping 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. That means most of us are not drinking enough water.
What is it about staying hydrated that is so difficult? It’s not like keeping a diet, with so many foods that we can and cannot eat dictated in a strict eating plan — it’s as simple as drinking the right fluids in reasonable amounts over the course of the day.
And yet so many of us remain dehydrated.
How can that be? And how can we ensure that we are getting enough fluids?
For those of us who aren’t getting the proper amount of fluids, electrolyte-infused beverages are a great way to ensure we are giving our bodies what they need to stay healthy and function properly. Gainful makes hydration simple with Personalized Hydration formulas that can help you perform at your best.
To better understand the importance of keeping hydrated, let’s look at what being hydrated looks like and the limitations of dehydration that we may not have noticed.
The medical community has dialed in a pretty sharp recommendation of how much fluid we should drink in a given day. For men, the recommended amount is 15.5 cups, while 11.5 cups are recommended for women.
That may seem like a lot of water, but it’s important to consider we also consume close to 20% of our fluid intake from our food alone — think melon, berries, soups, and other foods with a high water content.
Generally, the old rule of thumb, 8 glasses of water a day, is a solid fallback for a reasonable daily amount of fluids.
For those groaning at those numbers, the benefits of proper hydration may convince you to get sipping on your fluids.
Just some of the benefits you can enjoy from proper fluid consumption include support for cognitive performance, more energy, an easier time keeping weight off, and improved digestive function.
We need to be properly hydrated to function correctly. After all, humans are 60% water, so getting as many fluids as you can has a significant effect on your body’s performance.
Dehydration, especially chronic dehydration, can have a wide range of negative health effects ranging from mild to serious. Based on the statistics, most of us are already familiar with some of these effects.
For starters, you might experience mild headaches when you don’t drink enough fluids. People may also experience lower energy levels, brain fog, and dizziness when they don’t drink enough water.
On the more severe side, chronic dehydration increases your risk of developing kidney problems. Dehydration can also throw your electrolyte levels out of balance, increasing your risk of muscle cramps — which is definitely not what you want to be dealing with during your next workout sesh.
This leads us to one of the best ways to ensure that you’re staying hydrated: infusing your beverages with electrolyte supplements.
In all likelihood, you’ve heard plenty about electrolytes at this point. They are a mainstay in sports-focused beverages, given their phenomenal ability to rehydrate athletes who are running themselves ragged across all sorts of competitive arenas.
But what are electrolytes really? What do they do, how do they work, and how do they help you stay hydrated? Let’s get into it.
Electrolytes are essential minerals like potassium, sodium, and calcium, among others. They have an electrical charge that allows your body to make firings in order to operate. Electrolytes are extremely important for many of the bodily functions in your brain and elsewhere.
When you become dehydrated, your electrolyte balance drops. Our bodies can’t perform without the right level of electrically-charged minerals that foster critical processes.
On top of that, electrolytes also help regulate your body’s pH levels, muscle contractions, and overall hydration levels. There’s a lot going on with electrolytes that is critical to the healthy function of our bodies.
Low electrolyte levels can lead to everything from muscle contractions to heart arrhythmia and even cardiac arrest. Often accompanying dehydration, low electrolyte levels are an additional risk to our health.
Typically, you lose electrolytes by sweating or urinating. This means you lose electrolytes just by going about your daily life — and frequent gym-goers are at an increased risk, because more frequent sweat sessions equate to more electrolytes lost.
As far as excessive electrolyte loss, severe sweating is a major way to lose electrolytes, like after a dedicated exercise session. The first popular sports drinks were made specifically to combat this severe electrolyte loss and replenish athletes.
In order to maintain a healthy balance of electrolytes, knowing where to get them can help you keep ahead.
Given how important electrolytes are to the body, it’s important to ensure we keep a diet that includes a healthy amount of electrolytes.
Thankfully, all those essential minerals like calcium and magnesium can be found in common foods and drinks, as well in Gainful’s electrolyte-rich hydration supplements.
Here are just a few items you can include in your diet to ensure that you’re getting the electrolytes you need to stay hydrated.
Watermelon is 92% water, making it an excellent food choice when you need an extra hydration boost. Even more, one cup of watermelon contains 170mg of potassium, meaning it can help you replenish some electrolytes, too.
Watermelon is rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin B6, and contains more of the antioxidant lycopene than all other fruits and vegetables.
As if you needed any other reason to eat cheese! Cheese and other dairy products are loaded with electrolytes.
Calcium is a crucial electrolyte that is a staple in dairy products, as we are sure you know already. Parmesan cheese can go on just about anything, and with just 100g of it, you get a substantial 884mg of calcium.
So the next time you’re loading your spaghetti with some freshly grated parm, you have a solid excuse: you’re just packing your meal with much-needed electrolytes.
Bananas aren’t just a tasty snack — they’re also rich in potassium.
One banana has 451g of potassium — a staggering amount for just one snack. Get a whole bunch of bananas, and you’ll have your fix for the week.
Avocados are rich in potassium — even moreso than bananas — making them a great choice when you need to replenish your system. One single avocado has around 970mg of potassium, which is almost double the amount of potassium in one banana.
Even more, avocados contain over 20 key vitamins and minerals to help support you on your wellness journey.
For those who dread having to drink over eight glasses of water a day, you can pack your water with electrolytes by using the right powder supplements.
Gainful’s Personalized Hydration Blend provides you with the perfect dose of all of the main electrolytes that are typically lost via sweat. This formula works to give you a super-charged boost of electrolytes to keep your body hydrated and operating at peak performance.
Your hydration supplement is personalized based on your activity level, workout frequency, and workout intensity. Our performance nutrition supplements are completely personalized to what your body needs in order to help you reach your goals. All you have to do is take our short, five minute quiz so we can assess your lifestyle and provide you with the proper nutrition system.
Gainful Personalized Hydration is even formulated to hydrate you even faster than water, making it the perfect option after a sweat sesh or anytime you need to hydrate quickly.
As stated before, electrolyte loss is just a reality of life.
But for those of us who try to stay active with regular exercise, we can cause excessive electrolyte loss through strenuous exertion.
To keep your electrolyte loss to a minimum and make sure that you maintain a healthy hydration level while exercising, take regular breaks to give your body time to cool down. Even better, try to work out in an environment with air conditioning, and wear loose or breathable clothing.
Most importantly, replenish lost electrolytes and fluid by drinking at least half your body weight in ounces of fluid each day, and consume drinks or foods that are rich in electrolytes.
Hydration is the cornerstone to an active life.
You can keep your hydration at peak levels with our Hydration powdered supplement, designed to make the most out of your fluid consumption while you exercise.
Let’s face it — hydration is crucial, but it is not the only component to overall wellness and athletic performance.
That’s why we also offer protein, pre-workout, and other performance boost supplements so that every facet of your workout is optimized. Make sure that you’re exercising at peak efficiency with our full system of powdered supplements.
We’re committed to empowering you with every resource you need not just to reach your goals, but to blast past them. Learn more about Gainful and our mission today for a stronger tomorrow.
Nutrition and Healthy Eating | Mayo Clinic
10 Reasons Why Hydration is Important | National Council on Aging
The Water in You: Water and the Human Body | USGS
Fluid and Electrolyte Balance | MedlinePlus
What are Electrolytes? | Cedar Sinai
The wonders of watermelon | Mayo Clinic Health System
Cheese parmesan, dry grated | USDA
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© 2023 Gainful Health Inc.