This is a question that I try to ask myself daily (key word: try). Nevertheless, I’m often an extremist when it comes to hydration. That is, I’m either excessively guzzling my water bottle, or I’m severely dehydrated. For a while, I was neglecting hydrating for nearly the entire day, only realizing it during the evening, and then trying to make up for it by chugging and chugging.
I used to think I loved water – I mean, doesn’t everyone? In reality, though, water doesn’t always appeal to me! Turns out, this is a pretty common predicament. Physiologically, we actually have different oral makeups, meaning that the bumps (papillae) that lie on the tongue are not necessarily split up identically for everyone. Moreover, those without the “normal” amount of papillae are called supertasters, and tend to be more averse to the taste of water as well as bitter vegetables.
If this sounds like you, about 25% of the population is in the same boat and struggles with hydration. This percentage includes American wide-receiver Odell Beckham Jr. That’s right, the professional football player dislikes water. In fact, he has opted for an IV over water on various occasions.
“I’ve always cramped. It’s just, I feel like I’m working harder than I ever have. I really don’t like water. I’m trying. I really just don’t like it. You get that stomach feeling, like it’s all slushy. I’m trying to stay hydrated. Sometimes I just gotta get an IV. It’s just necessary…”Odell Beckham Jr., CBS Sports
Hydration: A Requirement of Life
Unfortunately, the hydration-nation is not a myth, and staying hydrated is definitely vital to staying healthy. Drinking a certain amount of fluids helps your body function on a daily basis, and this contributes to maintaining each system within the body, including the heart, brain, muscles, and bones. Additionally, staying hydrated help the body to flush away all the bad things like bacteria and infections.
As humans, we have the unique ability to regulate our body temperatures; when we get dehydrated, we start to lose fluids, and it’s then of the utmost importance to hydrate. Dehydration causes short term effect such as headaches, dizziness, lethargy, and constipation. However, severe dehydration can cause more serious and long term effects such as weight gain, UTIs and kidney stones.
The Verdict on Hydration
While there is some quota for how much you should hydrate, it doesn’t need to be through water. Yes, experts recommend the 11-16 cups of water per day, but there are definite ways around this whole water aspect.
We’re incredibly lucky to live during a time where we have so many options at our fingertips. There’s flavored waters, seltzers, smoothies, coconut water, coffee & tea, and fruits that contain large amounts of water.
Having struggled with hydration myself, I’ve picked up some strategies. Technology, believe it or not, has been my greatest asset in reminding myself to hydrate. Through the good old reminders app, my phone holds me accountable and basically tells me to get off my butt and replenish my system. It’s a great method!
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