Dehydration is a risk many Aussies associate with hot summer days. But it’s not limited to that. Certain lifestyle habits can actually put you at risk for dehydration during any time of the year. Here’s what you can do to prevent dehydration and stay hydrated throughout the day:

Don’t Avoid Drinking Water

Do drink plenty of natural mineral water throughout the day. You don’t have to worry about overdosing on water, because your body is quite adept at expelling excess water with urine. When you work inside an air-conditioned office, you might not feel thirst as intensely as when you are hot or active. But that doesn’t mean your body needs any less water. Drink water with each meal three times a day at least. When you are active, or when it’s hot outside, you need to drink even more water. Don’t forget to pack a water bottle when going to the gym or out on a run. For intense exercise sessions that last longer than an hour, take a sports drink which contains sodium and potassium that gets dispelled through sweat.

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Avoid Dehydrating Drinks

Not all drinks are as hydrating as you think. Some beverages can actually accelerate dehydration by promoting loss of water. For example, coffee and tea are not considered hydrating drinks. These beverages contain caffeine, which is a diuretic that causes your body to urinate more leading to loss of more water. Fruity juices and drinks are better than caffeinated beverages, but these contain sugar and carbohydrates that can upset your stomach when you are on the verge of dehydration. It’s also highly recommended to avoid replacing water with carbonated or sparkling beverages. When you are dehydrated, clean water is the best solution.

Mind That High Protein Diet

Are you taking extra amounts of protein as part of a new diet plan? Protein is a difficult substance for your body to digest. The body requires more energy and water to do so. Therefore, if you are taking high amounts of protein, you need to drink even more water per day. It’s recommended to drink 8 to 12 glasses of water if you are on a bodybuilding diet.

Suck on Popsicles or Ice

Not a fan of drinking liquids? It can be difficult for small children, in particular, to drink water as needed. If this is the case, buy low-sugar popsicles to munch on. Sucking on ice is also a great solution to keep hydrated and avoid eating or drinking something that might dehydrate you.

Avoid Alcohol

Alcoholic drinks are strongly discouraged on hot days, and also if you are at risk of dehydration. Alcohol increases dehydration. If you have ever experienced a hangover, then you’d know. Therefore, avoid beers, wine, and any other drink containing alcohol when you are supposed to be hydrating yourself. Alcohol also messes with your good judgement, possibly causing you to forget to drink water as needed. That’s all the more reason to avoid it.

On hot days, you should also take steps to prevent excess sweating. Wear lightweight clothes so you don’t end up losing water through sweat rapidly.