Reap the benefits of good hydration.

Does this sound like you? You’re irritable, tired, your skin is dry and you’re constantly hungry. Aren’t the following qualities much more appealing? Happy, energetic, radiant and satiated. So how do we potentially go from one to the other? It could be a matter of proper hydration.

The body is comprised of 60% water. But when this level takes a fraction of a dip, so can our moods and energy levels. And that’s only the beginning. The list of symptoms related to dehydration is long!

One indication of proper hydration is the color of your urine. Pale and clear, you’re most likely in the clear. If your urine is dark yellow, you may be dehydrated. Or when a sudden thirst hits, this is not an indicator dehydration is looming. If you’re parched, you are already dehydrated.

General health, fitness and weight loss are all benefactors of hydration, and there are unlimited ways to ensure you’re meeting your daily water quota.

For years the general rule of thumb was to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day, but recent studies have indicated that different rules apply to different situations. If you’re sedentary, eight to 10 glasses is the general guideline; however, other factors include age, climate and fitness level. Then, when you combine factors such as playing a sport in the hot July sun, your intake requirements rise by a few cups – and it’s essential to drink before, during and afterwards.

The good news is you don’t have to stand in front of the kitchen sink and chug, chug, chug. In fact, drinking gradually throughout the day is best. If you work a desk job, keep a big glass in front of you, so you’ll remember to drink it. Or if you’re on the road, keep an environmentally friendly jug in your car. When you’re taking your vitamins, it’s the perfect opportunity to drink a little more. And if you find the taste of water just too dull, a lemon wedge will do wonders for flavor.

While we’re on the topic of fruit, some of your water intake can come from the produce department. Watermelon and strawberries contain 92 percent water volume. Following closely behind are grapefruit, cantaloupe and peaches. Cucumber and iceberg lettuce contain 96 percent water volume, while zucchini, radish and celery are next in line.

Other tricks of the trade – as soon as you wake up, drink a glass. Dining out? Only drink water with your meal. When you’re hanging out at the office water cooler, discussing your latest web series, take the opportunity to down a glass. And when the boss walks by and questions why you and your colleague are at the water cooler “again,” simply tell her “we’re hydrating.” Enough said!

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