Although many of us wish it were true, drinking a "liquid" doesn't always equal hydration! If you drink a number of beverages from the following list, you will want to be sure to drink extra water to make up for their dehydrating effects.
Coffee & Caffeinated Tea
Caffeine has well-known diuretic effects, thus stimulating the body to expel urine (water) when it is consumed. The more caffeine that is consumed, the more dehydrating the effect. It is a good idea to drink two cups of water for every cup of caffeinated beverage that is consumed in order to replace the fluids lost through urination.
Great alternatives are non-caffeinated teas like chamomille, peppermint and red rooibos, or non-caffeinated coffee substitutes such as the Teecchino® variety. These tasty "herbal coffees" contain a mix of carob, barley and hickory root.
Not only do soft drinks dehydrate the body because of the sugar and caffeine content, but they also pull minerals from the bones. Definitely avoid soft drinks whenever possible as there is absolutely nothing healthy about this beverage.
Familiar with that raging headache and hangover in the morning? These despised symptoms are most often caused by dehydration. Alcohol is also a diuretic and can cause an electrolyte imbalance. Electrolytes are the minerals within our bodies that are essential for nerve and muscle functioning.
If you do choose to have a few alcoholic drinks now and then, drinking electrolyte-rich beverages such as coconut water along with it will help to maintain hydration.
Many people believe their daily glass of orange juice in the AM to be a healthy choice. Take a quick glance at the label and you will see that even one cup is very high in sugar, which is of course, a dehydrating substance. If you have a hard time giving up that morning routine, try adding in a bit of plain sparkling water to your OJ. Gradually decrease the orange juice content and increase the sparking water each day to lower your sugar intake and prevent unnecessary dehydration. Plus it tastes great!
High-Sugar Flavored Water
Some people drink these beverages because they don't like the taste of water alone. If you are one of these people consider flavoring your water with natural add-ins such as cucumber, rosemary, mint, or fruit such as orange wedges, lemon wedges, strawberry slices or raspberries. Combinations are endless and these natural options are especially delicious and refreshing on hot summer days.
Take a moment to think of how many dehydrating beverages you typically have on a daily basis. Are you supplementing with enough plain, pure water?