Want to be surprised? You’re more likely to get dehydrated during the winter than summer. At this time of year, we don’t sweat or feel the heat as much. That makes us less motivated to refresh ourselves with a glass of water, or keep up with our hydration levels throughout the day. Because of that, many of us don’t get the amount of fluids we should, and we don’t even realize it.
Staying hydrated is important for everyone, but it’s essential for those who experience hemorrhoid flare-ups (sometimes called piles). Constipation and hardening of the stool are both major contributing factors to hemorrhoid flare-ups and are made worse by dehydration.
Simply put, drinking plenty of water helps reduce and prevent the symptoms that cause hemorrhoid flare-ups and manage the condition long-term. It may be the most important thing you can do, but it’s sometimes easier said than done. To help you get enough water and manage the effects of hemorrhoids this winter, we put together a list of 10 handy tips.
Understand your body’s needs
We all know our bodies need water to survive, but how much and when? Here are some ways to better understand when it’s time to reach for your water bottle:
1. Check your recommended daily fluids intake
The average adult should drink about two liters (around four pints) of water each day to stay hydrated. You can add an additional half-liter (about 10 ounces) to that every 10 to 20 minutes when exercising. If you’re unsure about how much water you should be drinking, contact your local healthcare professionals. But remember, there is no such thing as “drinking too much water”.
2. Know what thirst “means”
It’s a common refrain: by the time you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. It’s important to stay one step ahead of thirst by keeping a glass or bottle of water close by and taking regular sips throughout the day – even if you don’t have that itch in your throat. If you find that challenging, tie sipping water to another activity like checking your texts or scrolling your newsfeed.
3. It’s not just about drinking water
You can stay hydrated by eating plenty of water-dense foods (like soups, grapes, melon, etc.) while avoiding salty foods, caffeinated beverages like coffee or tea, and alcohol where possible. Naturally caffeine-free or herbal teas like ginger are acceptable hydrants. Look for foods with high dietary fibre like brown rice, buckwheat, bran and carrots. The delicious high-fibre, high-hydration combinations are endless (for example low-sodium chicken soup with carrots and barley).
Tech support (that won’t leave you on hold)
Want to know if your daily intake of fluids is high enough? That’s where technology can give you a helping hand:
4. Use an app
Your phone or tablet device can help remind you to drink water at regular intervals. The Daily Water Tracker for iPhone or Android is a good place to start, or find one that suits your life and style.
5. Let your exercise tracker lead the way
Designed to help you reach your fitness goals, exercise trackers can also notify you to stay properly hydrated. The wide variety of models and brands available have different features and companion apps, fitting many styles and budgets.
6. Keep it simple
Lower-tech options, like reminder alarms on your phone or desktop work just as well. So set it and forget it!
Hydration made fun
Drinking multiple litres of water a day might not be everyone’s idea of a good time. But there are plenty of ways to pour a little excitement into your hydration routine.
7. Water too boring? Add flavour!
There are a range of options on the market to suit your dietary needs. Head to the store and seek out some natural cordials and low-sugar juices to add to your water and stir the senses. Or add some fresh lemon, raspberry, cranberry, orange or cucumber to enjoy a natural flavour infusion.
8. Get hydrated, by design
We’re much more inclined to reach for the products we’re excited by – so treat yourself to a water bottle that you really love the look or design of. Maybe the selling feature is thermos technology that keeps your water chilled for days at a time, or perhaps an eye-catching pattern. Just make sure you know how the volume of the bottle compares to the recommended two litres of water per day.
9. Let your bottle set the pace
There are many “motivational” bottles available complete with water level goal times to fit every budget, from online or local retailers. These fun, oversized bottles let you track your daily water intake in real time, no technology required. Challenge yourself to keep that water level going down with the clock decal on the bottle, and say goodbye to dehydration.
10. Share your goal
Gamifying or socializing hydration can help make it easier! Talk to your friends about staying hydrated, set some goals and challenge each other to meet them.
Maintaining a balanced and healthy lifestyle, including staying hydrated, is very important in the long-term management of hemorrhoid flare-ups, however there are fast-acting options when you need relief right away.
Venixxa can help improve the overall symptoms associated with hemorrhoids in as quickly as two days. A natural health product, Venixxa is the number one doctor-recommended over-the-counter oral product that is proven to reduce the duration, intensity and recurrence of hemorrhoid flare-ups. Venixxa is available at most pharmacies and online.
For more information, click here or ask your healthcare professional.