How important it is to stay hydrated

At this point everyone is aware of how important it is to stay hydrated. If you don’t, well it is! Now you know. While no one is complaining, because after all, you’re in Italy, all that walking around under the hot sun can make for a thirsty, if not slightly dehydrated, traveler. Not to point out the obvious but, sipping on water all day is the best way to stay on top of your hydration. For those of you who don’t like a water bottle glued to the palm of your hand at all times here are a few other ways to help make up that daily water intake along with a few signs of dehydration to watch out for.

If you’re looking for a non-bottled source of water then try fresh fruits and vegetables! Diets high in f&v’s are a brilliant way to not only pack in nutrients but stay hydrated. A simply wonderful way to incorporate acqua into your Italian experience is to browse a local market (in whatever magical town your are in) and pick up some fresh f&v’s, cheese, smoked meat and bread and have picnic! Veggies like tomatoes, celery, spinach, and sweet peppers are comprised of around 90% water. Juicy fruits such as watermelon, oranges, grapes, and apples are roughly 80-90% water. And everyone knows that grapes make vino which must make wine hydrating right?! Ok, it unfortunately doesn’t work that way! But, don’t we all wish it did?!

Speaking of vino (and I usually am!), while it is unimaginable to try experience Italy without a few glasses here and there keep in mind that it can be a bit of a water stealer. Not to get too technical on your delicate, vacationing brains but, in short, alcohol can act as a diuretic and can interfere with the hormone that regulates water control in the body. Which is the opposite effect wanted after a day spent touring the leaning tower of Pisa, gazing at the awe inspiring Colosseum, or wine tasting in Tuscany. A good rule of thumb is to have some water between each drink and make sure you’ve got some of that delicious Italian food in your belly.

Now, for those of you who don’t heed this sage advice, here are some dehydration warning signs you can be watching for.

Thirst: This one is quite obvious, of course, but lots of people don’t pay attention to this important cue. It’s our brains way of letting us know we need water to keep our bodies at a comfortable homeostasis.

Dark colored urine: We’ve all heard this one a time or two but again an important sign that you should chug a glass or 2 (of water not wine!). In general, healthy urine needs to be light yellow-clear.

Fatigue/dizziness/confusion: These signs aren’t always as obvious. Fatigue can happen for several reasons (jet lag, walking all day, hungover) but be mindful of this symptom and have a few sips of water. If you experience something more serious like dizziness/confusion then take action immediately by contacting a 24/7 MedinAction physician.

Stay safe and happy traveling, dears!

About the Author: Julianne Griswold

Nutrition and Dietetic Technician with a passion for health and wellness. Graduated from Oklahoma State University-Okc. Completed yoga teacher training, earning a RYT-200. Completed online training in functional nutrition.