How To Stay Hydrated

10 Ways To Stay Hydrated, Even If You're Disgusted By The Taste Of Water, Like Me

This does NOT mean adding shots of Red Bull to your Evian.

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Let's face it. Between classes, clubs, and the general time crunch, it isn't always easy to remember to stay hydrated while running the college gauntlet. It is even more difficult if you do not find the taste(lessness) of water particularly appealing. But fear not! Below are 10 simple alternatives to increase your daily H20 intake without having to drink, you know, actual water.

1. Cucumbers (or any fruits, really)

Fruits tend to have high water content. Incorporating more of them into your diet can help you stay hydrated without having to lug a five-pound stainless steel water bottle around campus. They are also full of beneficial mineral electrolytes that can regulate blood acidity, digestion, and keep your body's water balance in check.

You can also give infused water a try. Simply soak a few pieces of fruit in water for a few hours (overnight is easiest), and voila! Instant refresher. Some common favorites are lemon, orange, strawberry, and cucumber, but feel free to experiment.

2. Salads

Some vegetables do, too. Salads are an easy way to add them to your meals.

3. Seltzer and sparkling water

While we are on the topic of flavors, seltzer and sparkling water are increasingly popular alternatives to plain water. The unsweetened kinds are just water with carbonic acid added for the fizz and a bit of flavoring. As beverage companies continue to churn out more and more varieties, the sky is the limit. They are also becoming embraced as a healthier substitute for soda and pop.

While there is some concern about side effects due to the carbonation, it is still better for you than the sugar- and dye-filled sodas commonly found in restaurants and store shelves. At the same time, there are certain conditions for which it may be best to consume this in moderation.

4. Adding caffeine

This does not mean adding shots of Red Bull to your Evian. Instead, try steeping some tea in your water. There are hundreds of types out there, so chances are high that you will find at least one that fits your tastes and your budget. There is also cocoa powder, which can be mixed with cinnamon and hot water for a sweet, vegan-friendly drink in the colder months.

Be warned, though. Too much caffeine can actually lead to dehydration. Caffeine (and alcohol) prevent your body from releasing anti-diuretic hormone. This is the hormone responsible for helping your body absorb water. Without it, you will not be able to hydrate and will instead be left thirstier and more dehydrated than before.

5. Eating whole and hot cereal grains

This includes rice, oatmeal, quinoa, grits, etc. Most of them need to be steamed, boiled, or otherwise cooked before eating, and so will absorb the water. This water-absorption is why they get larger when prepared.

Whole cereals are filling, hearty, and most importantly (for the purposes of this article), hydrating. Hot cereals also have lower glycemic indices than your average piece of bread or pizza, so it's a win-win!

6. Soups and stews

Soups are also another great water-laden addition to your meals. The water grains are cooked in (see above) and are also edible and can be used to make stock or soup.

7. Coconut water

Coconut water is not only a sweet, clean way to stay hydrated, it is also high in potassium and other electrolytes. Athletes tout it as a healthier alternative to sports drinks, which often tend to be high in added sugars and dyes.

Be forewarned, though. It is a tad expensive.

8. Smoothies

If whole fruits and vegetables are not for you, try turning them into smoothies. Adding coconut or rice milk also gives it a creamy finish, while cinnamon or cardamom can boost the flavor and make it easier to digest.

9. POPSICLES!

Try making your own popsicles! You can get molds for cheap at most stores and make your own fruity or floral concoctions to go in them. Add fruits, mint, yogurt, etc. Or Kool-Aid mix. There are no limits.

10. Essential oils and honey

Honey with a drop of essential oil is a quick and easy addition to water that gives it a bit of flavor. Honey is also an energy booster, so if you need a pick-me-up during class, a bottle of honeyed water is a good way to go. Use all of the above in moderation, though! Too much essential oil or honey is not good for you.

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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How To Avoid Getting Sick Your  Freshman Year

It's going to take a little more than an apple a day.

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College is the prime time and place to catch a cold... or worse. Although, somehow I managed to crack the code to health and not get sick my whole first year of college. This is surprising considering I was living in the close (and very unsanitary) quarters of a dorm room.

1. Keep your diet somewhat healthy

https://picjumbo.com/healthy-fruits-and-vegetables/

I know how hard it is to eat healthy in college, especially on a low budget. But with the dining hall foods, you can at least include some vegetables and fruits into your everyday consumption. The vitamins in these foods will help keep your immune system up and it will be worth the effort.

2. Try to exercise a few times per week

https://picjumbo.com/fitness-girl-jogging-morning-run/

Even if you're just getting out of the dorm for a thirty minute walk, it will benefit your body. If you decide to up your routine from that, even better! The more endorphins, the more you will feel better inside and out.

3. Cut back on the drinking if you feel a cold coming on

https://pixabay.com/photos/glasses-toasting-cheers-alcohol-919071/

Surprisingly, many college students don't seem to know that alcohol lowers your immune system. Of course, for some people theres no way of avoiding drinking. But if you can at least give your body rest days, it will be extremely beneficial.

4. Invest in a dehumidifier for your dorm room

https://icdn2.digitaltrends.com/image/dehumidifier_hero_1-2-720x720.jpg

I believe this was a very big player in helping me not get sick. The dehumidifier helps reduce dust and other particles in the air. This will help not agitate your allergies and you will feel more clear headed.

5. Try not to share personal products

https://picjumbo.com/makeup-brushes/

Sharing things like towels, makeup, unwashed cups, etc. can all be causes of a sickness being passed around you and your friends. Of course sharing is caring, just make sure it's sanitary.

6. Be conscientious of who you kiss!

https://www.pexels.com/photo/love-people-kissing-romance-18397/

Make sure that your girlfriend, boyfriend, or "its complicated" person is not sick before you're getting cozy with them.

7. Drink lots of green tea!

https://libreshot.com/green-tea/

Personally, I credit green tea and its anti-oxidants for keeping the flu away and even getting rid of bugs that might be forming in your system. So if you feel like you might be developing a cold, chug that tea!

I know how annoying these tips may be. But I promise, if you implement at least a few it could reduce your chances of feeling horrible during midterms in the winter, and sneezing all over your finals in the fall.

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