You’ve heard it time and time again – “be sure you drink plenty of water.” But why is it so important to stay hydrated? Is this need heightened during menopause? You bet. Water is essential throughout every stage of our life but especially during menopause as the decrease in estrogen, a hormone that fluctuates during menopause, levels often leads to dehydration.

A constant lack of hydration may increase the intensity/severity of the following menopausal symptoms:

  • Night sweats
  • Fatigue
  • Hot flashes
  • Joint inflammation
  • Mood swings
  • Bloating

Many women find it difficult to drink a sufficient amount of water each day. I’ve cultivated a list of tips and tricks to ensure you’re maintaining hydration:

  • Drink a glass of water as soon as you wake up
    • Room temperature water has been shown to kick start your metabolism for the day
  • ALWAYS have water with you – carry a glass around the house, throw a reusable bottle in your purse, and bring water with you for even minimal errands (to/from the grocery store) so you are always reminded to drink
  • Obviously increasing your water intake increases hydration but drinking the following liquids actually flushes water out of your body, leading to dehydration: coffee, alcohol, and carbonated beverages. Avoid these beverages as much as possible
  • Add a slice of lemon, which offers health benefits of its own, to your water for added flavor
  • Keep track of how much water you drink and each day try to add a little more until you reach the recommended 10-12 glasses per day

Specifically for those of us in menopause, I’d like to touch on the three main benefits of consistently drinking enough water each day:

  • Decreasing the frequency and intensity of the symptoms listed above
  • Preventing weight gain and promoting weight loss – drinking sufficient amounts of water is great for your metabolism and also makes you feel fuller (you generally consume 13% less calories when you drink a glass of water before eating a meal)
  • Hydrated, moisturized skin (from the inside out)