Are you hydrated? How can you tell? Being hydrated is key to good physical and mental health. To make sure we’re getting enough H2O, we spoke with holistic health coach (and hydration expert) MaryAnn Jones.

Splendid Spoon: We’ve all heard the eight glasses a day rule, but is that enough?
MaryAnn Jones: Eight 8 oz. glasses a day is a great place to start, but it’s not the answer! We’re all different, so it’s important to get curious about how much water you need each day to feel your best. Some people like to drink an ounce of water for every pound of body weight divided by two. Experiment and find your sweet spot.

SS: How do we know we’re hydrated?
MJ: Take a look in the toilet bowl! If your urine is a light yellow color, you’re probably getting enough water. If it’s dark (think, darker than lemonade), you might need more. (Please remember that many factors can affect the color of your pee e.g. medication and supplements.)

SS: Do we need to drink even if we don’t feel thirsty?
MJ: Some say that thirst is the last symptom of dehydration! Lots of us are used to being dehydrated. Most of my clients report that they didn’t realize how thirsty they were until they began to prioritize hydration.

SS: What does being dehydrated feel like (even if only slightly!)?
MJ: Many, everyday common complaints might vanish if you simply drink more water. Hangovers are notoriously caused by dehydration, and so are chronic headaches. Dehydration can also cause constipation, brain fog, muscle spasms, cravings, fatigue, and anxiety.

SS: How does hydration affect our physical and mental health?
MJ: I often use a visual of prunes and plums to explain this. What’s the difference between the two? Water! This prune-like effect can manifest inside and outside our bodies. Physically, your skin might not be as glowy as you desire, and your joints might ache. Mentally, being hydrated helps your brain function properly.

SS: What are the best drinks to hydrate with? Can food be hydrating too.
MJ: Water! I know it can get boring, so jazz it up with your favorite fruit (frozen fruit works really well — think ice cube + flavor). High water content foods are super hydrating too: watermelon, and other seasonal, summer fruit are great. Cucumbers are another ideal choice, and they taste delicious in a glass of ice water. Even a smoothie is a great addition (the ones from Splendid Spoon are perfect!).

SS: What drinks or foods should we avoid because of their dehydrating powers?
MJ: This never makes me a popular health coach, but I’m going to deliver the news anyway: alcohol. If you do have an alcoholic drink, be sure to drink extra water before and after. Coffee can also dehydrate, but I think the real problem is that we drink coffee instead of water. If you do have a cup, have it after you drink 8–16 oz of water. Always be balancing your bevs!

SS: Should we drink more water in the summer?
MJ: If we’re outside in the warmer temperatures, we’re losing water due to perspiration, and we need to replenish it. However, if you’re locked in an air-conditioned home or office, you won’t be losing so much. So again, let how you feel (and your urine color) guide you.

SS: What tips and tricks can we use to make sure we’re always hydrated?
MJ: A great reusable water bottle is a stylish accessory and it makes water accessible to you wherever you are. Set reminders on your phone, and check out Thrive Wellness Bangles (chic jewelry that keeps you mindfully motivated to stay fully hydrated throughout the day!).

MaryAnn Jones, HHC, inspires women to hydrate and thrive. She is the co-founder of Wear Your Wellness, a brand that creates products that mindfully motivate you to achieve your health goals. She is recovering picky eater who has taken step-by-step action to achieve optimal health. She knows that if she can do it, you can too. Find her on Facebook and Instagram.

If this post made you hungry for these delicious, and healthy Splendid Spoon recipes, click here to see this weeks menu!