Sickle cell is a chronic condition that can be hard to manage, but every small step or intervention can make a big difference. Everyone should know by now that water is essential to a healthy body and a healthy mind. Our body needs water to perform its essential functions and keep us strong. For those with sickle cells, this could not be more true. In general, when we are dehydrated our blood becomes thicker. This makes it harder for blood to flow through our vessels and maintain proper blood flow throughout the body. For those with sickle cell disease, having thick blood is not only unhealthy but dangerous. The sickled shape of the blood cell can already make blood flow more difficult, thus, thicker blood only challenges the body more. Staying hydrated may seem like a chore, but it’s really just another habit to integrate into your day! Below are some tips & tricks for how to increase your water intake throughout the day.
The first you drink in the morning, and the last thing you drink at night:
Before you pick up that cup of coffee (put it down!), make sure you’ve had at least one glass of water. Your body has just gone without water for around eight hours – it’s thirsty! This can mean keeping a water bottle on your bedside table or forcing yourself to get out of bed by keeping a glass of water on the other side of the room. This will help wake your body up without the shock of caffeine or sugary drinks. Good news! You’ve already conquered one glass of water for the day.
Most recommendations for water intake are either eight glasses per day or around half a gallon. Continue to drink water incrementally throughout the day. Instead of ending your night with a glass of wine or a beer, make sure to add water as the last thing you drink. This helps to continue flushing out your system and keep you somewhat hydrated.
Swap out sugary drinks with water
I’m not telling you to put your diet coke down and get rid of your post-lunch iced coffee, but an easy way to increase your water intake is to sub a few of your usual drinks with water instead. Instead of drinking soda with lunch every day, consider water instead.
Or, if you really want soda, consider drinking a cup of water before the meal.
Add some flavor!
Drinking straight water all the time can get boring. The nice thing about water, however, is you can spice it up! Try squeezing fresh lemon or lime into a pitcher of cold water for a refreshing taste throughout the day.
You can also purchase a pitcher with a flavor infuser inside of it. This allows you to put fruits inside – try strawberries, pineapples, or other fruits.
Be careful not to lean towards artificial flavors or additives too much. This can add unnecessary