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If you’re like me, you know you should drink lots of water, but it just gets boring. And it’s hard to know how much is enough. Yet if you have migraine, it’s absolutely essential to drink enough water to prevent a dehydration headache. Staying effectively well-hydrated may be the easiest, cheapest way to avoid triggering a migraine.
A general rule of thumb is to drink AT LEAST half of your body weight in ounces each day. However, you don’t have to get it all from water, and some circumstances (heat, humidity, altitude, exercise, diarrhea and air travel) require more. So, if you’re a 160 pound person, that’s 80 ounces of water, or the average 64-ounce drink pitcher plus 1-2 glasses. Glug, glug. Seems like a lot!
While you can check your skin and eyes for dryness, those are subjective clues about hydration. The hands-down best method I’ve found: check your urine color. Lucky for us, The Boys Scouts of America teach those kids what mellow yellow and dark gold really mean. Ideally, you want it almost clear. If you need help, here’s a handy urine color dehydration chart.
I was curious – was I getting enough water? I thought so, and I really resented people telling me I wasn’t. So I filled up a pitcher every day for a week and tried to drink naturally. The result: most definitely not. So, I got busy collecting strategies for boosting my water intake. Every bathroom break became a reward for good behavior — or evidence that I was slacking off and at risk of a dehydration headache.
Here I’ll share my daily hydration hacks — use what fits your life and ditch the rest. You’re bound to pass the Boy Scouts’ clear urine test in no time!
13 Practical, Clever Ways to Avoid Dehydration Headache
Here are 13 tips that will help boost your water and fluid intake on a daily basis:
1 – Take the Pitcher Test – Fill a pitcher at the beginning of the day and see what you consume without trying, every day for a week. Keep a log, adding any other drinks like coffee, tea, juice, sodas, wine, beer and more that you might drink.
2– Stock Water Bedside – Put a carafe and glass on your nightstand. Before your feet hit the floor, take a drink. If you wake during the night, take a drink. If you get up to go to the bathroom, replace what you just peed out.
3 – Chug Before Breakfast – Make an exception to your “not before coffee” rule. Drink a glass of water before any caffeine to help prevent dehydration headache from developing. Everything is going to digest better. Some health experts recommend this strategy as a weight loss technique too. Check out Sassy Water for that recipe.
4 – Juice Up Your Breakfast – Hydration doesn’t have to come just from water. Fruit, oatmeal or our Migraine Shake for breakfast relieve you from having to rely upon water. That’s one reason we sharing this Overnight Oats & Berries recipe.
5– Upgrade Your Workout Water – Replenish with coconut water or low-sugar sports drinks for more effective hydration than water alone. Watch out for the sugar content in Powerade and Gatorade — too much sugar can trigger a migraine.
6– Swap Your Commuter Cup – Fill your commuter cup with water instead. Bonus: it won’t make a mess if you stop suddenly and spill.
7 – Plan Your Daily Routes – Take your water bottle absolutely everywhere. At work or school, find out where the drinking fountains, refill stations or water coolers are, and plan your route to class or meetings to pass them every time. Do not pass without topping off your water bottle. If you drive around instead of walk, see #8.
8 – Drive Through Water –Many Starbucks and MacDonald’s offer drive-through windows with refreshing cold bottled water. So even if you’re busy running errands or have a car full of kids, you have options.
9– Drink Before Meals – Another weight loss tip that also helps prevent dehydration headache. Chug a full glass of water before eating, and you’ll feel full and eat less.
10 – Dilute Your Juice or Tea – Substitute half water or seltzer for pure juice or pure tea and you’ll cut calories/caffeine in half while boosting your water intake.
11 – Add Fruit To Your Water – Citrus, Cucumber or Melon make any water a bit more interesting. I cut up cucumber slices and lemon wedges and keep them in the fridge to add to every glass.
12 – Drink While You Drench – Take a bottle of water into the bath or shower. Hot tub too. Ironically, you’d be surprised how much hot immersive water can actually dehydrate you.
13 – Use An App – Let the free Aqualert app remind you every hour, and inspire you in between. After a few weeks of using it, you will retrain your hourly habits and probably won’t need it anymore. Or you’ll look really popular, like you’re getting texted at all hours of the day.
Now every time you get clear urine, give yourself an atta boy or atta girl – you deserve it! And you’re one step closer to preventing another dehydration headache turned migraine attack.