It is incredibly important for those of us with sickle cell to stay hydrated. Drinking water promotes healthy blood flow and reduces the chance of our red blood cells sickling and sticking together. It keeps our blood cells supple so they can move more freely within our blood vessels.
It is recommended that we drink approximately 2 to 4 liters of water a day for optimal blood flow. However, maintaining this daily intake can present a challenge.
Following are my tips about how to incorporate water into your diet and make it less of a chore:
- Make it manageable: Drinking 2 to 4 liters of water a day may seem daunting. I find that it’s less of a challenge when I break it into smaller amounts throughout my day. For example, instead of facing up to 4 liters each day, I think of it as four to eight bottles with 500 milliliters each. That way, I can see myself accomplishing the goal. I also aim to drink most of the water in the morning and afternoon so that toward the end of the day, I am uninterrupted by frequent toilet visits.
- “Eat your water”: Most fruits and vegetables have a high water content. For example, watermelons and cucumbers are at least 90 percent water. Simply adding these to your diet will increase your hydration. Another way to “eat your water” is with ice lollies — my go-to when I am in a hot country. Ice lollies are a fantastic way to hydrate yourself, cool down, and have a treat at the same time. If you don’t like store-bought ice lollies, you can make your own.
- Get competitive: It may be difficult to keep up a healthy water habit by yourself. However, on occasion, I have competed with friends to see who can drink the most water. My motivation to win has resulted in a higher water intake.
Do you find it challenging to meet your daily water intake needs? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Note: Sickle Cell Anemia News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Sickle Cell Anemia News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to sickle cell anemia.