Can You Drink Away a Migraine?
If we’re talking alcohol, the answer is no. If we’re talking about water, the answer may be yes! Dehydration can be a major trigger for migraines – and now that it’s summer – you may be more prone to dehydration.
How much water should I drink?
To be properly hydrated, it’s ideal to drink half your body weight in ounces of water. If you’re working out, add an additional 24 ounces to that count. It can sound like a lot, I know. This is often the biggest struggle for my nutrition clients – but also the biggest game changer for them once they crack the hydration code. They have found it to be helpful in both reducing the frequency and intensity of their migraines. (Bonus alert: When your body is hydrated, you’re more easily able to decipher between thirst and hunger, skin often clears up, and it can support healthy elimination too!)
So how can you crack the code of increasing your water intake – especially without running to the bathroom all the time?
Know your water intake baseline
First, start by getting a baseline of how much water you drink on an average day. It’s easy to say that you drink “a lot” of water and assume that you’re getting enough but it’s important to actually get a baseline number of ounces. That will help you know how to scale up from there. I recommend scaling by adding eight ounces a day each week.
There are a lot of apps and journals available that can help you track your daily intake. I always think it’s fun to create a little healthy competition to achieve a goal. So maybe you challenge family, a friend or coworker to join you on your hydration quest!
Filling up on water ahead of time
Next, if you know you’re going to be spending time outside on a particular day – say a weekend barbeque or day at the beach - you want to up your water intake the day before. It’s harder to play catch-up when you’re in the heat of the sun. Your body will adapt much better if you start the day well hydrated and just have to maintain that hydration throughout the day. So be intentional with your water intake the days before you’re outside or even traveling with often limited access to water.
Making water taste good
Last but not least, make it tasty! Add your favorite summer fruit/veggies to you water – berries, lemon or cucumbers to give it a little pizzazz. This is an enjoyable way to up your glasses of water and do so in a way without the artificially sweetened drinks that are often a migraine trigger in and of themselves.
And speaking of summer fruit, they are naturally hydrating as well so having a side of watermelon with your lunch can give your hydration a yummy and refreshing boost. Natural fruit pops are always a great option – and a fun activity to make with the kids on summer break.
What’s your favorite strategy for staying hydrated in the summer? Share below so we can “cheers” to you!
Have you taken our Migraine In America Survey yet?