Summer temperatures are reaching their peak, and that means staying properly hydrated is more important than ever. Keeping your body hydrated helps to regulate body temperature, lubricate joints, and transport nutrients and waste throughout the body. Dehydration can become a serious condition, leading to complications ranging from swollen feet or a headache to life-threatening illnesses like heat stroke.
The amount of fluid an individual needs varies. A person’s weight, the outside temperature, your activity level and your overall general health all play a factor, but eight glasses a day is generally the recommended serving. It’s a good idea to increase your daily intake, though, if you exercise a lot or sweat more.
The good news is that it’s easy to keep your body hydrated throughout the day and summer.
Sip on Water All Day
Don’t wait until your thirsty to grab a cold drink. Dehydration has often already begun to set in by the time you feel noticeably thirsty. Sip on water throughout the day instead of just drinking a large glass once thirst sets in.
Invest in a reusable water bottle designed to keep liquids cold for an extended period of time, and take it with you on errands, to work and when you travel so that you’re never left without a water source. If you struggle to drink enough plain water, try adding a few squirts of a flavored liquid stevia drop to your water for a refreshing, sugar-free burst of flavor.
Drink Iced Tea
Not only is tea a good source of antioxidants, it’s a healthy way to add some extra water into your diet. Of course, it’s best to skip the sugary stuff, and opt for an unsweetened tea instead. But if you like your tea with a bit of the sweet stuff, not to worry. Use a natural sweetener like stevia to give your tea the sweetened flavor you desire.
Eat Your Fruits & Veggies
Fruits and vegetables can contain a high percentage of water. Consuming extra produce in the summer is an effective way to help your body stay hydrated. Strawberries, spinach, peppers, cucumbers and melon can provide up to a half-cup of water per serving.
If you plan to work out or engage in strenuous activity in the heat, weigh yourself first. Your starting weight is a helpful gauge in determining your need for fluid replacement. After physical activity, weigh yourself a second time. If you’ve lost weight, it’s a good indicator that you need to replenish lost fluids. Drinking water before you exercise or spend time in the sun is also a good idea to avoid becoming dehydrated in the first place.
Set a Reminder
Despite good intentions, life gets busy and many of us can find ourselves sidetracked throughout the day. Set an alarm on your smart phone to remind you it’s time to drink a glass of water.
Enjoy your summer and stay hydrated!