Summer is here and that means the mercury is going up. As you spend more time enjoying the outdoors upping your water intake become more important. Staying hydrated is important whether you are out for a run or hanging out at the beach. Here we will look at a few things you should know about staying hydrated this summer.
Hydration Tip #1: Know How Much You Need
The most important thing you should know about summer hydration is how much water you should be drinking each day. In years past many of us subscribed to the notion of 8 glasses a day as our goal. But is this really the ideal amount? The National Institute of Medicine states that an adequate intake (AI) of water for men is around 13 cups (3 liters) a day. The AI for women is about 9 cups (2.2 liters) a day. What they also note is that this consumption does not have to be just water. It also includes other beverages and foods with high water content.
Hydration Tip #2: Put Back What you Lose
When you exercise, especially outdoors, you may need to replace the fluids you lose through sweating. In order to figure out how much you are losing there is an easy method you can use. When you are planning a more intense workout weigh yourself right before you start. Then weigh yourself again right as you finish your workout. If you have lost weight, you have depleted your fluids. A good rule of thumb is to drink 3 cups of fluid for every pound lost. Once you have an idea of how much water you lose when you workout you will know how much to drink before, during and after each workout.
Hydration Tip #3: Up Your Produce Intake
Drinking plenty of fluids is not the only way to get the hydration you need. Many types of produce (both fruits and veggies!) are full of liquid gold and count towards the amount of water you drink. Instead of that ninth glass of flavorless water, a juicy orange might be a very nice change of pace.
Hydration Tip #4: Think Ahead
When you know you have a day of activity coming up, it’s wise to think ahead and hydrate in advance. Whether you have a big race in the near future or are participating in a fun run, you should start upping your liquids the day before in order to avoid dehydrating. It’s a good idea to shoot for just over the recommended daily water intake the day before activity.
Hydration Tip #5: Spice Up Your Water
While a tall glass of ice cold water is wonderful on a hot day, when you drink glass after glass you can get bored. One way to keep drinking plenty of fluids is to have fun with flavor. Maybe add a wedge of lemon or lime. Or, early in the day add water, ice and your favorite fruits to a pitcher of water and enjoy the fruity goodness throughout the day. Some people even add fresh herbs like mint or cilantro to add a fun kick to their daily water intake.
Hydration Tip #6: Keep a Close Eye on Kids
One very important summer hydration tip is to keep a close eye on your children. While they might say they are drinking plenty of water while outside playing, can we be sure? Kids are very heat tolerant when they are having fun and can quickly go from hydrated to dehydrated quickly. When they are active encourage periodic breaks to enjoy some fluids, either through fluids or by enjoying some fruit or veggies that are water rich.
Hydration Tip #7: Keep Water Handy
Even though most of us have great intentions on getting enough water in our diet, sometimes we just forget. We’re all busy and making sure to get our 9-13 cups a day can be the last thing on our mind during a hectic day. To combat this make sure that water is readily available in all your usual places. Keep bottled water, cut fruit or veggies, or another favorite beverage at your desk, your car and your home. This will help serve as a reminder to stay on top of summer hydration.
Hydration Tip #8: Pay Attention to Your Body
A great way to know if you need more water is to pay attention to how you feel. If you start to feel a little dizzy or unfocused or you feel a headache coming on, you might need to up your water level. Your body will often give you subtle signs that you need to grab a drink. These are also common complaints that kids will express when they start to dehydrate.
Hydration Tip #9: Keep an Eye on the Elderly
Whether it’s a treasured grandparent or a neighbor you hardly know, the summer can be a tough time for our elderly friends and family. As we age our body loses some of its ability to trigger thirst. This means that many elderly people will not feel thirsty and can quickly hydrate. Make sure to look out for older friends, family and neighbors to help them stay healthy.
Hydration Tip #10: Don’t Forget About Fido
We’ve covered the kids, and ourselves but don’t forget about the family pets. If your furry friends spend time outdoors be sure that they have water available to stay hydrated.
The summer is a great time to get outside and be active. As temperatures rise it becomes easier to dehydrate. Using these simple steps you can stay on top of hydration and have a fun and active summer.
When you are planning a more intense workout weigh yourself right before you start. Then weigh yourself again right as you finish your workout. If you have lost weight, you have depleted your fluids. A good rule of thumb is to drink 3 cups of fluid for every pound lost.