Summer brings all kind of outdoor activities and with higher temperatures, our bodies lose more water and the risk of dehydration increases.
Adequate hydration is important to maintain body temperature, optimize blood pressure, enhance circulation and proper digestion as well as move nutrients in and waste products out of the body. If the body becomes dehydrated, this can cause fatigue, muscle cramps, extreme thirst as well as loss of appetite, dry mouth, mild constipation, lightheadedness, low back discomfort, headaches and carb cravings. While having enough fluid is important for everyone, children, pregnant women and the elderly are more susceptible to dehydration. The summertime is a particularly important time to tune in to the importance of consuming adequate fluids.
Following are basic tips to boost hydration
- Know how much water you need. While recommendations vary depending on age, weight and activity level, the general rule of thumb is 15 glasses for men and 11 glasses for women (a glass is 8 ounces). Another method for adults is to take your weight and divide it by 2 and this is how many ounces of fluid you need daily. Talk to your doctor if you have medical conditions that may restrict fluid needs such as kidney disease. Remember you need more fluid if exercising or working outside in the heat and humidity
- Invest in a water bottle – stop relying on plastic water bottle and help reduce waste by purchasing a water bottle. Stainless, glass or an insulated container are environmentally friendly andhaving a method to measure fluid intake can help ensure adequate intake.
- Eat more fresh fruits and veggies – plant foods naturally contain water including cucumber, melon, peppers, tomatoes, berries and grapes.
- Presoak chia seeds – chia seeds absorb water and release it during digestion. Simply stir ¼ cup chia seeds into 1 cup water and let them gel and add to smoothies, oatmeal or water.
- Watch out for alcohol and be cautious with caffeine. Drink more water if consuming either.
- Take note of your urine color – dark colored or cloudy urine indicates dehydration so drink enough fluids to keep it a pale yellow.
- Keep the kids hydrated! Help keep kids hydrated by offering cold water, fresh fruit and popsicles all summer long instead of too many overly sweet drinks like juice and soda.
- Infuse water with flavor – most people drink better with a flavor and infusing water can help increase how much you drink.
An easy way to infuse flavor to water is by adding fruit, veggies or herbs to water. Mix any flavors you like or start with these 5 refreshing infused water combinations.
Start with 32 ounces of water in a pitcher and add one of the following flavor combos. Combine, cover and let it sit in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Strawberry lemon – 10-15 strawberries and 1 sliced lemon
Pineapple or blackberry mint – 1 cup slice pineapple or blackberries and 10-15 mint leaves
Blueberry orange – 1 sliced orange and 1 cup blueberries
Spa water – 1 sliced cucumber with 10-15 mint leaves and 1 sliced lime
Ginger lemon – ¼ cup peeled and sliced ginger and 1 sliced lemon
It’s easy to create your own special blend with flavors you enjoy. Check out this youtube video by the American Heart Association for more ideas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thv4_lNgodE
Whether its plain or flavored, enjoy plenty of water this summer!