Hydration Tips for the Hot Summer Months
July 01, 2021
We all know water is essential to the human body, but do you why? The human body is about 60% water, and that water performs multiple vital functions within the body. It regulates body temperature, moistens tissues, carries nutrients and oxygen to the cells, and flushes out toxins so there is less stress on the kidneys and liver.
By drinking plenty of fluids and staying well hydrated, you help maintain the balance of body fluids. This keeps us functioning at a top-level. Water also boosts energy, aids in weight control and digestion, and hydrates your skin.
When it comes to summer heat, water is particularly important because it helps regulate body temperature. Sweat cools the body, but if you don't replenish the fluids you lose, your body temperature will go up. Whether you are enjoying a summer hike, walk in the park, or participating in high-intensity exercise, it is important to stay well hydrated.
Here are some tips for proper hydration on hot summer days:
- Always start your day off with 8 ounces or more of water since you lose fluids while sleeping.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Keep water with you at work, traveling, and when working out. Make sure your water is cold since absorption rates are higher.
- Coffee, tea, and other non-alcoholic beverages can contribute to fluid intake. It's best to limit beverage calories unless you are adding lost electrolytes and sugar during a long workout. Alcohol should also be limited because it acts as a diuretic so you lose fluids.
- Begin a workout with 12-16 ounces of water 1-3 hours before.
- During a workout best to drink 8 ounces or so every 15-20 minutes. Sip several ounces throughout the activity. If exercise is long and intense, consider a sports drink or electrolyte replacement beverage. This will help supply lost sodium and potassium.
- Drink 2 cups or more after exercise to rehydrate. Check your urine color for hydration levels. The lighter the color, the more hydrated you are. Signs of dehydration include headaches, constipation, fatigue, and irritability.
- A diet loaded with fruits and vegetables can also add fluids, which is another reason to add them to summer meals and snacks.
Enjoy those outdoor activities this summer, but don't forget your water to stay hydrated!
Diet and Nutrients , Exercise and Physical Activity, Blog