With the blistering summer heat now in full force in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re staying hydrated.
Remaining hydrated plays a fundamental role in keeping your body functioning properly. With summer pastimes typically being active and/or outdoors, stowing some tips in your back pocket on how to keep you quenched can go a long way.
Signs of dehydration
Before we get into our hydration tips, it can be beneficial to know the signs of dehydration so you can be on the lookout. If your skin feels dry, itchy, or irritated, this can be a sign of inadequate water intake.
Experiencing a headache, dizziness, fatigue, dark urine, or muscle cramps? These can all be signs of water loss. If any of these symptoms look or feel extreme, it’s highly recommended that you seek a medical professional before matters worsen.
Tips For Staying Hydrated In Summer
Chug some water.
The most obvious tip here is to keep the water intake flowing. But the question is, how much do we really need? Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all in this case. It can be dependent on your weight, your health conditions, and even the medications you’re taking.
One suggested rule is that women should opt for 2.7 liters per day and men should opt for 3.7. You can also divide your weight by two and drink that number of ounces. For example, a 130 lb woman would want to shoot for 65 ounces a day. Having a refillable water bottle on you at all times in the summer heat can act as a reminder to keep you sipping throughout the day.
Stay away from excessive alcohol, caffeine, and sugary drinks.
Just because something is a liquid doesn’t mean it’s going to hydrate you. In fact, these beverages are some of the main offenders of dehydration. Drinks that are chock full of sugar and sodium will actually remove water from your tissues.
With caffeine being a diuretic, some believe it can play a role in dehydration as well as it causes you to go to the bathroom more. There is some research stating that we do retain some of the hydrating fluid; however, it will never surpass plain old water when it comes to optimal hydration. So next time you’re sipping on a margarita, cold brew, or Dr. Pepper at the pool with your friends, remember to keep even extra water on hand.
Eat your water!
Many people don’t think of turning to food for hydration, but it can play a large role in staving off dehydration. 20 percent of our water intake actually comes from the foods we eat. Fruits and vegetables are going to be your best bet here. Cucumbers, watermelon, tomatoes, and strawberries all contain about 90 percent water. Feel free to pack some up for that bike ride you’re planning on this weekend.
Flavor it up
Not a huge fan of the thought of drinking that much plain water day in and day out? Spice it up with some flavors like lemon, lime, cucumber slices, oranges, or berries. You can even opt for coconut water if that’s more your jam. Coconut water is packed with magnesium, potassium, sodium, and calcium. It’s an excellent choice for replenishing after a long and exhausting workout.
Adjust your exercise
Speaking of exercise, if you live in a particularly scorching part of the world, you may want to pull back on the intensity of your workouts during the summer. In no way should you abandon regular exercise during the summer months.
However, it may be beneficial to make some adjustments. You can do this by working out at cooler times of the day and easing into it. You’ll also want to make sure you’re getting a good amount of fluids at least two hours before your session.
If you’re an athlete or someone who’s really looking to push yourself, sports drinks can be a great option. With their high sodium levels, they can help keep electrolytes balanced. Just be sure to check the label to make sure you’re not getting an insane amount of sugar.
Following and committing to these tips will get you on your way to a happy and healthy body despite the summer heat. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there were 7,415 extreme heat-related deaths between 1999 and 2010. Whether you’re relaxing at the pool this weekend or taking off on a 10-mile run, don’t forget to hydrate with these tips.
ADULT PEDIATRIC UROLOGY & UROGYNECOLOGY
The attentive, compassionate physicians, providers, and staff at Adult Pediatric Urology & Urogynecology are committed to providing innovative, quality patient care in our state-of-the-art facility.
From screening and prevention to treatment and recovery, our health professionals will be there for you. Our team of dedicated physicians has been serving residents of Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota for more than 25 years.