Summertime is the best time of the year. It accounts for beautiful beach days, hikes through lush green forests, tropical vacations, and brilliant moments shared amongst friends. Summer also means higher temperatures, which means a higher chance of dehydration. With 75% of Americans considered dehydrated, there's a strong chance you're dehydrated whether you recognize the symptoms or not.
Staying hydrated is essential year-round, but especially during summer when, in severe cases, heat and lack of water consumption can lead to heat stroke, fainting, headaches, and other symptoms. That's why when we’re having fun in the sun, it is crucial to hydrate and always have a water bottle to ensure we drink enough fluids.
Roughly around 60% of our bodies are made of water. We lose water through skin, sweat, urine, and waste during our daily activities. We lose water even when we breathe. Drinking water helps metabolize food, regulate hunger, lubricate the joints, and regulate our internal body temperature. These are just a few reasons why staying hydrated is crucial for our body to properly function.
Signs of dehydration
Urine is one of the easiest methods to tell whether you're dehydrated. A colorless or pale-yellow urine hue is connected with enough hydration, but a deep yellow or light brown urine color indicates that further hydration is required. Dry skin, dry mouth, infrequent urination, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and are all additional signs to watch out for.
Dehydration can affect certain groups of individuals more than others. If you frequently exercise, especially in the heat, are pregnant or nursing, are ill or have a health condition such as kidney stones or diabetes, and are an older adult, you must follow these guidelines to make sure you monitor your fluid intake.
While the temptation of basking in these hot summer day might distract us from staying properly hydrated, there are ways to ensure you don’t miss a moment and keep your hydration levels up.
Fruits and vegetables for hydration
Water is abundant in certain fruits and vegetables. Stay hydrated by eating at least five different fruits and four portions of veggies. Greens are not only hydrating, but they contain essential electrolytes. Watermelons, apples, melons, berries, peaches, papayas, leafy greens, cucumbers, radishes, cantaloupe, strawberries, lettuce, celery, kale, zucchini, oranges, grapefruits, tomatoes, capsicums, grapes, bananas, and other fruits and vegetables are all excellent choices. When you're on the go, it's a great idea to have an apple or banana with you to snack on in case you notice your energy levels dropping.
Electrolytes are important
If you’re working out, going on a long walk in the heat, or have a physically demanding job, it’s best to have an electrolyte supplement by your side. Although electrolytes are found in the typical daily fruits and vegetables and our water consumption, you can supplement it by mixing in a rehydration sachet in your water bottle. You can also make a powerhouse electrolyte drink by mixing your electrolyte supplement with coconut water! Coconut water is rich in potassium which helps combat cramps and helps to keep you hydrated.
Make it a habit
Everyone has fallen victim to forget to drink enough water. It’s important to note that you need to consume at least eight full glasses, or 64 ounces, of water every day. There are many ways to track and ensure you are getting enough water, like phone trackers and even manual reminders. If you're prone to looking out for flavored water, instead, opt to flavor the water with lots of fruits like berries, melons, lemons, and mint leaves! To make it even more delicious is to add an electrolyte supplement!
What to avoid when rehydrating
Heavily processed and sugar-rich foods should be avoided as a general rule. Deep-fried snacks and highly processed foods are heavy in salt and complex carbs, which cause your body to lose water. A lot of alcohol, smoking, and fizzy sugary beverages should also be avoided. You may have observed that after eating deep-fried appetizers, you become thirsty. It's because they require more time and water to digest. While sodium is a vital electrolyte that aids in hydration, too much of it can have the opposite effect.
It’s easy to forget that staying hydrated is just as important during summer as it is during other seasons. When the weather is hot and humid, we must be incredibly diligent about drinking plenty of fluids. Dehydration can lead to several health problems, so taking some simple steps to ensure you stay hydrated throughout the summer months is essential. Follow these tips and enjoy your summer while keeping your body healthy!