10 Tips for Staying Hydrated This Summer
2016 is proving to be one of the hottest, most unforgiving summers on record. This means that people all over the world are going to have to get creative when it comes to hydration in order to stay healthy, especially if you spend a good amount of time outdoors, and especially if you participate in sports.
Keeping yourself hydrated is the key to good health, and the heat of summer puts your body in a particularly tough position. In order to get enough water, it’s important to plan ahead. Even thinking to bring bottled water on your day trip can make a world of a difference when it comes to your body’s hydration.
Below we’ve accumulated a helpful list of 10 things you can do to keep your body hydrated during what is proving to be one of the most brutal summers of all time.
- Drink more water than you think you need.
Unless you’ve already increased your water intake in response to the growing heat, it’s safe to say that just about everyone can double the amount of water they drink. On a typical day (that is, one without the heat of summer or the rigors of constant physical activity), your body already requires 6-8 glasses of water to run at its optimum level.
Even if you don’t feel thirsty, it’s of critical importance to stock up on water while you’re thinking about it. In a period of sustained heat, your body won’t physically tell your brain that you’re “thirsty” until you’re already very dehydrated. Don’t drink until you feel sick, but try to put yourself in a position where your body will have plenty of water to draw from throughout the day.
- Be sure to keep water on hand during strenuous activity.
If you’re planning on engaging in any kind of strenuous sports or activities during the summer, then keeping yourself hydrated will prove to be much more important. You can easily mitigate this risk by keeping water bottles nearby while participating in these activities and remembering to take plenty of breaks.
- Drink water before and after exercise.
While drinking too much water directly before activity may result in an unpleasant nausea or “slushiness” within the stomach, sipping on bottled water before, during, and after exercising will go very far toward keeping you healthy, hydrated, and safe. After exercise, you can feel free to indulge in as much water as you want. If you’ve lost a good amount of water in the form of sweat, remember that you can replace the lost nutrients by drinking juice or sports drinks.
- Limit alcohol intake, but consume more tea, coffee, juice, and soup.
In general, alcohol actively dehydrates the body. If you plan on spending a good deal of time out in the sun without access to water, abstaining from alcohol and replacing it with water-based beverages like juice, tea, and even coffee, can help you stay hydrated. As we’ll explore in the point below, everything that goes into your body will impact your level of hydration.
So, while keeping your water intake high will absolutely help, you can help yourself even more by adding more water-based foods and beverages into your diet. For instance, if given the opportunity, try eating soup for dinner instead of opting for something with no liquid in it. Even if the soup is salty, any amount of water that you can put into your body can make a difference.
- Work at least five servings of both fruits and vegetables into your diet.
Of the foods out there that will keep you hydrated, fruits and vegetables are number one on the list. Since they are made up mostly of water, sneaking vegetables into your meals and snacking on fruits in between will make a gigantic impact on your overall hydration.
Failing that, whipping up a quick fruit smoothie is a quick and easy way to get plenty of fruits – and water – into your diet every day. In fact, simply adding some berries or lemon to your water can go a long way toward refueling your body while making sure that you don’t lose too many nutrients via sweat.
- Keep a water bottle near you to encourage constant hydration.
Carrying water with you at all times can be a great reminder to hydrate yourself if drinking isn’t always at the forefront of your mind. Some athletes even carry around a full gallon of water just to make sure that they’re drinking enough. If carrying around a 5-gallon water bottle is just too cumbersome for your lifestyle, try buying a permanent plastic water bottle that you can easily carry around. Simply having water present will encourage you to drink more, even when you’re not thirsty yet.
- If you’re feeling mentally unfocused or dizzy, (or even hungry!) drink a glass of water.
Even if you’re just hanging around the house, it’s essential to monitor your water intake. With all of the comforts of air conditioning, it is easy for people to underestimate the amount of water they’re drinking, or even forget to drink water at all. Many even begin to feel physical and emotional signs of dehydration before they even start to feel thirsty.
If you find yourself unable to focus, or if you feel lightheaded, or even if you’re just feeling bummed, drinking a full glass of water can go a long way toward feeling physically and emotionally healthy.
- Minimize salty foods, if necessary.
Although water-based foods that are salty (like soup) can help you more than simply eating a salty steak, avoiding high levels of salt in general can do wonders for your hydration level.
However, in the same breath, it’s important to note that a small amount of salt in your diet can help you retain water, which will help you to stay hydrated. Those who lose lots of nutrients in their sweat will find that ingesting a small salt tablet will give them the benefits of water retention, without the thirst that comes from salty flavors on the tongue. As with all things, moderation is key.
- Monitor hydration by urinating.
This may sound like a joke, but the best way to see if you’re getting enough water is to simply check your pee. Ideally, urine should be fairly clear and only slightly yellow. Dark yellow urine, or urine that is cloudy or gives off a strange odor, may indicate that your body is trying to tell you to drink more water.
- Keep a glass of water by your bed.
Although most dehydration occurs when people participate in rigorous summertime activities, it’s also true that you can adequately prepare your body for a hot day by keeping yourself hydrated throughout the night. This is especially the case if you happen to sleep without the comfort of air conditioning on those hot summer nights, as the sweat that you lose throughout the night can have you gasping for water the next morning.
The first step to keeping yourself properly hydrated is to devise a plan. While drinking water may seem like an automatic process, it requires some thought beforehand, especially if your summer plans take you out of your house and away from any familiar sources of water.
By simply following the techniques above and keeping hydration at the top of your mind, you can mitigate the dangers of dehydration and keep your summer as fun, carefree, and safe as possible. Heat stroke is very real thing, after all, and it’s something that can be easily avoided by simply eating more fruits and vegetables, keeping water bottles handy, and drinking more water than you think you need.
If you are interested in water delivery or water purification services, contact Water Event Pure Water at (972) 488-8100.