Summer is the best time of the year for enjoying time with family, outdoor recreation, barbeques, parties, and lengthy sunny days. While dehydration might be the last thing on your mind, you should be vigilant at all times so that you don’t fall victim to one of summer’s most common threats. Dehydration, along with electrolyte imbalance and heat stroke, can strike at any time, and are all incredibly common.
- Drink constantly
Once you get in the habit of regularly drinking water, you shouldn’t have too much trouble meeting your daily hydration needs. The rule of thumb is to drink half your body’s weight in ounces of water every day – but more during the summer and if you exercise. Try to drink plain water first thing in the morning, and fill up consistently throughout the day.
- Consider your electrolytes
While drinking plenty of water is the first – and best – step in maintaining adequate hydration, sweating profusely can lead to the loss of electrolytes. These nutrients, which include sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and chloride, are critical in maintaining nerve and muscle functioning. They are easily lost through sweat. If you are exercising vigorously or spending lots of time outdoors in the summer, consider adding a beverage like Gatorade or Pedialyte to supplement your normal water guzzling routine.
- Eat hydrating foods
Many people forget that your food intake can play a vital role in maintaining your hydration levels. Food can account for nearly a quarter of your daily intake of fluids, or even higher if you’re eating foods that are water-rich. Good foods to chomp on include tomatoes, strawberries, watermelon, and other types of produce that contain lots of water. These healthy fruits and veggies also are high in vitamins and minerals while remaining low in calories – an extra win if you’re trying to stay healthy.
- Monitor your output
If you’re not sure whether you’re getting enough water, keep an eye on the color of your urine. Your urine should be a light yellow color, not dark (like apple juice). Dark urine signals dehydration and should be dealt with immediately.
Another way to monitor whether you are amply hydrated is to weigh yourself before and after exercise. Ideally, you should lose less than one percent of your bodyweight in water when exercising. Anything more than this might cause your performance to suffer, and can also lead to dangerous conditions like heat stroke and heat exhaustion.
- Don’t wait until you are thirsty
Many people tend to their hydration levels by thinking they only need to drink when they are thirsty. On the contrary, by the time your brain responds to your body’s lack of water and tells you that you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Drink regularly throughout the day and don’t let yourself become parched. Drink plenty of water at night, especially if you plan on exercising intensely the next day.
- Jazz up your water routine
Consider investing in a refillable plastic water bottle to increase your eco-friendliness and stay hydrated at the same time. Add fruit or stevia to your water if you dislike the taste of plain water, or try a fruit or vegetable infusion for an extra boost of nutrients.
- Limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol
We all love coffee and beer – and who doesn’t love a frosty margarita during these hot summer months? – but these substances can impair your body’s absorption of water and make dehydration even more likely. Coffee is a stimulant, and while it provides many health benefits, it can have a diuretic effect on your body and lead to dehydration. Similarly, alcohol can restrict your blood vessels and cause you to urinate more frequently, also causing your body to lose more water.
- Avoid processed foods
While salty chips and frozen dinners might be delicious, these foods tend to be much higher in salt and very low in water. You might feel extreme thirst while eating these foods, or even find yourself feeling bloated and dehydrated after eating – largely because your body will start to retain water. Try to eat whole, unprocessed foods whenever possible to make sure your body is staying adequately hydrated.
- Set a timer
If you’re still having trouble remembering to drink up, consider setting a timer on your phone to remind you to drink. Many people are successful when they remind themselves to drink an eight-ounce cup of water every hour. This can also provide you with a good break to relax and unwind, giving you a few moments of refocusing before returning to your work or day’s activities.
- Consider Dr. Willard’s Water®
At the end of the day, the best step you can take to ensuring you are properly hydrated at all times is to make sure you drink plenty of clear fluids and take in adequate nutrition in the form of health fruits, vegetables, and other foods. Balance is a key part of your overall health, and especially so when it comes to hydration.
In most cases, drinking plain water is sufficient to meet all of your body’s needs. However, in periods of intense heat – or if you’re exercising vigorously or spending lots of time outdoors – you might consider supplementing your beverage with Dr. Willard’s Water®. This product naturally accelerates and enhances the body’s functions, and increases your body’s ability to uptake nutrients.
Nutrients like magnesium and Vitamin C are essential for good health, and can easily be lost through sweat and other processes. As you expend more energy during the hot summer months, it’s vital for you to improve your body’s processing of these nutrients. Therefore, a supplement like Dr. Willard’s Water® will help keep you hydrated and fortified at the same time.
If you’re looking to get the most enjoyment and productivity out of your summer months this year, make sure you stay hydrated at all times. You’ll be happier, healthier, and enjoy your poolside relaxation all the more.