How to Stay Hydrated During Summer

Jul 21, 2023

Maintaining hydration during the hot summer months is an essential part of enjoying the season. Whether your plans include more walks or bike rides, sunbathing, or going on a long-awaited vacation, make sure to drink enough water to stay hydrated. This is crucial because it will keep your body – and mind – in the best condition. So, how do you know if you’re drinking enough water? Let’s delve into the facts and explore some of the best tips for staying hydrated throughout the entire summer.

Why Our Bodies Need Water

Water is key to overall health. Every cell, tissue, and organ in the human body relies on it to function properly. According to the Mayo Clinic, water makes up about 50 to 70 percent of body weight. How can even a slight loss of water negatively impact your body and mind? It all comes down to dehydration; when your body lacks enough water to perform normal functions.

Water is crucial for your health because it:

• Regulates body temperature
• Flushes waste out of the body
• Supports a healthy immune system
• Lubricates and cushions joints
• Promotes healthy digestion
• Improves memory, alertness, mood, and sleep quality

How Much Water Should You Drink?

For the average healthy adult, the general recommendation for water intake is eight glasses of water a day – or 2 liters. However, everyone’s needs vary depending on their level of activity and even the climate they live in. So, how much water do you actually need to drink to stay hydrated? Here are some general guidelines, according to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine:

For men, around 13 cups of beverages, including water (3 liters).
For women, around 9 cups of beverages, including water (2 liters).

Other water-based beverages such as tea, milk, and coffee contribute to this total recommended fluid intake. Plain water is the best and calorie-free, so try to make the majority of your 9-13 cups of water.

Here are some factors that can increase your hydration needs to consider:

Activity Level – The general rule is that if you sweat, be sure to replace what you’ve lost. It’s essential to drink water before, during, and after exercise.

Climate – If you live in a hot and humid climate, you’ll likely sweat more, causing you to dehydrate faster than in cooler places. Did you know that being at a higher altitude – like in the mountains – can lead to dehydration? This also applies to flying on an airplane. Always keep plenty of water on hand no matter where you are.

Overall Health – While it’s important to stay hydrated every day, it becomes even more critical when you’re sick. Fever, vomiting, and diarrhea can cause significant dehydration, as can bladder infections and urinary tract infections (UTIs). Increasing fluid intake is a crucial part of successful recovery.

Signs of Dehydration

Even with the best intentions and effort, dehydration can occur – especially while having fun in the summer sun.

Here are a few crucial signs to watch out for:

• Thirst
• Skin redness
• Headache
• Fatigue
• Increased body temperature
• Weakness
• Dizziness
• Rapid breathing and pulse
• Dry mouth
• Nausea
• Vomiting

Here are some great tips to help you stay hydrated – and cool – this summer:

• Wear a wide-brimmed hat.
• Opt for light-colored clothing.
• Wear loose-fitting, breathable clothing.
• Mist yourself with a spray bottle when feeling overheated.

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