It’s heating up in the Northern Hemisphere and we’re losing water at a rapid rate – sometimes just by sitting in hot, humid weather! Hydration is one of the top recommendations by all health professionals so I’m happy to share today’s article by guest blogger, Sarah Landrum, for ways to stay healthy and hydrated this summer.
It’s hard to believe there’s a downside to summer weather, but, unfortunately, there’s one — dehydration. Dehydration occurs when your body loses more fluid than it’s taking in. And, because summer weather causes you to sweat more, you’re probably losing a lot more fluid than you did during winter.
The symptoms of dehydration range from a swollen tongue to confusion to fainting. You don’t need to worry about those signs, though, if you make an effort to keep your body hydrated throughout these warm months. It’s more than just drinking water — although that’s a solid place to start.
Here are five ways to keep yourself quenched.
1. Drink Water
It’s mentioned above, but it’s worth noting again, since water is such a vital player in the fight against dehydration. Water does so much for your body. It not only brings nutrients to different parts of your body, but it also keeps circulation strong and removes waste as necessary. Water is also an aid in keeping body temperature steady, as it pulls heat away from your vital organs and, instead, pushes it out as sweat.
This function is obviously very important during the summer, and a cool body temperature will certainly help lessen the chances of becoming dehydrated. Be sure to drink the amount that your body needs, based on your size and weight, adding more for activity or outdoor time. You can also factor in the amount of coffee, tea, milk and juice, as they contain enough water to help you remain hydrated.
2. Avoid Drinks That Dehydrate You
Not every beverage is going to aid in your hydration. Drinks packed with sugar or caffeine over-stimulate the body, throwing off its balance and causing you to lose more hydration than you gain from drinking them. You can probably guess that energy drinks are a no-go in the quest for hydration, but so is alcohol. As much fun as it is to imbibe on the beach or by the pool, dehydration is expedited by drinking alcohol.
For one thing, it causes you to go to the bathroom more often — drinking four two-ounce shots of liquor can cause you to expel up to one quart of urine. Of course, there are plenty of other unwanted side effects of drinking too much, including inability to drive a vehicle, mood swings and memory impairment. But you can also drink to the point of vomiting, which depletes your body of a high amount fluids, and quickly.
3. Eat Fruits and Veggies
When we think of quenching thirst, our minds don’t typically consider food to be a source of hydration. However, about 20 percent of your water intake comes from what you eat, especially if you eat lots of fruit and vegetables. Take, for example, the cucumber. It’s the perfect addition to a summer salad and it is 96.7 percent water.
Some other water-filled produce includes celery, tomatoes, watermelon and cauliflower. Add some of them into your diet and see just how they can affect you.
4. Set Some Reminders
You might have your mind set on drinking water in the morning, but, by nightfall, you realize you haven’t had much recently. One way to remind yourself during the day is to, well, set a reminder.
Whether it’s on your phone or on your work computer, an hourly alert to remind you to sip will help you keep a steady flow of water going into your system. To that end, it’s also a good idea to have a bottle full of water with you at all times so a beverage is at arm’s reach wherever you’re parched. You can also use your bathroom breaks as a reminder to drink. One full glass of water after going will replenish the fluids you lose.
5. Dress Light
Finally, the outfits you wear can cause you to sweat more and, therefore, lose water. That’s why it’s important to learn which fabrics are the most breathable and build a summer wardrobe from them. Linen, cotton, lace and synthetic fibers are lightweight and airy options. Choosing a lightly colored outfit will further aid in your effort to stay cool, as dark colors, especially black, absorb the most heat.
Obviously, it’s just as easy to stay hydrated as it is important to do so. This summer can be the first of many seasons spent enjoying the many benefits of staying hydrated. The best news is, once you’re in the rhythm of doing so, it’ll become second nature to drink water, eat water-filled produce and wear clothes that cool you down. Now, it’s time to get started — and enjoy the sunshine healthily.
About the Author
Sarah Landrum is a freelance writer with a passion for living a healthy, happy life. She’s also the founder of Punched Clocks, a career blog for happiness and success. Be sure to subscribe to her newsletter and follow her on social media for more great tips!
Do you have any hydration tips to add to this list?