Hydration is important every day of the year, but staying properly hydrated becomes even harder during the hot summer months. Each and every day we breathe, sweat, and go to the bathroom and these are some of the ways we lose water and fluids from our body. It is important to replace these fluids as they are lost by drinking and eating foods with a high water content. During the summer months we are outside more often and can be sweating more than usual, meaning our body is requiring more fluids than normal. Keeping the balance of fluids in your body is important for it to function normally. Without enough fluids muscles can cramp and you can become dizzy and fatigue. Your body also needs enough fluids to sweat, which is the body’s natural way of cooling itself down.
Here are some tips to help you keep your body hydrated:
- Drink plenty of water
√ If you are planning on being outside in the sun bring enough water. Place a water bottle in the freezer the night before your activity and bring another water bottle from the refrigerator. Once you finish the first bottle, the second will be melted and you will have nice cold water.
- Eat fresh fruits and vegetables which have a high water content and add fluids to your body.
√ Slice up some watermelon for your next picnic or trip to the beach!
√ Strawberries, grapefruit, oranges, tomatoes and cucumbers are some great fruits and vegetables that can add water to your body.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine intake.
√ Alcohol and caffeine are known as diuretics, which mean they make you go to the bathroom more frequently. More frequent urination means you are losing fluids.
- Bored of water? Try adding lemons, limes, cucumbers, berries or some fresh mint to your water to jazz it up a little!
- If you are someone that likes bubbles or carbonation try seltzer water instead of soda.
- Have a sweet treat on a hot day: 100% fruit juice popsicles or bars can be refreshing and add to your fluid intake.
**REMEMBER: Don’t wait until you are thirsty to start drinking water!
Please visit these resources for more information on the importance of adequate hydration:
Tips from: Erica Harper, MS, RD