Staying Hydrated in the Heat of the Summer
Water (H2O) is an essential component that makes up our body. It is required for our cells and organs to function properly. Water allows our body to control its temperature, to transport nutrients and remove wastes, and aids in numerous chemical processes that happen continuously within our cells. It is the best liquid for our body to ingest because it is necessary for so many tasks. When the body is not getting enough water we can get dehydrated. Dehydration can become a serious issue quickly especially when the temperature and humidity outside are at a high.
How much water should I drink?
The average person should aim to drink about half his or her body weight in ounces of water per day. For example, an individual weighing 150 pounds should be drinking a minimum of 75 ounces of water each day. The amount of water intake will increase with the amount of physical activity you are involved in, as well as the temperature outside–the more humidity and the higher the temperature, the more fluids will be required. For every half hour of exercise, you should be drinking an additional 16 ounces of water. If you are outdoors and sweating, the water that is coming out of your body needs to be replaced.
Give your H2O a creative boost
It seems like I’m always encouraging patients to drink more water, and I often get the response, “I don’t like water”. Water is so important that I recommend finding some ways to spice up the plain water and make it more fun and more nutrient filled. For people who struggle to drink enough, I suggest infusing some fruit or veggies into the water to add some natural flavors. You can make a pitcher in your fridge with sliced cucumbers, sliced strawberries, and fresh mint leaves–it is so refreshing!!! Try adding some frozen fruit to the water such as pineapple, peach, and mango. Mix it up to make your own creative combinations. This option is anything but boring. Come up with your own favorite recipes and you will be drinking more water without even realizing it.
Eat more water… What?!
We obtain most of our water intake by drinking but did you know that we also get about 20% of our water from the food we eat throughout the day? It is critical to know which foods contain water. As a general rule your fruits and vegetables are the ones with high water content and loaded with vitamins and minerals as an added bonus! The following are a list of some of the top foods that have a large component of water: celery, cucumbers, watermelon, spinach, strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, grapefruit, and broccoli.
Still having trouble drinking water?
Still struggling to guzzle down the ounces? There is an app for that. If you need some extra help and accountability to remind you to stay hydrated there are several free apps that you can download including Daily Water, iDrated, and Waterlogged. Good luck and stay cool in the sun!