Summer’s back! We’re sunning, swimming, and boating. We’re hiking, biking, and walking. Whatever your activity, as the heat and humidity increase, our bodies perspire more and lose fluids with important nutrients and minerals. To stay healthy, we need to stay well-hydrated. The easiest way is to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Beyond quenching our thirst, water is just the thing to stay cool in the summertime. The typical adult body is made up of 60% water, and every “body” needs it to survive and function optimally. Along with enhanced well-being, and keeping our hair, skin, and nails healthier, we benefit from water in many other ways. According to the Mayo Clinic drinking fluids in the summer:
- Gets rid of wastes through perspiration and digestion
- Maintains normal body temperature
- Lubricates and cushions joints
- Protects sensitive tissues
When you forget to drink more water in the heat, you can easily become dehydrated. The lack of fluids will slow you down and tire you out. And don’t go just by thirst; your body can’t often tell when it’s becoming dehydrated. Get into a routine of drinking water throughout the day.
The best time to drink water when you exercise? “Before, during, and after,” said John Batson, M.D, a sports medicine physician and an American Heart Association volunteer. He says: “For every pound of sweat you lose, that’s a pint of water you’ll need to replenish.” And refresh naturally with H2O. While it’s tempting to turn to energy drinks, replacing electrolytes lost to sweat with a sports drink is one thing, downing sugary drinks to counter fluid loss is another: they contain calories, caffeine, and other stimulants.
If exercise is part of the plan when you travel on vacation, keep hydration in mind as your body may react differently in other climates and new locations.
While it’s an easy number to remember, it’s not a scientific fact. There are a variety of factors to consider, like where you live, how much you exercise, the humidity in the air, and even how you’re feeling that day. Your body knows best. Bring along your water bottle and drink up whenever you’re thirsty. One reliable way to know how much you need is by the color of your urine. If it’s colorless or light yellow, you’re probably adequately hydrated and in the clear.
The Mayo Clinic breaks it all down for you.
Water is a very affordable resource and has zero calories — that’s all good. With some creativity, you can flavor it up so you’ll want to down even more:
- Add a slice of lemon, lime or orange
- Cut up some watermelon or grapefruit
- Throw in a few raspberries, mint, or rosemary
- Steep fresh fruit and herbs in a water picture or carafe
- Freeze pre-cut chunks in ice cube trays for a quick fruity fix
- Brew some sun tea
- Get flavoring with these fruit infusion recipes from The PUR Lab
In addition to PUR filtered water, all of these count as healthy sources of hydration:
- Coffee and herbal teas (taste even better with PUR filtered water)
- Milk and yogurt
- Juices and smoothies
- Sparkling water
- Fruits and vegetables: Cucumbers, watermelons, grapefruit, tomatoes, jicama, beets, carrots, celery, and spinach
When drinking more water is the goal, game it up to stay motivated. You can set up alerts on your phone, but there’s an app for that. Try one of the fun hydration tracking apps for your smartphone or watch. Bustle reviews 6 apps that make it easy to stay on track.
Whatever you do this summer, make it a happy, healthy, and hydrated one!