Did you realize that as the weather gets warmer, you are more prone to dehydration? The more time you spend outside, the more important it is to get enough fluids. Water is involved in basically all of our bodily functions, so in order to ensure everything runs smoothly in your body, remember to make sure to stay hydrated! For males, about 13 eight ounce cups of water will do the trick, and for females, about 9 cups, depending on your lifestyle. Food can provide some of this fluid intake, especially fruits and veggies, some of which are mostly water, such as watermelon, oranges and tomatoes…another reason to eat your fruits and veggies!
It’s easy to forget to drink water throughout your busy day, and you may not realize you’re dehydrated until you experience some of these symptoms:
- Dry mouth
- Lack of focus
- Dark, strong-smelling urine
If you experience any of these, your best bet is to drink at least 8 ounces of water as soon as possible. Drinking water can become a little boring sometimes, but a great way to spruce up your drink is to infuse your water with cucumber, lemon and/or mint. This is a quick and easy way to add some subtle flavor. Unsweetened iced tea can also be a more exciting alternative to water. Even switching up your water bottle every now and then can help make drinking water more enjoyable.
What about sports drinks for those really hot days? They really aren’t the best drink when you’re just hanging around, but if you are exercising for long periods of time, sports drinks can be beneficial. These drinks contain a considerable amount of added sugar, so think about diluting the drink with half sports drink and half water.
It has long been debated whether caffeinated drinks count as fluid intake. Early reports indicated that caffeine is dehydrating. Recent research, however, found that caffeinated drinks after a workout might be helpful to replenish your body’s water. The jury is still out, so make sure that you don’t rely solely on caffeinated beverages for fluid replacement. Remember that everyone needs to drink water, not just athletes. Sitting in the sun or a warm classroom can cause you to become dehydrated, so remember to hydrate throughout the day.
Photo Credit: Elizabeth Dunn