Staying hydrated this Summer
As summer heats up and we start heading to the beach or weekend hikes its essential we look at ways to stay hydrated and what are our best choices.
The body is made up of around 70% water and is the basis for our life.
Main functions are: • Carry oxygen and nutrients to our cells • Lubricate our joints • Insulates and protects the brain, spinal cord and our organs • Regulates our internal body temperature • Helps rid the body of wastes and toxins (urine, sweat and bowels) • Needed for digestion and absorption of our foods
Other benefits of water include: • Prevents dehydration • Increases bowel movements • Keeps the skin hydrated – reducing acne and irritations • Helps with weight loss and metabolism
So how much water do we really need? And is this the same for everyone? We have all heard the rule that we should consume around 8 glasses of water per day. But this amount can vary with age, gender, body mass, climate and during exercise. Men generally need more water than women where studies show a recommended daily amount of 13 cups for men (around 3.L) and 9 cups (around 2L) for women. Those whose are more active and spend more time outdoors in the heat tend to sweat more so higher levels are needed to replenish the body. Also during times of sickness and ill health the body loses more fluids (through mucus, vomiting, diarrhoea etc) so needs a greater amount of fluid at this time.
Here are some key tips for good hydration this summer:
Water should be the main choice of fluid
Choose foods that contain higher water content – e.g. soups/broths, vegetables/fruit & salads
Invest in a new water bottle, one that you love and can carry around with you. Just like a new outfit, it will help motivate you to fill it up more and is a great way to track your levels
Add some flavor to your water – try adding some sliced cucumber, fresh berries, lemons or a sprig of mint to spice things up
Coffee and tea should be counted as extra fluids – as the caffeine content works as a diuretic and increases the amount of fluid loss (urine)
Alcohol does NOT count as a fluid! (sorry)
Keep juices and fizzy drinks for special occasions as these contain high sugar levels
Coconut water is a great option to have during sports or on extra hot days, without the excess sugars
Look for dehydration signs – little or no urine, dark urine, dry mouth, sleepy/fatigue, headache, confusion, dizziness/lightheaded or no tears when crying
A good way to check hydration is to monitor your urine colour - colourless/light yellow urine = well hydrated, & dark yellow/amber color = may be dehydrated
Want to find out more or ask a question? Click Here to get in touch with Chrissy.