8 Hydrating Tips to Beat the Heat
Whether you’re training for marathons or spending lazy summer days on the beach or by the pool, drinking enough water to stay properly hydrated can be a challenge. Since childhood we were told to drink plenty of water in order to stay hydrated in the heat. Still, the reminder is just as important now as it was back when we were running back and forth through the sprinkler.
Dehydration is no joke, and in extreme cases dehydration can even lead to fainting, heat stroke, or heart palpitations. Dehydration may also have less noticeable symptoms such as fatigue or headaches. Additionally, a well-hydrated body is more alert, has better control of appetite, and is more prepared for vigorous activities.
We’ve put together a list of 8 hydrating tips for you this summer:
Eat hydrating fruits
When you are tired of drinking fluids, perhaps it’s time to try eating them instead. Fruits such as grapefruit, oranges, and cantaloupe are high in water content. Watermelon is about 91% water by weight! As a bonus, fruits are highly alkalizing as well.
Make your water more interesting
Are you tired of drinking plain water but you’re also trying to stay away from the acidic effects and empty calories of flavored drinks? Try squeezing a lemon into it, adding a few raspberries, or even using mint leaves to give your water some much-needed variety.
Have a glass of water before each meal
As well as using your meal as an ‘alarm clock’ for drinking water, some studies have shown that drinking a glass of water before a meal can lead to a lower consumption of calories at those meals.
Always keep a bottle of water nearby
You are much more likely to continuously drink water if you have it readily available. Take your bottle with you while exercising, at work, or relaxing at home. You may find that drinking water comes more naturally to you.
Observe the 70/70 danger zone
According to the American Heart Association, it is even more important to drink water when both temperature and humidity are above 70. This temperature-humidity combination is observed to have a much higher number of people experiencing symptoms of dehydration.
Stay away from energy drinks
While all that sugar and caffeine may boost your activity in the short run, energy drinks have been shown to have dangerous and counterproductive effects to hydration as well. The stimulants in energy drinks can increase blood pressure, which can make them dangerous for strenuous activity.
Drink often while exercising
Drink 4-6 ounces of water every 15-20 minutes of exercising, as well as plenty of water both before and after a strenuous workout. Exercise is important for keeping the body fit, and sweating can cause your body to expel waste. But while exercising is rejuvenating for the body, you will consume a lot of fluids as well. Make sure to stay hydrated during these activities!
Drink in the heat and in the cold
One advantage to the summer heat is that it makes us thirsty. However, people tend not to drink as much when they are cold or in an air-conditioned facility. When you exercise in the cold your body still sweats, but your thirst may be lowered by up to 40%!
During the summer months in particular, it is important to look for and be aware of signs of dehydration. While fainting and heat stroke are severe symptoms, watch for other signs as well. If you begin to feel dizzy, or if you do not sweat in the heat or urinate regularly, you may need to increase your fluid intake.
How many glasses of water per day is enough? Many of us remember always being told to drink 8 glasses per day, but that number is unsubstantiated! Different people require different amounts of water. Some may require fewer than 8 glasses, while someone who is very active may need to drink even more. The bottom line: be alert, be smart, and drink more water!