Pop quizz! What’s the most important thing you must remember to do during the hot summer months? No, not get as much time by the pool as possible, although that is on the list! The answer is to drink plenty of water, or in other words, HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE! And one more just to drill it in…HYDRATE! on staying properly hydrated too. The summer heat can cause discomforting symptoms if regular and adequate fluids are not consumed.
Water is one of the most important components of our daily diets. It helps lubricate internal surfaces, it flushes toxins through the kidneys, transports nutrients throughout the body, maintains healthy blood pressure, regulates body temperature and sustains healthy vital organs. In other words, it’s a lifesaver. Oh, and just to be clear, soda is not water. Neither is fruit juice. And while we’re at it, wine and beer don’t count either. Yes, these are ACTUAL questions I’ve been asked before by people.
All joking aside, I cannot stress the importance of keeping properly hydrated this summer. If you still don’t believe me, then keep reading to find out just want can happen if you don’t…
What Happens When You Are Dehydrated?
Dehydration can happen at any time of the year in any weather condition. Summer heat seems to bring on more instances of dehydration due to larger losses of body fluid through sweating. Be conscious of the following symptoms to help prevent or treat dehydration:
- Dry mouth
- Decreased urination
Water Consumption Recommendations
The National Institute of Medicine recommends about 3 liters of fluid for males and 2 liters for women. This includes all beverages like coffee, juice, water, tea, milk etc. Additional fluid may be needed but can generally be found in the moisture of foods. The general recommendation for eight 8 oz glasses of water per day converts to about 1.9 liters. This amount would be sufficient for most women, males need slightly more. Exercise and excessive sweating cause extra water loss and create higher fluid needs. Be sure to maintain proper hydration before, during and after strenuous exercise, especially in the summer heat.
When hydrating in the summer heat, water is your best option. Sports beverages may be needed through strenuous exercise and excessive fluid and electrolyte losses through sweat. Choose beverages with lower calorie content and lower added sugar. Juices, sodas and sweetened coffee beverages can add unnecessary simple carbohydrates to your diet. When drinking water, when possible, choose the tap! There is no need for bottled water and as we all know, there are more cons than pros in drinking it.
Speaking of summer, you still have some time to give your workout and fitness a final push to get that all important beach body! Check out the articles below to help you do just that.