We are constantly being reminded to hydrate during heat waves and exercise, to the point where you might say you cannot drink another glass of water. The good news is that there are other ways to hydrate and summer is the perfect time to try them!
But before you do, it is important to understand WHY you need to hydrate and HOW much hydration you need. The truth is that every part of your body functions better when you are properly hydrated. Your heart finds it easier to pump, and your muscles work more efficiently with proper blood flow. Your kidneys filter better. Your skin looks and feels better with adequate moisture.
How much you need might surprise you. It’s different for everyone, depending on level of physical activity, climate, medications and other health conditions. One way to determine how much water you need is to weigh yourself before and after an activity to see how much you sweat, whether from activity or being outside on a hot day. “For every pound of sweat you lose, that’s a pint of water you’ll need to replenish,” says John Batson, M.D, a sports medicine physician with Lowcountry Spine & Sport in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
For those who seek alternatives to drinking water, here are a few ways to get hydration form other sources that are simple and delicious:
- Fruits and Vegetables with higher water content, like melon, oranges, cucumbers, celery.
- Low sugar sports drinks (sugar is not helpful for hydration or health)
- Fun summer drinks, such as:
Sparkling Strawberry Mint-Infused Water
(puree strawberries, mint leaves, and lemon juice, with a sparkling water. Slowly add more sparkling water to desired ration)
No alcohol sangria
(3 c. grape juice, 3/4 c. apple juice, 1/4c. each lemon and lime slices, 1 medium orange sliced, 3c. sparkling water and ice. Put fruit slices in pitcher +add juice, sparkling water, and ice. Stir. Enjoy.)
Finally, it’s best to hydrate before you need it. Thirst is your body’s way of telling you it needs water now! Stay on top of it and have a healthy summer.
“Summer Thirst Quenchers” in Diabetes Forecast, May/June 2016.
“Staying Hydrated – Staying Healthy from the American Heart Assn, available at: www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/PhysicalActivity/FitnessBasics/Staying-Hydrated—Staying-Healthy_UCM_441180_Article.jsp#.VyBOYXA_vM8.