By Dani Schmidt, CDM, CFPP, Culinary Services Manager & Alyssa Weber, Registered Dietician
Staying adequately hydrated is a hard task for many people, but becomes even more challenging when summer heat arrives. An increase in temperature, means an increase in sweat, ultimately leading to a decrease of fluids.
Adequate fluids allow the body to regulate body temperature through sweating, maintain blood pressure, cushion joints and eliminate bodily waste. Some symptoms of dehydration include dizziness, less frequent and dark colored urine, fatigue and confusion.
You may have heard the saying “Drink 8 glasses of water each day”. This recommendation does not apply to everyone. Many factors affect the amount of fluid a person needs including body size, activity level, diseases, medications, and overall diet.
Make hydrating a bit easier this summer with these helpful hints
- Purchase a new water bottle
- There are many options to choose from. Find a bottle that works best for you; flip top, straw, hydro-flask, glass, BPA free plastic, stainless steel, pink, purple, blue… you get the point, the options are limitless. Finding the right bottle that makes drinking or chugging easier can be the right motivator to get your daily ounces in. Some bottles even have hourly trackers included on them to motivate you throughout the day.
- Drink infused water
- Water isn’t marketed as the most exciting or tastiest thing to drink, but it can be. Flavor your water with fruits, vegetables, herbs and other natural flavor sources. Plan ahead for your day by mixing up a larger jug of infused water and putting it in your fridge to enjoy your cold flavorful water, all day long.
- Our favorite combos are:
- Blueberry, Lemon, Mint
- Strawberry, Cucumber, Lime
- Watermelon & Basil or Mint
- Apple & Cinnamon Stick
- Orange & Strawberry
- Eat foods with a high water content
- Drinking water is very important, but sometimes it can be difficult to stay hydrated by drinking water alone. Many healthy foods are packed full of water, and not only help hydrate you but are overall healthy choices. Summer is a perfect time to find these refreshing foods at a reduced rate: Broccoli, Cantaloupe, Cucumber, Grapes, Iceberg Lettuce, Peaches, Radishes, Tomatoes, Watermelon & Zucchini are all great choices!
- Choose water first
- Challenge yourself by drinking water first or alongside of other beverages. Do you love a cup of coffee in the morning, or a can of soda in the afternoon? Pour yourself a cup of water to accompany your favorite non-water beverage. Drinking a glass of water shortly after you wake up in the morning can help increase your energy and alertness throughout the entire day.
If you suspect you may be dehydrated you may want to contact your health care provider.