Summer is the season for fun in the sun. It’s a great time to get outside, but if you work up too much of a sweat, you might find yourself back indoors before you know it. Make a plan for how to stay hydrated this summer so you don’t miss out.
How to Stay Hydrated in the Summer
Nothing ruins a day in the sun quite like dehydration. One minute you’re having summer fun with family and friends, the next minute you’re feeling worn out and you can’t stop thinking about how thirsty you are. You may even feel dizzy, or have a bit of a headache. At least there’s an easy fix. All you have to do is grab a cool bottle of water, drink up, and you’ll be good to go. Right?
Wrong. By the time you realize you need a drink, you may already be seriously dehydrated. But why is it so hard to stay hydrated in the summer?
Heat and Humidity Make Summer a Dehydration Danger Zone
Water is the primary compound chemical that makes up the human body, and it serves many functions. Water helps your body flush out waste, it regulates your temperature, and it keeps your joints lubricated. Most people need between two or three liters of water a day in order to function.
No matter how much water your body normally needs, it needs more in the summer. We all sweat more in the heat because the water evaporating from our skin is supposed to cool us down. Unfortunately, when it’s hot and humid, it becomes much more difficult for sweat to evaporate. This results in the body making more sweat, which eventually results in the exhaustion, crankiness, and thirst that signal dehydration.
Dehydration can also hit your body harder if you’re a senior. Seniors tend to have lower levels of fluid in their bodies and are also often on medications that can cause dehydration, like diuretics. These factors can combine with summer heat and humidity to make staying hydrated a real challenge for active seniors.
This is why it’s important to have a plan for how to stay hydrated during the summer. Summer heat can sneak up on you, and even light exertion like walking can dehydrate you quicker than you realize. However, there’s no need to sit inside and miss out on the summer fun. Instead, adopt these simple strategies to stay hydrated:
Drink Water Continuously Throughout Your Day
The easiest way to stay hydrated might feel obvious, but it’s still worth pointing out. Dehydration will not be an issue for you if you’re already diligent about staying hydrated. So drink water continuously throughout the day, even before you feel thirsty. If you need extra incentive, these challenge water bottles can be inspiring and fun.
Use Fruits and Vegetables as Hydration Boosters
Your total water consumption throughout the day can include water-rich foods as well. Most fruits and vegetables contain at least some water, but you’ll get the most benefit from cucumbers, strawberries, tomatoes, and peppers. Eat them plain, or turn them into a salad or other cool summer snack. For example, this simple popsicle recipe is easy and delicious.
Drink Flavored Water for a Summer Treat
You don’t have to just drink plain water to get the benefits of hydration. Consider adding garnishes like lemons or limes, or even fresh herbs like mint. On days where you’re especially active, consider a sports drink mix. This will help you rehydrate quickly, and also replenish other minerals lost through sweat, like sodium.
Approach Alcohol and Coffee Carefully
Who doesn’t love a cold beverage at a summer barbeque or a nice iced coffee with a friend? Unfortunately, both of these liquids can dehydrate you. You don’t have to leave them completely off the menu, but don’t count them as a part of your daily hydration, and have a plan to drink some extra fluids afterward. Moderation is key.
Making a plan for how to stay hydrated is the best way to get the most out of your summer. Grab a water bottle, put on some sunscreen, and get out and enjoy this beautiful season.
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