How to Stay Hydrated this Summer

Drinking water is not the only way to stay hydrated.

Aug 15, 2020

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Summer means more outdoor time and that means it is even more important to stay hydrated. but there’s much more to it than just drinking when you feel thirsty. Proper hydration is important to keep your body running in tip top shape and keeping you healthy.

Since your body is composed of 60 percent water, according to WebMD, all the essential functions including digestion, absorption of nutrients, circulation, and brain function relay on proper hydration. When you do not intake as much water as you output, which could be quite a lot as you exercise or play outdoors in the heat, you can become dehydrated.

But a little-known fact is the role that proper hydration plays in keeping your immune system functioning. According to Mind Body Green, mucus membranes like the ones in your nose and mouth can become dried out if you become dehydrated. Since your nose and mouth are your body’s first line of defense, if they do not stay moist, they cannot prevent viruses or bacteria from entering your body.

Adequate hydration also aids your body’s lymphatic system which is responsible for the production of antibodies and immune system cells; all of which is vital in fighting off infections and disease. It’s no wonder that people are told to drink eight glasses of water a day.

Do people really need to drink that much? Actually, it is just a bench mark according to Healthline. The IOM recommendation for adults is 131 ounces (3.87 liters) for men and 95 ounces (2.8 liters) for women. People’s needs will vary depending on their size, how active they are, and the weather. So, it makes sense that you will need more fluids during the hot weather season. Athletes will also have to replenish electrolytes.

So how do you stay hydrated in the summer heat? Here are three easy ways:

Drink a Variety of Liquids
You don’t have to stick to water. Drinking sparkling beverages, herbal teas, natural fruit juices, and fruit smoothies all hydrate. Soda and other sweetened soft drinks hydrate but contain a lot of sugar so they are not healthy to drink. Stay away from caffeinated beverages like coffee because they actually remove water from your body. Also avoid alcohol in the heat, cautions WebMD, because alcohol can cause excess excretion of fluids which can lead to dehydration.

Eating Water Rich food
Besides containing vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and electrolytes, many fruits and vegetables contain a large amount of water. Besides watermelon, other water rich fruits include strawberries (91 percent), Cantaloupe (90 percent), and oranges (88 percent) according to Healthline. Water rich vegetables include lettuce (96 percent), cucumber (95 percent), and zucchini (94 percent).  There are plenty of seasonal summer foods to help keep you hydrated.  

Keep Water with You
Take a recyclable or reusable bottle of water with you when you are outdoors or on the go. That way you always have water with you when your body signals it’s time to drink. Staying hydrated is a way for you to always feel your best.

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BONNIE RIVA RAS, EDITOR & WRITER
Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.