Hydrating in the Heat

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Drinking water is always important, but especially in the summer months! Our bodies need water to survive. It makes up more than half of our body’s weight and has many important jobs in the body.

Functions of water include:

  • Water makes up the majority of our bodily fluids like blood and spinal fluid
  • We need water to digest our food and rid our body of waste
  • Water is important for cellular function
  • And, as you are probably well aware in the heat of July, our bodies need water to produce perspiration to cool us off when it gets too hot

The extra heat of the summer months makes it easy to become dehydrated. If you are out in the heat, and start feeling any symptoms of dehydration, your best bet is to grab a glass (at least eight ounces) of water and find a place to cool down. Signs of dehydration include:

  • Thirst
  • Dry mouth
  • Dry lips or skin
  • A headache
  • Feeling sleepy

How much water should I drink?

There is not a specific number of ounces or amount to aim for. Water needs are dependent on several factors and can be different for everyone.  If you drink water with all meals, snacks, and in between as well you should have an easy time staying adequately hydrated. The conventional recommendation of 64 ounces of water per day is easily met if you drink 16 ounces of water at each of three meals and just eight ounces twice a day between meals.

However, the best way to know if you are drinking enough water is to look at the color of your urine. If it is clear to light yellow with no detectable smell, that is an indication that you are well hydrated. If your urine is odorous and on the darker side, this is a sign of dehydration and that it’s time to drink up!

What if I don’t like drinking water?

If drinking plain water is getting old, or you don’t like the taste of it there are fun ways to add flavor without adding extra calories or sweeteners. It can be something as simple as adding lemon or lime, or creating fun flavors by infusing your water with different fruits or herbs. Below are a few recipes to help you flavor your water.

  • Lemon + Thyme
  • Cucumber + Strawberry + Mint
  • Basil + Ginger + Lime
  • Orange + blueberry + basil

To prepare just fill a pitcher with water, and add whatever combination of fruits and herbs you desire. Let chill in the refrigerator overnight to let the flavors infuse, and enjoy the next day!

This entry was posted in Fitness, Hydration, Nutrition, Summer, Water and tagged , , , , on by .

About Emma Bryant

Emma is currently enrolled in the Coordinated Program at Georgia State University to obtain her master's degree in nutrition and complete her dietetic internship. She will be sitting for the RD exam this fall. Emma currently holds a graduate assistant position working with Georgia State University athletes managing their diet to improve performance and body composition. Emma enjoys cooking, and traveling to the North Georgia Mountains in her spare time.

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