When the temps soar during the summer, you can just look outside and your mouth will feel like the Sahara Desert. It’s easy to get dehydrated and that can be a serious health issue.
Our bodies are two-thirds water and we need that water in order for our organs and systems to function properly. Even losing just two-percent of your body’s water is considered being dehydrated, according to nutritionists. Slight dehydration can cause irritability, fatigue, and even fainting spells. Severe dehydration can cause low blood pressure and in extreme cases death.
So how do you know if you are dehydrated?
Check your urine. No, seriously, we know it sounds kinda gross but the color of your urine can be an indication of dehydration. If your urine is dark yellow, you need to hydrate. You want your urine to be clear enough to read a magazine article through it. (We don’t suggest putting this to the test.)
Are you thirsty? If you are thirsty, you’re dehydrated. It’s not too late though to get that in check. Grab a glass, but don’t chug. Small sips will rehydrate you without giving you that “bloated stomach” feeling.
So what’s the best way to keep hydrated?
Drink water. Experts don’t always agree on how much water a person needs, but they do agree we aren’t drinking enough water. Everyone is different, but you should aim for at least 80 ounces a day. It sounds like a lot and it is. To make your water intake a bit more fun and palatable, try carrying a fun water bottle with you. Use whatever will encourage you to drink your daily amount. Also, load your water with sliced cucumbers or fruit like lemon, lime and orange slices. These will slightly flavor the water and make it less boring to your tastebuds.
Eat your water. Water doesn’t have to come in a glass. Water-rich foods like celery, cucumbers, and watermelon are great options to stay hydrated. Make sure you always have some on hand and cut up so it’s easy to grab a few pieces and go.
What are some drinks to avoid?
Sports drinks are for athletes. You can skip those neon-colored drinks. While they have electrolytes in them to rehydrate you, unless you have been working out a ton, they don’t serve a purpose other than being a sugar bomb.
Curb the caffeine. Soda does have water in it, but it also has caffeine and sugar. Caffeine can dehydrate you in larger amounts. The high level of corn syrup or sugar in the soda won’t quench your thirst and doctors say it can in fact leave you craving more sugar. As for coffee or tea, they are mostly water so they can hydrate you a bit, but don’t overdo it. Keep it to under three cups a day.
Doctors caution during the summer months when we are relaxing and having fun that it is easy to lose track of water intake (Margarita anyone?) and quickly become dehydrated which is why paying attention to your body and drinking water all day will stop you from drying up.