Water is the most important but underappreciated nutrient. Water is necessary for the efficient functioning of biochemical activities in our bodies (it serves as a solvent), as well as for maintaining body temperature and blood circulation. It is necessary for survival, and the summer months are particularly taxing on our bodies in terms of hydration! It can be difficult to understand how quickly we lose water; nonetheless, too much water loss (dehydration) can result in a heat stroke. If you are thirsty, you have already lost some water, thus your daily water intake must match the amount lost. Here are some suggestions for staying hydrated and active throughout the hot summer months.
Carry Water Bottles With You
During the summer, make it a practice to carry water with you and sip it throughout the day, especially if you plan on doing any outdoor activities. Are you not a fan of simple water? To brighten it up, add lemon, cucumber, and mint sprigs. Combine all of the ingredients in a large pitcher the night before to allow the flavors to meld. Flavor packets, which come in individual packets with flavors like green tea, watermelon, and peach, are another choice.
Take Your Fruits
Water is abundant in several fruits and vegetables. Stay hydrated by eating at least five different fruits and four servings of veggies. Greens are not only hydrating, but they also contain important electrolytes. Watermelons, melons, berries, peaches, papayas, leafy greens, cucumbers, radishes, cantaloupe, strawberries, lettuce, celery, kale, zucchini, oranges, grapefruits, tomatoes, capsicums, grapes, bananas, and other fruits and vegetables are all excellent choices. When you’re on the run, always have a couple of fruits with you.
Electrolytes are Important
If you work out, go for long walks, or work a job that requires a lot of physical labor, electrolytes are essential. Electrolytes can be found in both solid and liquid foods. Some sports beverages are pre-mixed with all of the electrolytes, such as sodium, chlorine, and potassium. Electrolytes are abundant in bananas and coconut water, which are similarly high in potassium. Many powders (glucose) are available on the market that you can carry with you and combine with water whenever an electrolyte drink is needed. There are ORS (Oral Rehydration Protocol) solutions that follow the WHO formula for severe dehydration.
Summer apparel isn’t all created equal when it comes to keeping you cool. Wear light, airy clothing made of breathable fabrics. Cotton is the greatest overall fabric because it allows air to flow. This helps to make the heat bearable. Wear a hat or cap that shadows your face to protect your head. Linen and rayon are two other acceptable fabric options. Avoid wearing black clothing, which absorbs sunlight and makes you feel hotter. The majority of t-shirts, shorts, and skirts are made from a combination of two or more textiles. Cotton that has been combined with polyester, spandex, or nylon can still keep you cool and drain sweat away from your skin.
It’s not just about drinking water when it comes to staying hydrated; it’s also about controlling your body temperature. Prefer to put on the light, loose-fitting outfits in light colors during the summer season, when the chances of heatstroke are highest; consider scheduling sports and physical activities during cooler times of the day; protect yourself from the sun with hats and other shade accessories; take frequent drink breaks, and mist yourself with a spray bottle if you become overheated.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol
Iced tea and caffeinated drinks are both considered liquids. These beverages, however, may trigger an increase in water loss through the urine due to caffeine’s diuretic impact. Water is still the greatest overall choice for staying hydrated, especially when exercising or staying extended time in the sun. Due to their high caffeine content, energy drinks are not a good choice for hydration.
Pay attention to the signs of dehydration
If anyone in your household is sick, especially young children and the elderly, keep an eye on how much they can drink. The following are indications of dehydration in children and adults.
- Darker-than-usual urine
- Not urinating despite continuously drinking water
- Muscle cramps
- Bad breath
- Fever or chills
- Craving sweets
- Dry mouth/skin
- Fast heartbeat
Drink plenty of water if you have a fever, vomiting, or diarrhea. Do not wait for dehydration symptoms to show up and harm your body.
Staying hydrated during the summer is important to stay healthy, happy, and safe in the heat. Avoid foods that are highly processed or high in sugar. Deep-fried snacks and highly processed foods are high in sodium and complex carbs, which cause your body to lose water. When you’re thirsty, reach for a big glass of water instead of sugary, caffeinated beverages. Your body will certainly appreciate it.