Summer is here! Are you thirsty?
The season for poolside lounging, building sandcastles with our children, barbecuing with friends and family, road trips, and other limitless outdoor adventures has arrived. Sometimes we get so caught up in the fun and enjoyment of these exciting summer activities, we can forget the most necessary element for our body: water!
Water is essential for life and is the single largest component of the entire body, comprising more than half (60%) of total body weight! For an adult weighing 150 lbs, 90 lbs of them is water! Water makes up an even larger percent of children’s bodies (nearly 75%), making young ones quick to dehydrate. Water composes 75% of the brain, makes up 83% of blood, 75% of muscles, and accounts for 22% of our bones. Wow! Needless to say, water plays extraordinarily HUGE functions in the body including nutrient and oxygen transport, protection of vital organs, regulation of body temperature, waste removal, facilitation of digestion, and acts as a lubricant for the joints, eyes, mouth, and lungs.
Water imbalance in the body result in dehydration. This is simply the point at which water loss exceeds water replacement and a deficit exists. Since water is involved in so many processes, even minor water loss prevents the body from performing everyday essential functions. Did you know by the time you experience thirst, your body has already lost up to two cups of total fluid?
Water is so important the body has developed various signs and cues to alert you if you are not adequately hydrated. When we become even mildly dehydrated we can experience thirst, headaches, decreased cognitive capacity, constipation, muscle cramps, infrequent urination, dizziness, sleepiness, dry eyes and skin. Always listen to your body, be proactive, and take measures to keep you and your family hydrated this summer!
Here are some tips for a hydrating summer:
Know how much water your body requires.
Ideally, you should be drinking half of your body weight in ounces of water. If you weigh 120 lbs, that means at least 60 oz of water daily!
Carry a refillable water bottle on you. This is an easy reminder to drink water and great for on-the-go activities, so you won’t be without! Opt for a glass or stainless-steel water bottle to ensure each sip is a clean sip!
Monitor the color of your urine. Dark yellow urine is more concentrated because it is lacking water and is an indication you need water. You know you are adequately hydrated when your urine is pale yellow - pale because it is diluted with water.
Eat plenty of high water foods! Zucchini, celery, tomato, cabbage, bell peppers, cucumber, watermelon, coconut, citrus, and strawberries are high in water, mineral salts, natural sugars, and amino acids which will effectively replenish the body and maintain hydration.
Drink regularly. Create a water drinking schedule. For example, have a glass of water with each meal and/or snack. Creating a schedule coinciding with your meals maintains healthy hydration habits that aid in nutrient absorption and digestion.
Make conscious, balanced choices. Water, coconut water, herbal teas, and green juices replenish the body while caffeine, alcohol, high-sugar sports drinks, sodas, and processed foods dehydrate the body.
Stay Happy, Stay Healthy, Stay Hydrated!