We do a lot of things to prepare for summer. We work out for that summer beach body, buy the latest in summer style, and stock up on the SPF. But sometimes when we’re having some fun in the sun, we forget one of the most important rules of summer – staying hydrated. Excessive exposure to the heat can turn from dehydration to more serious conditions like heat exhaustion, and heat stroke (also known as sunstroke.) Don’t worry, there’s no reason you can’t lazily soak up the rays in your hammock. This week we’ll give you a few little tricks to get your adequate (and beneficial) liquid intake, and let you know why you should stick with it year round!
What Happens When You’re Dehydrated
75% of Americans fail to meet their daily fluid intake, leading to chronic dehydration. The most common symptoms of dehydration include headache and dizziness, muscle cramps, chronic fatigue, dry skin, and decreased urine. And while these symptoms are easily treatable, constant chronic dehydration can lead to the following:
- Liver and blood pressure issues
- Joint and muscle damage
- Weight gain
- Kidney stones
- Gastritis and/or stomach ulcers
How Much Water Should You Drink?
While each individual is different when it comes to how much water intake is right, there are some general guidelines.
- Children under the age of 1: 0.7-0.9 liters
- Children between 1-8: 1 -1.2 liters
- Girls aged 9-18: 1.4-1.6 liters
- Boys aged 9-18: 1.6-1.9 liters
- Women: 2.2 liters
- Men: 2.6. liters
If you have a high intake of protein, and/or consume higher quantities of alcohol, you may require more than the average amount of water. If you have constant dry mouth and always feel thirsty, speak with a doctor to see if there is an underlying condition that needs treatment.
How To Drink (And Eat!) Your Way To Staying Hydrated
The easiest and most efficient way to get your water intake is to do just that — drink water. While some may find it a little boring, there are definitely ways to jazz things up a bit:
- Buy A Cute Water Bottle: Keep a cooling water bottle on you at all times. Make a goal for how many bottles to get through and refill whenever you’re empty. Also, keeping a water bottle on you is environmentally friendly and tres chic.
- Add Berries, Citrus, and Herbs: Adding things like lemon and berries to your water is a low-cal option and can be super fun to customize. (Try raspberries and mint leaves for a super refreshing water mocktail!)
Other ways to stay hydrated are:
- All-Natural Juices: Juices will help keep you hydrated and provide important nutrients to help keep your body active and energized while you’re in hot weather. But not all juices are created equal. Check for 100% juice with no added sugars.
- Fruits And Veggies: Not only are fruits and vegetables easy on your body to digest, they are also high in water content. Foods like salads, tomatoes, and berries will keep you happy and hydrated. (Plus, how good does ice cold watermelon taste on a hot day?)
- Stay Away From Alcohol And Caffeine: While this isn’t strictly a tip on staying hydrated, consuming these beverages will have an adverse effect, making you dehydrated and sluggish. We do understand that some may not want to give up their morning coffee, or their BBQ cocktail. So, if you do partake, make sure to drink 8-12 additional ounces in between beverages to stay on track.
Staying Hydrated Also Keeps You Pretty!
It’s easy to understand why staying hydrated helps aid in better digestion, helps with memory, and fights fatigue. But did you know that regular water intake can also lead to some pretty great physical benefits, as well? Just a few of those include:
- Gives Your Skin A Little Bounce: When you’re dehydrated, your skin loses its elasticity, which over time can lead to increased wrinkling of the skin.
- People Who Hydrate Stay Slimmer Regular water consumption helps cut down on cravings and hunger pangs, leading to weight loss and weight management.
- Keeps Your Joints And Cartilage Working Smoothly: When your joints are well-lubricated and moving smoothly, physical activity can be done more vigorously and/or for longer periods of time.
With a little preparation, staying cool and hydrated this summer is easier than you think. If you’re having any issues with dehydration, contact the medical professionals at Miami Center of Excellence. Happy hydrating!