While summers bring all the fun with them, they also have a few downsides. One of the most difficult problems is to stay hydrated during the hot summer days. In this blog, I am sharing how you can beat dehydration and enjoy the summer to its fullest without losing your cool.
Hydration is the process of taking in and retaining the optimal water balance in your body. It is crucial for your physical and mental well-being. Hydration is like watering your plant in the vase itself to keep it growing.
Water plays an important role in the hydration process. Every single cell, tissue, and organ in your body needs water to function. Water is like the all-in-one helper. It nourishes your cells, removes your body waste, regulates your temperature, lubricates the joints, and aids in the crucial process of digestion.
The entire human body is about 66 percent water. You will have more energy, more focus, clear thinking, and a better mood if you hydrate yourself.
Dehydration, on the other hand, causes fatigue, headaches, dizziness, and muscle cramps.
Thus, you must hydrate yourself without hesitation! So, let’s explore how you can stay hydrated this summer.
How to Stay Hydrated in Summer?
The best way to gauge your hydration needs is to listen to your body. Feeling thirsty? That’s your body’s built-in alarm system telling you it needs a refill. Aim for clear or pale yellow urine, as a dark amber color can cause dehydration.
To stay hydrated, you don’t have to chugg glasses of plain water (although that works too!). You can also get your fluids from delicious fruits and vegetables, herbal teas, and even some broths. So, raise a glass (or cucumber slice) to hydration – your body will thank you for it!
How to Know if You’re Dehydrated?
Dehydration happens when your body loses more fluids than it takes in. It’s essential to recognize the signs early on to avoid more serious consequences. Here’s a closer look at what you should be careful about:
4 Early Signs of Dehydration:
1. Feeling Thirsty: While thirst is the body’s first alert, don’t wait until you’re parched! Proactive hydration is key.
2. Dark-colored urine: Pale yellow is the ideal urine color. Darker shades, like amber or brown urine state urine with less water, signaling dehydration.
3. Peeing less than usual: Aim for at least 4-7 bathroom trips a day. If you notice a significant decrease, especially with dark urine, it’s a dehydration red flag.
4. Dry mouth and lips: A dry, sticky feeling in your mouth or cracked lips can also be early signs of fluid loss.
4 Progressing Symptoms:
1. Headaches: Dehydration can affect your blood flow and cause headaches.
2. Fatigue: Feeling sluggish and tired could be due to dehydration impacting your energy levels.
3. Under-eye hollows: Dehydrated skin also loses its plumpness, leading to sunken eyes.
4. Dry eyes: Lack of fluids can make your eyes feel scratchy and irritated.
7 Serious Signs of Dehydration:
1. Muscle cramps: Dehydration can disrupt electrolyte balance, leading to painful muscle cramps.
2. Brain fog and anxiety: Difficulty in concentrating and increased anxiety can also occur due to dehydration.
3. Lack of focus: Dehydration can affect cognitive function, impacting your ability to focus and think critically.
4. Constipation: Fluid loss can make stool harder and bowel movements less frequent.
5. Bad breath: A dry mouth can trap bacteria, leading to bad breath.
6. Ice-cold skin: Dehydration can trigger chills and cold, clammy skin.
7. Dry skin: Dehydrated skin loses its elasticity and appears dry and flaky.
Causes of Dehydration
Your body is like a beautiful garden filled with colorful flowers. To keep those flowers blooming and vibrant, they need the right amount of water. But sometimes, your “body gardens” can lose too much water and start to feel a bit wilted. That’s when the need to stay hydrated arises.
Here are some reasons why our “body gardens” might need an extra sip of water:
1. You don’t drink enough water
2. You might have symptoms of diabetes.
3. You might have diarrhea.
4. You might be vomiting often.
5. You might be having a fever.
6. You might be sweating too much.
7. Your body might be having a high body temperature.
What Should You Drink to Stay Hydrated?
Dehydration occurs when more fluid required in your body leaves than it enters. You need to drink more fluid that will help you maintain your water body level.
Water isn’t the only way to stay hydrated. Here are some more drinks that can combat dehydration and help you stay hydrated :
1. Fresh Coconut Water
Pros: Coconut water is a natural electrolyte-rich beverage with a sweet taste. It’s a good source of potassium, magnesium, and sodium, which help regulate fluids and prevent dehydration. Especially during exercise or in hot weather.
Cons: Coconut water can be high in sugar, so it’s important to choose natural varieties with no added sugars. It’s also not as available as plain water and can be more expensive.
2. Fresh Alkaline Water
Pros: Alkaline water has a higher pH level than regular water and can neutralize acidity in the body and improve health.
Cons: Alkaline water can be more expensive than regular water and may not be necessary for everyone. It’s important to choose brands that are regulated and certified to ensure safety.
3. Fresh Fruit Juice
Pros: Fresh fruit juices are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They can be a refreshing and tasty way to hydrate, especially if you mix them with water.
Cons: Fruit juices are high in sugar, so it’s important to consume them in moderation. They also lack the fiber found in whole fruits, which can help regulate blood sugar levels.
4. Normal Water
Pros: Water is the gold standard for hydration. It’s calorie-free, available, and essential for many functions. Drinking lots of water has lots of benefits. It will regulate body temperature, lubricate joints, transport nutrients, and flush out your body waste.
Cons: Plain water might get boring for some people. It doesn’t contain electrolytes, which can be important for athletes or people sweating.
Pros: Milk is a good source of calcium, vitamin D, and protein. It can be a hydrating and nutritious option, especially for children and older adults.
Cons: Milk contains lactose, which some people are intolerant to. It can also be high in calories and fat, depending on the type of milk.
6. Herbal Tea
Pros: Herbal teas are a caffeine-free and calorie-free way to stay hydrated. They’re also a good source of antioxidants and can have various health benefits depending on the type of tea. For example, peppermint tea can aid digestion, while chamomile tea can promote relaxation.
Cons: Some herbal teas may have diuretic effects, meaning they can increase urine output. Thus, it’s important to choose teas with moderate levels of caffeine and diuretic properties.
3 Drinks to Avoid Dehydration
Some people use gimmicks to sell things that dehydrate your body. But they will portray it as a good thing to counter dehydration. Here are drinks you must avoid for dehydration:
1. Energy drinks: Energy drinks contain sugar and sodium. It’s better to avoid them to avoid dehydration.
2. Alcohol: Alcohol increases sweating and interferes with your electrolyte balance. Thus making you lose more fluids.
3. Caffeinated Drinks: Caffeine is a diuretic. It increases urine production, leading to fluid loss.
What Does it Mean to Stay Hydrated?
Staying hydrated means having enough water and fluids in your body to function. It refers to having a balance between the fluids you lose and the fluids you consume.
Here’s a breakdown of the meaning:
1. Water: Water is essential for many functions. It makes up a major part of your body weight. It regulates temperature, carries nutrients, lubricates joints, and flushes out waste.
2. Fluids: While water is the most important. Other beverages like herbal teas, and fruit juices can also contribute to your hydration levels.
3. Balance: The key to staying hydrated is maintaining a balance between fluids lost and fluids consumed. You lose fluids in various ways, like sweating, urination, and even breathing. If you don’t replenish these fluids, you become dehydrated.
Importance of Hydration During Summer
It is important to stay hydrated to maintain your good health. It has many benefits, including:
1. Improved Cognitive Function: Dehydration can affect your concentration, memory, and mood. Proper hydration keeps your brain sharp and focused.
2. Enhanced Physical Performance: When you’re well-hydrated, your muscles and joints function well. It will lead to better athletic performance and endurance.
3. Reduced Fatigue: Feeling tired and sluggish? Dehydration could be a culprit. Proper hydration helps keep your energy levels up.
4. Improved Digestion: Water aids in digestion and prevents constipation.
5. Healthy skin: Hydrated skin appears plump and youthful, while dehydrated skin can be dry, wrinkled, and prone to irritation.
6. Reduced risk of kidney stones: Adequate fluid intake helps dilute urine and prevent the formation of kidney stones.
10 Lifestyle Tips to Stay Hydrated in Summers
1. Drink a glass of warm water first thing in the morning. This gets your metabolism running and gives you an energy boost. Avoid drinking water before bed if you struggle with nocturnal urination or heartburn.
2. Invest in a water bottle that tracks your everyday water intake. A good water bottle can serve as a visual reminder to drink more water throughout the day. Certain bottles have marked measurements for tracking intake or words of encouragement printed.
3. Use alarms or notifications to your advantage. Set alarms or notifications on your smart devices as reminders throughout the day. For a mental boost, set your Alexa or Google device to remind you along with verbal, positive encouragements.
4. Focus on your body’s signals. Be mindful of whether your body is thirsty or hungry. Sometimes we overeat because we mistake thirst for hunger.
5. Drink a glass of water before each meal. It will help you stay hydrated, help your body digest food better, and help you feel full faster.
6. Add calorie-free flavoring. Try fruit or vegetable infusions in your water to make it more appealing. Prepare a jug in the refrigerator to infuse overnight to make filling your water bottle in the morning easier. Pick up a water bottle that has a built-in infusion basket for flavor on the go.
7. Check the color of your urine. Dark yellow urine may be a sign of dehydration for some.
8. Swap high-sugar drinks for sparkling water or seltzer. Not only will you cut back on unnecessary sugar, but you’ll be adding to your water intake.
9. Set a daily goal. A simple daily goal can help you stay motivated and work towards maintaining a healthy habit.
10. Make it a challenge. Ask your friends to join you in a healthy competition to see who meets their daily water intake goals.
Remember, hydration is not about surviving the summer; it’s about thriving in it! Incorporate these simple tips into your daily routine and your body will stay hydrated, cool, healthy, and ready to conquer any adventure. So, raise a glass (of water, of course!) to a happy, hydrated summer!