It’s gettin’ hot in here, so take off all your…no wait, keep your clothes on… There are other ways to keep cool that won’t get you kicked out of the grocery store!
Summer is right around the corner and temperatures are beginning to rise. It is always important to make sure you are staying hydrated, but when the heat is on it is even easier to get dehydrated. It only takes losing 2% of your body water volume to start feeling negative effects of dehydration!
How do you know you are dehydrated? Some symptoms are pretty obvious, while others you might not notice or you might mistake for something else. What you should look for:
- Thirst (duh)
- Dry mouth
- Lack of tears (when crying…not because you have nothing to cry about)
- Loss of appetite
- Darker urine (what color should it be?)
So how can you stay hydrated? An easy answer is water water water! Make sure you are drinking enough and consistently throughout the day. How much is enough? A good guideline is half of your body weight in ounces, IE if you weigh 180 lbs, drink 90 ounces of water.
The best indicator is your pee. Yep, I said it. You can tell a lot from your pee. Color and frequency can tell you if you are having too much or too little water. If it is completely clear and you are going every 30 minutes…you might need to cut back. If you can’t remember when you went last and it’s one of the three bottom colors on this chart, start chugging.
Now, as you probably already know, sometimes it isn’t always as easy as drinking water to stay hydrated. There are other important dietary factors. Your body needs to retain the water to be able to use the water. This is where electrolytes come in to play. Common electrolyte ions are sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. If your body is low on these due to excessive heat and exercise it makes it difficult for your body to use water efficiently.
Before you run out to grab sugary sports drinks like Gatorade, you can easily make your own drinks or find healthier options. Try some of these!
- Coconut water: You see it everywhere nowadays! Coconut water is high in potassium and other minerals that help with re-hydration. Make sure to check the ingredients list to avoid any added sugars. Stick to plain coconut water or companies that use other fruits to flavor it (like Vita Coco!).
- Make your own concoction: It’s easy to make your own basic mix that is not only cheaper but tasty too! Start with water (preferably 16 ounces or more), add a couple small slices of a fruit of choice (strawberries, apples, etc), and a small pinch of salt. If you stick to 16 ounces of water or more you usually don’t taste the salt, just make sure it’s dissolved. Play around with the flavors and figure out what you like best!
- Nuun: These are little flavored electrolyte enhanced tabs that you put in your water. They give you a nice little boost in sodium, calcium, magnesium and potassium. This might not be the best choice if you are trying to avoid artificial sweeteners (one ingredient is sorbitol), but one every once in a while is fine. You can find these at Whole Foods and Mother’s Market.
What are your favorite ways to stay hydrated? Comment below! We want to hear your tips and favs!