Sunday, July 16, 2017

How to Stay Hydrated in Summer

Summer and hot weather are here.  What are you doing to be sure you are staying hydrated?  Everyday Health recommends Simple Ways to Stay Hydrated This Summer.  The Henry Ford Health System also offers tips on How to Stay Hydrated.  Since hot weather is here, it is time to think about easy ways you can keep your body hydrated in the heat.  If you have kids, think of how you can ensure they keep hydrated as kids may need a reminder to drink water or other fluids in the hot weather.
  1.  Water – a great way to stay hydrated is to ensure you bring water with you.  Carry a water bottle in your car.  Have a water bottle at your desk and refill it often.  Fill a glass with ice water and add a slice of lemon.  Water is a great choice for hydration but you can also hydrate with juice, milk, coffee, tea, fruit juice.
  2. Feeling thirsty, frazzled?  Thirst is the first sign your body is becoming dehydrated, so quench that thirst.  In fact, try to drink enough water and fluids so you don’t get thirsty.  Your brain is affected by dehydration so drinking some water can help you feel more alert.
  3. Physically Active – before you engage in any activity, drink about 8 ounces of water an hour before.  Then while you are active drink about 7-10 ounces every 20 – 30 minutes.  I bring a water bottle filled with ice water when biking outside to stay hydrated on our long bike rides.
  4. Electrolytes – when you sweat you lose water and electrolytes like sodium, chloride and potassium.  If you are working out or exercising for an hour or more then consider a sports drink with electrolytes.  Or add some pretzels or eat a banana to refill your electrolytes.  Dilute some orange juice with ice water for a refreshing drink.  OJ provides potassium.  Some people refuel with coconut water and that is also a good choice after a mild workout.   Coconut water does offer potassium and some sodium.  For more strenuous workouts with a lot of sweating, you’ll need a drink with more sodium to replenish the salt (sodium chloride) lost.
  5. Hydrate with veggies/fruit – fruit such as watermelon can help with hydration as watermelon is 90% water.  Citrus fruits, berries, cantaloupe, honeydew are good ways to help your body hydrate.  You are adding water and nutrients to your day.  Veggies that help with hydration are celery, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes.
  6. Treat Yourself:  I keep some lemon slices in a baggie in the fridge.  When I get a glass of ice water, I add a slice of lemon, very refreshing.  When we stayed at the Bar Harbor Grand Hotel in June, each day they provided complimentary infused fruit water.  One day it was infused with cucumbers, another day with watermelon and of course one day was lemon slices.  So tasty.  A neighbor offered me some ice tea.  She served Crystal Light Peach with a slice of a fresh peach.  Delicious.   Make some Crystal Light Lemonade or other lemonade and add some fresh lemon slices.  For some ideas on making some infused fruit water go to:   Replace your soda with some flavored seltzer water.  

How much water do adults need each day?   The Institute of Medicine recommends:
           Women:  about 11 cups of water a day from all sources which includes foods and beverages
           Men:  about 15-16 cups of water a day from all sources which includes foods and beverage
           Physically Active Adults and those of us who live in hot climates need even more hydration. 

      How much water do kids need each day?  A general rule is 6-8 cups of water a day.  Kids that are physically active should add half a cup to 2 cups of water every 15-20 minutes when physically active and exercising like playing soccer.  The Institute of Medicine and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends kids water and beverage requirements.  Note, this amount includes all beverages, the milk at meals, the glass of juice at breakfast.  The water in fruits and vegetables also adds “water” to your child’s day. 

Water/beverages (cups per day)
4 to 8 years
Girls and Boys
9-13 years



    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes about 43% of us are not drinking enough water each day.  So, this week, grab that water bottle, add some ice and a slice of lemon and stay hydrated.
      sliced oranges
      ice water

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