There’s nothing better than a sunny warm day to lift your spirits. Summer is fast approaching, and as is the case for many households, this means spending a lot of time outside—riding bikes, taking walks, carting the kids to and from sports practices and games, working in the yard, even just sitting and people watching and soaking up the sun’s rays. The hotter the weather gets, the greater toll it takes on your body—specifically your hydration levels. Staying hydrated in hot weather is just as important as staying cool no matter if you’re working out for health reasons or simply going about your usual workday business.
Our bodies are made up of primarily water—about 66% to be exact. Life-giving organs such as the brain (75% water), muscles (70% water), and our blood (83% water) depend on a steady flow of water into our systems in order to function properly. Of the many things water provides us, it helps:
- regulate body temperature
- detoxify our systems
- supply nutrients to tissue
- burn fat
- increase metabolism
To put it in stark terms, you can survive many weeks without food, but your body cannot survive more than a week without water.
So how much water do we need to drink during the hot months?
According to the Mayo Clinic, men need to drink approximately 13 cups of water per day and women should get 9 cups. If you are exercising or strongly exerting yourself, you’ll sweat like a maniac—so you’ll need to increase the amount of water you take in.
Another way to think about it is more mathematical. Use the following equation to estimate how much water to drink per day:
Total body weight ÷ 2 = _____ ounces of water per day
So if you weigh 160 pounds, you’ll want to drink 80 ounces of water per day (about 10 cups)
To help maintain proper hydration during the summer months, the following is a handy list of helpful tips. Please print this list and slap it on your refrigerator as a reminder.
Tips for Staying Hydrated During the Summer
Exercise, Sports & Extreme Exertion
- Drink plenty of water or other non-sweetened beverages before you begin exercising. A minimum of two cups (16 oz.) of water one to two hours before exertion is recommended.
- Drink plenty of water during exercise or sports activities. It is estimated that you take in 1 cup of fluid for every 20 minutes of exercise.
- Drink plenty of water after exercising or playing a sport. Depending on how much you sweat and how much weight you lose, try to drink at least 2 cups of water or more after exercising or playing a sport.
- If you feel yourself getting dehydrated or woozy, get out of the heat and into a cool environment, taking care to sip plenty of cool liquids.
- Watermelon, cantaloupe, citrus (oranges, lemons, limes), and other fruits are rich in water and can help rehydrate you quickly along with water.
- Always have water with you. Keep of good-sized water bottle with you in the summer at all times. At home, in the office, in your car—when it’s hot, try to keep a bottle of water nearby and remember to drink from it. Even lukewarm water helps keep you hydrated.
- Drink a glass of water before and between each meal. Not only does it keep you hydrated, but water is also an excellent way to suppress hunger.
- Every time you use the bathroom, be sure to have a drink of water afterward to replenish the liquids you’ve eliminated.
- Minimize your caffeine and alcohol intake. Caffeine is found in coffee, tea and soda, and all are diuretics, which means that they increase your urine output. Alcohol is the same—in warm weather months, you want to decrease any diuretic fluids.
- Increase your fruit intake. Many fruits provide healthy doses of fluid, including: pineapple, pear, watermelon, cantaloupe, mango, apples and peaches. The added bonus is that these fruits are high in fiber and low in calories!
- Don’t forget the veggies! Increased consumption of certain vegetables can help keep you hydrated in addition to the obvious benefits of healthy food. Cucumber, eggplant and bell peppers (you pick the color) are all good hydrators.
Be sure that your body is getting enough clean and healthy water during these toasty summer months. The best way to ensure that the water you and your family are imbibing to maintain proper hydration is the best it can be, contact your local Culligan Man to test and assess the water that comes into your house. Your Culligan Man can also recommend the best solution to get you great-tasting water – whether it’s an Aqua-Cleer® Advanced Drinking Water Filtration System installed under your sink or bottled water delivery.
If you’re going to be conscientious enough to make sure everyone in your household stays well hydrated this summer, why not make sure the water they depend on is the best it can be?
How do you keep hydrated in the summer months? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!