Here comes summer! Are you getting enough water?
With the arrival of summer’s bright sun, lush lawns and clear pools, many of us are spending more time outside than we have previously this year. Our activity levels are increasing and our bodies (whether we realize it or not) are demanding more water to stay hydrated.
Why is it important to stay hydrated? The human body is comprised of 60% water and demands constant replenishment in order to perform and function properly. Every task we do, whether it’s breathing while sleeping or mowing the lawn on a hot day, uses water. If we deprive our bodies of sufficient water intake we will become dehydrated.
How do I know if I’m dehydrated? Many people can recognize some of dehydration’s most common signs. These include: darker colored urine, a dry mouth, extreme thirst and a headache. But did you know that fatigue and sleepiness, lightheadedness and confusion are also signs of dehydration?
I drank eight glasses today, isn’t that enough? Six to eight glasses is the commonly recommended amount of water to consume each day, but does not always get the job done. Depending on your activity level, work atmosphere and diet, 8 glasses may just be scratching the surface of what you should be drinking each day. For example, someone hiking the Grand Canyon in July is going to require significantly more water than a student sitting in an air conditioned classroom all day.
I drink lots of soda and coffee, that helps me stay hydrated right? While soda and coffee can contribute to your daily consumption of fluids, they are not anywhere near as effective at hydrating the body as water is. In fact, the all too common habit of only consuming soda or coffee throughout the workday can be detrimental to many of the body’s organs and may cause significant harm if done over an extended period.
So should I cut soda out completely? Part of this blog’s message and a good rule to live by is to practice moderation in all aspects of life, including your diet. Soda is an enjoyable beverage and when consumed moderately along with adequate water intake presents a fun option at a barbeque or picnic.
How do I get enough water throughout the day? Some tips to help you reach your goal of sufficient hydration include: Keep a water bottle at your desk or work station, never pass a drinking fountain without taking a nice long drink, have a glass of water before you leave and after you enter your home, keep a water and food journal to keep track of how much you are actually consuming.
Staying properly hydrated throughout May, June, July and August will help you feel better, stay sharper and enjoy the summer more fully. Feel free to comment below if you have any tips or life hacks that help you to stay hydrated.