The temperature is rising and more people are heading outdoors and spending more time in the heat. While soaking up some Vitamin D from the sunshine is good for us, losing all that water through perspiration is not.
Water is essential for many body systems to work efficiently. It helps regulate body temperature, protect organs and tissue, flush out waste products and dissolve nutrients to make them accessible to the body, among other things.
Getting adequate water in your diet can also help burn calories! Drinking eight cups of water per day burns approximately 100 calories.
What are some signs that I’m not getting enough water?
- excessive thirst
- flushed skin
- dry mouth
- dark urine or little or no urine
How much water do I need?
Water is lost on a daily basis through normal body functions: breathing, perspiring, urinating and having bowel movements. Luckily your diet, including the beverages you drink, can make up a large portion of your daily fluid needs.
In an average diet, about 20 percent of total water intake comes from food; the remaining 80 percent comes from all kinds of beverages we drink. Since water needs are going to vary depending on how active you are, the climate or environment in which you live, your health status and your age, a good rule of thumb is to try to have approximately eight cups of water per day.
Other tips for staying safely hydrated this summer:
- carry a reusable water bottle. You’ll be more likely to sip on it throughout the day, and it’s easily refillable.
- eat fruit or popsicles. Fruit and frozen treats have high water content
- give your water a “twist." Add lemon, limes, cucumber or strawberries to add flavor.
- sip throughout the day. Taking small amounts of water frequently throughout the day will add up.
- plan ahead. If you know you’re going to be outside for a while, pack plenty of fluids.
Remember: dehydration can occur at any time, at any kind of temperature. You don’t have to feel hot. For instance, a swimmer can easily get dehydrated, as swimming, like any physical activity, raises your body temperature and you sweat to avoid overheating. Remember to drink plenty of fluids if you plan to hit that pool this summer!
Katie Croghan, RD, LD is a registered dietician at in Clayton. She shared this information.