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Tips for Staying Hydrated in the Summer

Published in For the Health of It, Healthy Eating Tips Author: Dona Anderson, Clinical Nutrition Services Manager, CentraCare St. Cloud – Hospital

Dehydration is a common problem for many people during the hot summer months. Many summer activities can dehydrate you more than you would think — going for walks, hiking, swimming in the pool or a lake, playing sports like baseball, softball or soccer. In order to stay hydrated, you need to know how much water you should consume every day.

Do the math

It is recommended that you drink about half of your body weight in ounces each day. For example, if you weigh 150 lbs., you should drink about 90 ounces of water each day. This can be found by multiplying 150 by 0.6 to equal 90. Increased hydration increases brain function and energy levels while it also prevents headaches. It is important to keep in mind when you are exercising, sweating or spending an increased amount of time out in the sun and heat, that your body needs more water than it is losing from sweat and urination.

Drink it in

Consuming half of your body weight in ounces may seem like a lot. If you make water easily accessible throughout your day and choose snacks and meals that are high in water content, it is very achievable. Fruits, vegetables, soups, beans and oatmeal are all water-rich foods and are easy snacks or sides to incorporate into your diet.

Another way to reach your goal is to add healthy flavor to your water. Try making infused water by soaking fruit, vegetables and/or herbs in a pitcher of water. A good tip is to lead with one dominant flavor and enhance it with herbs, lemon or lime. The blend takes about two to four hours to bind successfully. The infused water may be stored in the refrigerator for about three days.

Foods for hydration

  • Fruits such as watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, oranges, peaches and cucumbers
  • Vegetables such as celery, zucchini, bell peppers, broccoli, lettuce and eggplant

Flavored water ideas

  • Purchase fresh fruit, vegetables or herbs that are unfamiliar to you for a new experience and share recipes with friends.
  • Experiment with fun combinations such as fresh ginger and lemon, raspberry and mint, cantaloupe and blood orange and lemon, or watermelon and basil.
  • If you want convenience, try low sugar flavorings such as Crystal Light, True Citrus or MiO.

Remember to start your day with a glass of water, incorporate healthy flavored water and foods into your diet, and drink extra fluids while you are out enjoying your summer activities!