Avoiding dehydration just became a lot harder as temperatures break records all over the world. It will take a little more effort than usual. Luckily, besides drinking the recommended daily amount of water, you can take a few more simple steps to protect yourself in the scorching hot summer.
Maintaining healthy hydration levels might not be as easy as you think. This is especially true when you’re active and enjoy various outdoor summer activities. Other factors like the climate you live in and your diet can also have a significant effect. Plus, illnesses that cause vomiting or diarrhea make it much more difficult to keep moisture levels up.
One of the most important things to do is be aware. The more you pay attention to your body, the better prepared you’ll be. If you start noticing symptoms like dizziness, headache, or fatigue, consider how much water you’ve been drinking and how long you’ve been out in the heat. It might be time to fill up or head indoors for a while or both.
You can set yourself up for hydrating successfully if you follow this list of suggestions. These tips will make it much easier to avoid the dangers of dehydration. Use these eleven ideas and enjoy the long hot days of summer without the worry.
Eat more fruits and veggies
A diet rich in plant-based foods is excellent for helping you hydrate. Make summertime salads a part of your regular diet to maximize your water intake from foods. Foods that contain 80% or more water include watermelon, celery, lettuce, squash, grapes, broccoli, strawberries, cantaloupe, apples, pineapples, and spinach. Combine a few of these, toss them together, and voila! It’s a tasty and thirst-quenching meal you’ll love.
Stay out of the sun when possible
Though this might sound obvious, it’s still essential. You can always choose to stay indoors to avoid the heat. But getting outside for fun activities with family and friends, events, or exercise is what summer is all about. Seeking shade when you’re outdoors is a great way to limit your exposure to the scorching hot sun. And always avoid sunburn, which can zap your body of energy and moisture. Your clothing matters too. Hats and sunglasses make perfect sun blockers. Wearing sun-protective clothing will help too.
In addition to sipping water regularly, drinks with electrolytes are crucial, especially during and after excessive sweating. Electrolytes our bodies need to function include sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Your sports drink should provide these. But it should also not be loaded with sugars or artificial ingredients. Always check the label!
Among other negatives, alcohol is a diuretic, causing your body to lose water through your bloodstream. Drinking on an empty stomach will compound the effects of alcohol. So, it might not be wise to reach for that margarita or icy cold beer while hanging poolside between meals at the resort. Everyone metabolizes alcohol differently. Paying attention to how you feel when you drink alcohol will allow you to decide whether to adjust or stop altogether.
Reduce caffeine intake
Caffeinated drinks can also have a diuretic effect like alcohol. Not everyone agrees, however. Some believe that coffee drinks can even add to hydration levels. But if you notice that you urinate more often after drinking caffeinated beverages, they’re probably depleting more water than they’re adding. Don’t worry, you don’t have to give up your coffee altogether, but you might need to drink more water during the day to compensate.
Consume less sugary drinks
Sugary beverages aren’t helpful for hydrating either. Sugar may have a similar effect as diuretics by affecting blood sugar levels and causing water to leave your cells. The best thing to do is to make water your primary drink of choice to avoid the chance of dehydrating. You can add a slice of lemon, cucumber, or a sprig of mint to jazz up your boring H2O.
Exercise in the early morning
If you love doing your exercise outdoors, the earlier you get out, the better. Running, hiking, and biking in the early morning hours when it’s cooler out is significantly better than waiting until midday or later when it comes to hydration.
Watch for signs of dehydration
As mentioned above, paying attention to your physical state is probably the most effective way to prevent serious problems with dehydration. Signs like fatigue, dizziness, headache, and extreme thirst clearly indicate that your water levels are out of balance. So heed the warnings and start taking action as soon as possible.
Eat salty foods after sweating
While too much salt is associated with heart problems, sodium is an electrolyte our bodies need. Choosing salty foods after we exercise or exert ourselves in the heat is helpful to replenish the salt we lose through our sweat. In moderation, salty foods are okay, but be cautious if you have any sodium-related medical issues.
Your urine will tell you a lot about your hydration level, so it’s crucial to monitor it. Indications you might be under-hydrated include dark-colored urine, not urinating often enough, or a strong smell in your urine. Just keep an eye on it, so you know if something isn’t right.
This one’s a common theme in all of the above hydration tips. It’s easier to prevent dehydration from happening in the first place than to try to rehydrate once you’re depleted. Following these suggestions, you won’t need to sideline yourself from the summer fun to nurse yourself back to healthy hydration levels.
The record-breaking heat most of us are experiencing makes dehydration a real threat for many people. Staying ahead of it is more important than ever. These eleven tips will help keep you well and allow you to get out there and still have fun!