14 Aug How to Stay Hydrated This Summer
What happens when we don’t stay hydrated?
Our bodies lose water through sweating, bowel movements, breathing and urination. If these fluids are not replaced with the right amount of water, it could lead to dehydration. Dehydration is often characterized by the following:
- Feelings of fatigue
- Muscle cramps
- Dry mouth
- Dark colored urine
In extreme cases, you may experience vomiting, confusion, agitation, convulsions or unresponsiveness. If you experience any symptoms of extreme dehydration, go to an emergency room immediately to be treated!
How do you know if you are not drinking enough water?
One easy way to identify if you are not drinking enough water is to look at the color of your urine. If your urine is the color of apple juice or darker, you could be dehydrated. The color of your urine should be no darker than the color of lemonade.
Visit this site to see a color chart to help determine how hydrated you really are: http://www.urinecolors.com/themes/uctheme/assets/dehydration-chart.pdf
How much water is enough?
The Institute of Medicine recommends the following.
- For men: 13 cups (3 liters or about 100 ounces) per day
- For women: 9 cups (2.2 liters or around 75 ounces) per day for women
The recommended 8 glasses of water a day (64 ounces) is a generalized recommendation. The amount of water really needed during the day depends entirely on the individual. Several factors can impact how much water you need during the day. For example, activity level, how hot it is outside and illness’, such as diarrhea or vomiting, could call for you to drink more water in order to replenish your body. Also, if you a lot of caffeine, you may need to replenish your body with water often.
Try these beverages for easy and exciting ways to stay hydrated:
- Create flavored water using frozen or fresh fruit as “ice cubes” (try these recipes for creating yummy frozen watermelon ice cubes)
- Sparkling or flavored water
- Sugar-free and calorie-free flavor packets
- Coconut water
- Low-fat milk
Foods that keep you hydrated
Liquids are not the only source of fluid, fruits and vegetables also contain high amounts of water, some being made up of 90 percent water by weight.
- Cucumbers 96% water
- Zucchini 95% water
- Tomatoes 94% water
- Pineapple 87% water
- Watermelon 92% water – Check out these fun ideas for using watermelon to stay hydrated.
- Other fruits and vegetables that have high water content include: melons, oranges, cauliflower, spinach, berries, celery, iceberg lettuce, sweet peppers
- The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND): www.eatright.org; “Nutrition info about beverages”.http://www.eatright.org/resource/health/weight-loss/tips-for-weight-loss/rethink-your-drinks
- The Mayo Clinic: Nutrition and Healthy Eating. “Water: How much should you drink every day”.http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256
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