Though often disregarded, keeping your body adequately hydrated is a crucial part of your overall health.
During the summer months, you are often outside and engaging in physical activity and more prone to dehydration. Dehydration can cause fatigue, irritable mood, and dry skin. In serious cases, it is correlated with high blood pressure and digestive issues. These issues are quickly fixed with sufficient consumption of fluids.
However, as many of us know not all fluids are healthy. The 2015-2020-Dietary Guidelines recommend predominantly consuming calorie-free and nutrient-rich beverages. Most fruit juices, soft drinks, or coffee and teas that have added cream or sugar contribute to excess calories and should be consumed rarely. It is recommended to have eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid a day and stick with mostly water. An easy rule of thumb is that the average plastic water bottle has ~16 ounces, so aim to drink four water bottles worth per day!
Here are some tips on how to stay hydrated in the summer:
Always carry a water bottle with you.
Bonus if it is a reusable water bottle! We are big fans of Life Factory, which is a BPA-free, glass water bottle available at most health food stores or online. I also like to use cold tumblers with a lid and a straw, such as these from Starbucks. Having a source of water in your sight this summer will prompt you to take a sip more often.
Add fruits to your water.
The options are endless, and it makes your drink look more exciting! Here are a couple of my favorites:
- Lemon + cucumber + mint
- Orange + blueberry
- Strawberry + lime + cucumber
Choose unsweetened flavored waters and seltzers over soft drinks.
For flavored water, I like Hint Water which comes in a variety of flavors, has zero calories and has no sugar or diet sweeteners. For seltzer, I like Trader Joe’s Sparkling Spring Water, because it is inexpensive, comes in a 34-ounce bottle, and does not contain any sweeteners or artificial sweeteners.
- When in doubt, drink water throughout the day and add fruit for variety.
- Try to avoid beverages that are not calorie-free and save them for special occasions.
- Carry a water bottle with you; it will prompt you to take a sip!