Try these five smart habits for consuming enough fluids when it’s hot outside.
Drinking plenty of water is one of the pillars of good health. It’s been shown to give you more energy, boost brain function, prevent headaches, assist weight loss, and more. While the amount of water to drink each day depends on different factors, staying hydrated is especially important during the summer months when the weather is hot. Let’s look at how to stay hydrated with these five smart habits:
- Carry a reusable bottle
- Eat your way to hydration
- Drink even if you’re not thirsty
- Avoid diuretics
- Plan for your workouts
Read below to learn more about how to stay hydrated in the summer – and any season.
Carry a reusable bottle
When you’re out and about, make sure you always have water on hand to help you stay hydrated. Many reusable bottles are designed to insulate its contents, so your water stays cold and refreshing all day long. While carrying a water bottle is beneficial any time of year, summertime is an especially important time to follow this tip to help replace fluids lost through sweat. Consider putting your bottle in a visible spot by the door to remind yourself to fill it up and take it along when you’re leaving the house each day.
Eat your way to hydration
Is there a more delicious way to increase your fluid intake than munching on a slice of watermelon? There are also plenty of other hydrating foods that may not have “water” in the name, but are equally thirst-quenching. Perhaps a handful of cucumbers, strawberries, oranges, lettuce, tomatoes, or peppers are more your style. Whatever water-rich foods you choose, stocking up on them in the summer can go a long way in meeting your daily fluid intake.
Drink even if you’re not thirsty
The next tip on our list of how to stay hydrated may surprise you. While most people rely on thirst as their signal to drink, the American Heart Association explains that this sensation could mean could mean you’re already dehydrated. To avoid dehydration symptoms particularly in the summer, try to make sipping fluids a regular habit whether you’re thirsty or not. You can use various daily activities to remind yourself—for instance, drink before every meal, every time you go outside, or during each break at work.
It pays to be discerning about the types of fluids you consume to get the most benefit. In general, avoid beverages that have caffeine in them, as caffeine is a known diuretic. To help stay hydrated in the summer, limit coffee, energy drinks, alcohol, and soda to help your body hang on to the water you’re consuming. Stick to plain, clean water as much as possible to get the most hydrating effects from your drinks. If you’re taking any medications, ask your doctor whether they’re diuretics and if you should be drinking extra fluids.
Plan for your workouts
To make the most of your workout, it helps to give yourself a hydration schedule. Making sure you’re drinking enough fluids can help you perform better (and feel better!). Ideal amounts of water to drink are 15-20 oz. one to two hours before your workout, another 8-10 oz. 15 minutes before exercise, and 8 oz. every 15 minutes while you’re on the move. If it’s hot and you’re sweating more than usual, you may need more—go by how you feel.
For more on the importance of staying hydrated, check out our previous blog article on this topic.
Now that you know how to stay hydrated and reap the health benefits of drinking enough fluids, check out our other tips for summer safety and browse additional health and wellness articles on our blog.