TIPS TO KEEP YOU HYDRATED THIS SUMMER
Summer is here! While you get ready to reap the best of the season through outdoor sports, family vacations, pool parties and celebrating festivals, remember that there’s one common factor to them all – long days in the sun. Enjoy as much as you like, but don’t be oblivious to the fact that it’s really easy to be hit by dehydration, electrolyte imbalances or even heat stroke in summer.
Water constitutes more than half your body weight. Staying hydrated is crucial for your body to function normally, including maintaining temperature, removing wastes and lubricating your joints. Dehydration, therefore, has much larger implications than just a dry mouth. Come summer, and your body must fight doubly hard to maintain its water content. Here’s how you can make it easier for your system to do so.
The first step to combating dehydration is to recognize the signs of dehydration. Some perceivable parameters are:
- Little / no / discoloured urine
- Dryness of the mouth
- Extreme thirst
- Unusual sleepiness or fatigue
- Headache / dizziness
- Dry eyes / no tears when crying
The next thing is to understand how prone you are to dehydration. Those who exercise at a high intensity or for too long, those who have medical conditions like kidney stones or bladder infection or those who are ill with a fever, vomiting or diarrhoea are more prone to dehydration than others. Age is another factor at play and older adults are at a higher risk.
The most important part is to take a positive stride every few hours to ward off dehydration that is lurking around you in the summer! Here are our expert hydration-boosting tips that will help you stay nourished and supple:
1. Drink, Drink and Drink Away!
Have you been told that you must drink a minimum of 2 litres of water every day? This is a reasonable goal, to begin with. However, different people need different amounts of water to keep themselves hydrated – for some, just about 8 glasses of fluids may be enough, others may need more.
Feeling thirsty? Try not to brush it off! Most healthy people can stay hydrated by refilling themselves with water and other fluids whenever they are thirsty. Infusing water with fresh fruit and vegetables like oranges and cucumbers can transform that ordinary bottle of water into a flavoursome experience. If you like a minty flavoured drink, throw in a few leaves of mint into the water bottle or try this Mint Green cold brew tea. This flavour boost is perhaps all it takes to get your hands to reach out to the bottle every now and then.
While water is the best drink for staying hydrated, fruit and vegetable juices, soups, milk as well as green tea augment your daily fluid intake. Caffeinated drinks also serve as hydrating fluids; however, they may cause some people to urinate more frequently and are best if limited. Unlike coffee, green tea, especially cold brew green tea is a great option to stay hydrated.
2. Consume Drinks That Bring in Nutrients
Over and above just water, you need electrolytes and carbohydrates, more so if you’re an avid ‘exerciser’. Electrolytes like sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium and chlorine are vital to healthy nerve and muscle function and all of these are lost by sweating. Sports drinks can be helpful to those involved in high-intensity activities as these contain the carbohydrates and electrolytes that contribute to increased energy whilst helping the body absorb water.
3. Choice of Food is Important Too
Your food intake is a major contributor to your overall hydration status. Local and in-season summer produce such as melons, tomatoes and strawberries are naturally rich in water, carbohydrates, minerals and electrolytes. Dish out juicy and crunchy hydrating snacks with these fruits and veggies that annul the increased risk of dehydration and heat stroke.
4. Check the Colour of Your Urine
Concerned about your water intake? The colour of your urine can serve as an indicator of your hydration status. If your urine is colourless or light lemonade colour, you are most likely well hydrated. Dark yellow or amber coloured urine suggests dehydration and you need to immediately take necessary rehydration steps.
5. Stay Hydrated During Travel
Summer almost always implies a vacation. Long stints at airports or on airplanes are common and can be very dehydrating. The pressurised air cabin with low-humidity conditions also contributes to dehydrating passengers. Pack a water bottle or a brew bottle of your favourite cold brew ice tea from TeaPotions and skip the vending machine soda or the soft drinks from the beverage cart that passes through the flight cabin.
If water gets boring, you can always pep it up by going for a fruit or vegetable infusion (a citrus variety is usually recommended), coconut water or a cold brew green tea. Remember that you can prevent dehydration by regularly drinking plenty of fluids and not waiting until you notice symptoms of dehydration. Always keep a bottle of water with you and take a few sips every now and then. Drink water when you are in a restaurant. Drink fluids before, during, and after a workout. If you are unable to remember to drink fluids, drink on a schedule. There are apps that help you keep track of your water intake too.
Enjoy the summer and keep your game up by being sufficiently hydrated!