The summer heat makes us sweat. When we sweat, we lose moisture (as well as nutrients, like potassium and sodium). When this happens, we are prone to symptoms of dehydration. The symptoms can be as obvious as feeling thirsty or, in some cases, more ambiguous. You can experience anything from hunger to a dull headache to lethargy. It generally becomes clear around midday if your internal ocean is drying up.
In other words, it’s really important to monitor your water intake, especially in summer, to keep your body quenched and cooled. The minute you start to feel thirsty (or any symptom), you’re already dehydrated. So the key is to continually replenish your body with enough water, as well as electrolyte-rich fruits and veggies, to keep dehydration at bay. And to avoid drinks and foods that actually count against your daily intake, such as caffeinated beverages, processed snacks and sugar.
The first thing I do when I wake up is pour myself a glass of water and start drinking it as I get ready for work. Or I take a water bottle with me as I walk the dog, so I know by the time I get home I have had 3 glasses of water.
How much water should you drink? The general rule is half of your body weight in ounces. So if you weigh 150 pounds, you should aim for 75 ounces or about 9 cups. Some other factors to consider are activity levels, climate and location. Those who exercise daily or live in dry, hot areas may need more. If you find that you’re drinking plenty but are still thirsty, add a pinch of good-quality sea salt to your water.
In addition to drinking H2O throughout the day, you can also add in foods that hydrate. These are beneficial because they contain fiber to help you feel full AND have a high-water content and natural electrolytes. These foods help our bodies use the water, instead of keeping you in the bathroom all day!
5 Hydrating Foods You Should Eat All Summer
- Watermelon: It’s all in the name! This juicy summer fruit is dripping with water—about 92%, in fact. Plus, it’s an excellent source of lycopene, a phytonutrient, and vitamin C. Above all, it’s a favorite for pool parties!
- Cucumber: A spa-worthy vegetable that’s fun to eat on its own or mixed in salads, grain dishes and smoothies. Cucumbers are known for their healing, detoxifying and cooling affects. Enjoy them raw—and save a few slices for soothing your tired eyes. If you dont like the taste of your water, adding a few slices of cucumber is a nice way to naturally add flavor.
- Celery: Packed with water and fiber, this vegetable also contains sodium, which can be lost through sweat. Snack on a few raw sticks or try it topped with almond butter and raisins. The added protein makes this a smart choice pre- or post-workout.
- Bell Peppers: According to Joe Cross (of Reboot with Joe), red, yellow and orange peppers—as well as other fruits and vegetables in this color wheel—contain potassium, an important electrolyte for keeping muscle cramps away. Enjoy this crispy, versatile veggie raw, sautéed or stuffed.
- Leafy Greens: Full of chlorophyll and rich in magnesium, calcium and antioxidants, be sure to have a serving of greens with every meal. Spinach salads, green juices, and raw broccoli florets are satisfying, healthy and hydrating.
A great way to get a bunch of these foods into your diet is to make a smoothie…..
What’s your favorite way to hydrate? Let us know in the comments below. Or, snap a summer pic with your water bottle and tag us on social media (we’d love to see you!).