With the temperatures rising, it is important to stay well hydrated. Although water is the best option, sports drinks, juice and other beverages will help to keep you hydrated too. Coffee, tea and caffeinated sodas are diuretics, so although they can help with hydration in the short term, they also cause the body to lose water. In addition to the water we drink, about 20% of our fluid intake comes from the foods we eat. Fruits and vegetables are a great way to help with hydration. The following fruits and vegetables contain at least 80% water: lettuce, watermelon, broccoli, grapefruit, apples, oranges, cucumbers and strawberries. Snack on these alone or add them to salads and smoothies to help increase your water intake.
The amount of water a person needs varies based on the climate/temperature they are in, the amount of exercise they are doing, the amount that they sweat, and any health conditions they may have. Always drink before, during and after exercise to help avoid dehydration. Be aware of the signs and symptoms of dehydration.
These include increased thirst, dry mouth, fatigue, decreased urine output, headache, dizziness, lightheadedness and rapid heart rate. Pale and clear urine is a sign that you are well hydrated.
In addition to hydration, water has many beneficial properties. Some beneficial properties of drinking water include weight loss, healthy skin, easing of joint pain, energized muscles, relief of constipation, proper kidney function, and removal of waste from the body.
Tips to help you beat the heat with hydration
Sip water throughout the day.
Do not wait until you feel thirsty or dehydrated to start drinking.
Try to always keep a water bottle with you. For example, keep a bottle of water on your desk at work, keep a bottle with you in your car, or carry a bottle with you when doing errands or at the beach or pool.
Have a refillable water bottle that you can fill throughout the day.
If you exercise, drink water before, during and after your workout.
Add fruit to your water to change its flavor. If you dislike water, adding different types of fruit can make the taste more exciting. Get creative and try combinations of berries, melon or lemon wedges.
When exercising at high intensities for more than an hour, sports drinks are helpful for rehydration to replace electrolytes lost through sweat.
Always have water with your meals and your snacks.
Linzy Ziegelbaum, MS, RD, CDN is a registered dietitian and owner of the private practice LNZnutrition LLC. She provides nutrition counseling and education to clients of all ages with many nutrition needs. Linzy enjoys sharing her love and nutrition expertise with others through counseling, her LNZnutrition blog and social media pages, including Facebook and Instagram.
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