With the weather being at its peak temperature for many of us, it is very important to keep up with your hydration and utilize hydration tips.
Hot and humid weather can cause many of us to sweat and lose electrolytes, which will lead to dehydration if not it is not replenished quickly enough.
Water is an essential nutrient and has many vital functions inside your body. Being dehydrated from water can lead to unwanted symptoms such as dizziness, brain fog, fatigue, and more.
If you want to be feeling and looking your best this summer, then I recommend prioritizing your hydration and getting enough water!
In today’s article, I will be going over the importance & functions of water, hydration recommendations, and my best hydration tips from a registered dietitian.
So let’s get into it!
Importance & Functions of Water
As I mentioned above, water is an essential nutrient that life cannot survive without. All of the cells, tissues, and organs inside your body need water to function.
In fact, over 60% of your body is made up of water!
This water can be found in your blood, hormones, enzymes, and spinal fluid.
The term “hydration” and being “hydrated” means that you’re providing your body with the adequate amount of water that it needs for basic functions.
A few of the functions of water inside your body are:
- Flushes out waste from the body
- Regulates body temperature
- Helps the brain function
- Carries nutrients throughout the body
- Maintains blood* volume and pressure
- Promotes skin integrity
- Promotes healthy bowel function
- Keeps muscles, bones, and joints in form
So now you may be asking, how much water do I need to stay hydrated and perform these basic functions properly?
How much water you will need to drink will be based on a few factors. This includes:
- Activity and exercise
- Environment – climate, temperature, and altitude
- Health and illness
- Special conditions like pregnancy and lactation
A general recommendation goes as follows:
- Men: 3.7 liters (15.6 cups) per day
- Women: 2.7 liters (11.4 cups) per day
- Pregnant women: 3 liters per day
- Lactation: 3.8 liters per day
If you’d like to go by your weight instead, the recommendation is 30-40 mL of water per kilogram of bodyweight. To get your weight in kilograms, simply divide your weight in pounds by 2.2.
For example, if you are 150 pounds:
150/2.2 = 68 kilograms. 68 x 30-40 mL = 2040-2700 mL per day of water
A quick way to check your hydration level is to take a look at the color of your urine. If you are consuming enough water it should be a pale yellow color.
On the flip side, you want to be careful to make sure you aren’t OVERhydrating because your body can’t store water. This is a more rare situation but can happen if people are partaking in “water cleanses” or things of that nature!
Hydration Tips to Try Today!
Now that you know the importance of water and adequate hydration, here are some of my best tips for staying hydrated.
- Drink water approximately every 20 minutes or so.
- Drink a glass of water with each meal and between meals.
- Drink when you are thirsty. Take water breaks instead of coffee breaks.
- Eat some of these hydrating foods with a high water content
- Cucumbers 97%
- Lettuce 96%
- Zucchini and Squash 95%
- Tomatoes 95%
- Spinach 91%
- Grapefruit 92%
- Watermelon 92%
- Strawberries 91%
- Cantaloupe 90%
- Peaches 89%
- Drink extra water if you are doing vigorous exercise (especially in the heat)
- If you do any activity that makes you sweat, you need to drink extra water to cover the fluid loss. It’s important to drink water before, during, and after a workout.
- Use sports drinks to replace the electrolytes that are lost through a lot of sweating if you are working out >1 hr
- Electrolyte/hydration tablets are also a good option! I like this one from LMNT
- Use reusable water bottles with no BPA*
- Stainless steel & glass are great options. I personally love my yeti!
- If you are going to be outside or at the beach all day, try swapping sparkling water for alcoholic beverages
- Alcohol dehydrates your body even faster
- Be careful with energy drinks & caffeinated beverages
- Primarily because of the potentially harmful effects of excessive caffeine in these drinks. And caffeine can cause dehydration!
- Make your water more exciting
- Infusion water – infused with fruit, honey, lemon, cucumber
- Seltzer (carbonated) water
- Lemon water
- Green tea
- Coconut water
- Herbal water – infused with mint, lavender, basil, ginger
- Ice water
Use these hydration tips mentioned above to make sure you are keeping up with your hydration this summer!
The best thing you can do is be prepared and if you know you are going to be outside in the heat or engaging in vigorous exercise, pack an electrolyte tablet & reusable water bottle with you.
Your body will thank you for keeping it hydrated and allowing it to function to the best of its ability!
If you are looking for additional support with your nutrition, reach out to me through my services page, and let’s get you started today.