The Truth About Hydration
Summer is just around the corner, and as you start to plan all your fun activities and adventures, remember to include the most important ingredient for success: water!
And no, we don’t mean the ocean or that beautiful waterfall on your favorite hike. We mean drinking water! People tend to become dehydrated more often during the summer months, as they are outside in the warm weather and tend to perspire more while forgetting to drink water.
Why is it important to stay hydrated?
Water is critical to human survival, and when our bodies are deprived of it even a little bit, we see immediate effects. Losing as little as 1-2% of your body water can impair cognitive performance.
If your body is dehydrated, your heart and muscles have to work harder, which may be problematic for the elderly or for people with heart conditions. As you get older, your body doesn’t sense thirst as readily either, which is why the elderly should be especially attentive to their water intake.
How do I know if I’m dehydrated?
If you’re thirsty, you’re actually already dehydrated. Thirst, however, is more of an immediate response to dehydration. Some effects of long term dehydration include:
Lack of energy
Lack of cleansing/detoxification within the body
Weakened immune system (getting colds & flus easily)
Feeling lethargic or experiencing brain fog
One of the best ways to check if you’re dehydrated throughout the day is to observe the color of your urine. If it is clear or light colored, you’ve been drinking enough water. If your urine is dark colored, you better be walking straight from the bathroom to the kitchen for a glass of water!
What is the best way to stay hydrated?
First and foremost, drink water regularly. A few more tips include:
Eating lots of fruits & vegetables: Not only do fruits and vegetables contain water, but they can also repair electrolyte imbalance, which helps your body stay hydrated. A perfect summer fruit choice is watermelon.
Avoiding caffeinated drinks: Though coffee and tea provide water, caffeine is considered a diuretic and simultaneously causes increased urination, which can lead to dehydration.
Exercising: Though this may seem counterintuitive, exercise increases circulation throughout the body, which improves electrolyte levels. When exercising make sure to drink extra water to supplement the amount you’re losing through perspiration.
How much water should I drink per day?
3 Liters (or 13 cups)
minimum drinking water, for men
2.2. Liters (or 9 cups)
minimum drinking water, for women
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) suggests 3.7 liters and 2.7 liters are the minimum intake for food and beverages combined for men and women, respectively. The actual amount of water you should drink per day depends on your activities and the weather. Another approach that's recommended is that you drink 25-50% of your body weight in ounces of water daily. If you’re active, pregnant or breastfeeding, or if it is very warm outside, you’ll want to drink more than usual.
As you’re consuming extra water this summer to stay hydrated, it is important to ensure that your tap water is great quality. We at Simplewater have developed various water testing kits to make sure you understand your water quality and its impact on your health. Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.