By: Staci O’Connor
Tips to Staying Better Hydrated
As the temperature rises with the summer months, drinking enough is important whether you are playing a sport or going for a hike with your family, traveling for work or pleasure, or just sitting outside enjoying the warm sun (it certainly feels good after the winter some of us had). Water is critical to your health and it makes up 60 percent of your body weight. When you think about it, every system in your body depends on it! The lack of water can lead to dehydration, which can lead to headaches, and even life-threatening illnesses such as heat stroke.
What are my total fluid (water) needs?
You can either use the “8´8 rule” which is to drink eight 8-oz glasses of water per day (about 1.9 L). You also could state the rule as “drink eight 8-oz glasses of fluids a day,” because all fluids count toward the daily total. (Though this approach is not supported by scientific evidence, many people use this basic rule as a guideline for how much water and other fluids to drink.) Or you can use what the Institute of Medicine recommends which is: men consume 3 L (about 13 C) of total beverages per day and women consume 2.2 L (about 9 C) of total beverages per day.
Be sure to modify your total fluid intake from these recommended amounts depending on how active you are, what the climate is, your health status, and if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Try to make a conscious effort to stay well hydrated this summer and try to make water your beverage of choice! Try linking water with each meal and snack and even try to take a water break instead of a coffee break!
How can I naturally flavor my water?
1. Add citrus fruit: lemons, lime, oranges and even grapefruit.
2. Add ginger: Steep slices of ginger in hot water and then pour over ice.
3. Add cucumber slices and lemon: Just cut up and add to water.
4. Add some mint: Break apart the leaves and add to water.
5. Add a splash or two of unsweetened 100% fruit juice.
6. Try adding any fruit that you like for a different flavor each day of the week: strawberries, pineapple, peaches, apples, etc.
7. Let a sprig of lemongrass steep in a glass of water for a few hours.
8. Mix items up, for example: add ginger and lemon one day, add cucumber and lemon slices another day, or even try strawberries and mint for something completely different.