Your Summertime Hydration Station
Helping to regulate body temperatures, lubricating our joints, aiding in achieving a healthy weight, keeping the digestive process on track and promoting healthy skin, water is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle – especially in these summer months. But many aren’t sure how much to drink, or what beverages even count toward your water intake. To reap all the benefits of adequate hydration, be sure to check out the following tips to help you step up your water game:
- How much water should you drink
Everyone has probably heard the guideline of drinking 8 cups of water a day. However, there is little science behind that number. Instead, to estimate your water need, take your weight in pounds and divide it by half. The resulting number is how many ounces you should aim for in a day.
Keep in mind that this number will be affected by age, chronic diseases and activity levels, so be sure to talk with your registered dietitian/nutritionist to more accurately determine the amount of water you should be setting as your goal.
- Check in on your water intake
The beautiful thing about water, aside from all the amazing health benefits, of course, is how easy it can be to check your hydration! Simply by looking at your urine, you’ll have a window into your hydration status. If you notice a dark yellow color, this means you are dehydrated and need to consume more water. On the other hand, if your urine is completely clear you might be drinking too much. What you should aim for is a pale-yellow color. Then you’ll know you’re right on track with your water intake!
Also, check in with yourself to see if you’re experiencing the early signs of dehydration. Feeling thirsty or tired, experiencing a headache, suffering from constipation or dealing with lightheadedness could all be signs that you need to up your water intake as soon as possible.
- Make your hydration a habit
When you first start being more mindful about your hydration, it can seem like a chore. Between needing to remember your water bottle everywhere you go and not getting bored with focusing on water as your main beverage, building this new habit can take some time.
Whether it’s setting an alarm on your phone to remind you to take a sip, leaving a sticky note on your computer or drinking a certain amount before you leave the office, adopting these tips will keep your water intake on the brain. As with any new routine, start small and work your way toward your goal. Before you know it, getting enough water everyday will become second nature.
- Getting your water other ways
Here’s a fun fact: you don’t have to stick to plain water to meet your needs. Instead, add fruits and herbs to your pitcher so you don’t get bored of the same flavors. Decaffeinated teas can also add to your beverage intake and are another great way to change things up.
Enjoying produce such as cucumber, watermelon, celery and tomatoes (which are all more than 90 percent water) is another great way to up your hydration. And for those that exercise, it’s important to mention that when you sweat we aren’t just losing water, we’re also losing electrolytes like sodium and potassium. We can replace these electrolytes by enjoying liquids such as soups, vegetable juice, and fruit juices like orange juice. Just be mindful of how much juice you’re drinking, as these are full of sugar and should only be a treat. You can also dilute your juices, using equal parts water to get the electrolytes you need, without all of the sugar.
How do you track your water intake and what’s your #1 way of staying on top of your hydration status? Share with us in the comments below!