How to Stay Hydrated in Summer Heat

July 23, 2013

How and why should we focus on staying hydrated in the summer? SupermarketGuru tells you why here.

Most adults lose about 10 cups of water every day through normal body functions including perspiration and breathing; and in the heat of summer we can lose even more! To keep your body functioning in tiptop shape, you need to replace the water you lose. Here are some tips to stay healthy, hydrated and satisfied.

How much and what should you drink? Adults need around 8 - 12 cups of water per day depending on activity level and body composition. This can come from water itself or from other, as well as foods.

How can you avoid becoming dehydrated? Dehydration can happen in any season, not just summer and not just on hot humid days. In the winter, heated air evaporates moisture on your skin, and although you may not feel thirsty, you need to replace fluids. If you are going to be physically active (no matter the season), drink fluids on a schedule before, during and after the activity. Weigh yourself before and after a big workout. For every pound you lose after the activity, drink 2 cups of fluid.

Experts suggest:
2 cups - 2 hours before you exercise
1-2 cups – 15 minutes before you exercise
1/2 to 1 cup - every 15 minutes during activity

Of course these will be slightly different for everyone. It’s finding what’s right for you!

Stay hydrated with …
Soda is not a good choice for hydration! Luckily the supermarket has hundreds of delicious, refreshing alternatives to the nutrient-poor soda. Here are a few to consider:

Vegetable juice is a great way to ensure you get your daily serving of vegetables, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Most vegetable juices are concentrated forms that equal at least two servings. Green drinks with concentrated forms of greens are fantastic and combination drinks come in regular or spicy for a real change to the palate. You can make your own vegetable juices with a blender or a juicer; all of which can be diluted with spring water. Suggested serving is four to six ounces, especially of sweet juices like carrot. Always be sure to check labels for sodium content, as prepackaged vegetable juices often have added sodium, which in high amounts in not hydrating!

Fruit juice is an ideal drink for all ages, fresh squeezed being the best! When melons are inexpensive make them into juices; plain watermelon juice, cantaloupe or honeydew melon blended with crushed ice; experiment with any of the great melons on the market. No need for added anything. When drinking juices at home, consider a fruit spritzer with one-third juice and one-third sparkling water for a sparkling and cooling drink. You can also dilute fruit juice with water that not only stretches the juice, it also stretches the concentration of natural sugars and calories. Suggested serving is six to eight ounces a day.
Do note that a lot of fruit juice manufacturers add extra sugar and other additives to both bottled and canned products that are unnecessary and provide more calories. Once you try fresh squeezed or blended juices, you'll understand why fruit juices are terrific on their own.

Spring water is your best choice for your daily drink, especially if your city's municipal water resource is too hard or soft for your taste. Spring waters contain natural minerals. Perk up plain waters with fresh-cut citrus or other fruit. While the ubiquitous recommendation of 64 ounces of water per day keeps popping up, it is not necessary if you eat a well-rounded diet of grains, fruits and vegetables (which contain a lot of water), and get enough daily exercise so that your digestion is regular. If it is not, try for 16 ounces, then work up to 32 ounces or more of plain water until you feel you are comfortably hydrated and your body is in "good working order".

Food as a source of liquids: although you can't really measure the amount of water in the solid foods you consume, there are many foods you can find in your grocery store that are naturally good sources containing at least 90 percent water such as: lettuce, watermelon, broccoli and grapefruit. Milk, low-fat cottage cheese, apples, and baked potatoes with skin as well as chicken and beef are also surprisingly good sources.