Don’t Sweat It! Tips for Staying Hydrated this Summer

By: Chiro One Wellness Centers

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - HealthIt’s official. Summer is in full swing, and it’s hot out there. Those of you who are courageous enough to brave the heat to enjoy summer fun are probably already well aware of the effects that the blistering sun can have on us. Not only is there potential for sunburn and heat exhaustion, but we are constantly sweating in order to help steady our body temperature. All that sweat means water is being leeched from our bodies, so it’s important for us to replenish those water stores as quickly as possible to avoid getting dehydrated.
General guidelines for staying hydrated:

  • If you are planning a strenuous physical activity, drink approximately 2 to 3 cups of cold water 2 hours before activity. Drink 1 cup approximately 10-15 minutes before the activity or during your warm-up. During the activity, drink 3 to 4 cups of water every hour of activity, or 1 cup every 15 to 20 minutes. After the activity, you should rapidly replace the fluids that you lost within 2 hours. You should drink approximately 16-24 ounces of water for every pound lost during the activity.
  • Fluids with salt (e.g., sodium, potassium) are beneficial because they increase thirst. The salt also helps replace what’s lost through sweat. If you choose a sports drink, it should contain no more than seven percent of carbohydrates per serving.
  • Avoid fruit juices, carbohydrate gels, alcohol, sodas and high-sugar sports drinks. These may dehydrate the body further by stimulating excessive urine production and/or decreasing your overall beneficial fluid intake.

Seven Tips for Staying Hydrated

  • 1. Eat your water. Enjoying water-filled foods like watermelon is an easy and refreshing way to keep hydrated.
  • 2. Swap soda for sparkling water. If you’re trying to kick a soda habit, sparkling water is a healthy, but still fizzy, alternative.
  • 3. Stay hydrated at work. Even when working indoors, it’s important to keep fluids handy.
  • 4. Drink water before meals. By drinking water before meals, not only will you stay hydrated but you’re less likely to overeat.
  • 5. Have water handy. When you’re spending the day camping or biking, it’s important to bring enough water to last the trip.
  • 6. Spice it up with healthy flavoring. If you’re having a hard time getting enough water, spice it up with some natural flavoring.
  • 7. Keep a reusable bottle with you. Having a water bottle with you at all times is the easiest way to stay hydrated without having to think about it.

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