Did you know 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated? Dehydration can happen to anyone, but we have to especially pay attention to hydration during the hot temperatures of the summer. While dehydration is a frequent cause of hospitalization and complicates many other conditions, it is easily treatable and preventable. Below are some simple hydration tips to keep you energized and healthy all summer long!
Why are so many people dehydrated?
We always hear how important it is to drink water and stay hydrated, especially during the summer, but we often forget how sensitive our bodies are in needing a consistent supply of water and electrolytes. About 55 to 65% of the human body is water, and every function in our body requires it! From the transfer of nutrients into cells, to giving us energy, to digesting our food, hydration levels are crucial to our overall well-being and how we feel.
We lose water from our body through our skin, lungs, kidneys, and digestive system. When we sweat, breathe, and move, we lose water from our body. This dehydration can cause a variety of other problems, including fainting, dizziness, confusion, decreased mobility, and other more serious conditions.
How can I hydrate?
Often, we think hydrating adequately is really difficult, but it may be easier than you think! Instead of carrying a gallon of water around with you all day, consider these hydration tips to help you function and feel your best!
1. Set out a glass of water to drink first thing in the morning
When you wake up, your body has gone hours without any fluids being replenished. Starting the day with a glass of water will support your body’s functioning throughout the day and get you started on the right track to keep your water levels balanced.
2. Set a goal for yourself
If you’re someone who’s driven by goals or checklists, add drinking water to your list! This will help you stay motivated throughout the day and give you a target of how much you should be drinking. If you don’t know how many ounces are in your cup, set a goal for a certain amount of cups throughout the day.
3. Eat fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables have a high water content. During the summer, if you’re spending a lot of time outside, make sure to pack a snack full of fruits and vegetables to help you achieve your water consumption goals. Some good ideas are cucumbers, grapes, watermelon, and strawberries!
4. Find a sugar-free flavor
There are so many options of naturally enhanced flavored water or flavor additives. Having flavor in your water can make it more interesting if you seem to get bored throughout the day of drinking the same thing.
5. Add fruits and vegetables to your water
If you don’t like artificial flavors or want something lighter, add real fruits and vegetables to your water! We recommend combinations like cucumber and mint, lemon and lime, strawberry and orange, strawberry and basil, and so many more!
6. Utilize electrolytes
To help further support your body, make sure you add electrolytes to some of your water throughout the day. If you drink too much water, you’ll lose too much sodium with it, and that’s also harmful for your body. There are plenty of electrolyte options out there, but make sure they’re low in sugar. Options like Gatorade may have too much sugar or food coloring for it to be the best option for you. We recommend speaking with a healthcare provider to discuss your activity levels and diet to determine what might be the best electrolyte solution for you!
7. Get a fancy water bottle
While it may seem silly, sometimes having a water bottle or thermos that you love and bring with you everywhere can be a big help in motivating you to reach your water goals. A bottle that requires you to screw off a lid may just mean you don’t drink as much without really thinking about it. Find what type of cup works best for you and bring it with you everywhere!
To speak with a healthcare provider about the importance of hydration and what your lifestyle needs, schedule an appointment with an Avance Care provider.