The Importance of Staying Hydrated in the Summer

 

Many of us have been or will be going on vacation with our families, exploring the great outdoors or just lounging around by the pool. Whether you’re running to catch a Frisbee, a last-minute flight, or after your kids, we all have to remember to do one thing: hydrate.

With all these great summer plans going on, it’s easy to forget to replenish our bodies — but given the hot temperatures, it’s crucial to do so to avoid dehydration or a heat stroke. Because your body is made up of up to 60 per cent water, we have to keep a balanced level in order for our systems to function properly. Symptoms of dehydration can range from mild, like dry mouth, to becoming physically ill, which is more likely to occur when you’re being physically active outside.

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So how much water should you drink?

We often hear eight to 10 cups a day, but the truth is that it depends on certain factors, such as your sex, the environment you’re in, the type of exercise you typically do, whether you’re pregnant, and your overall health. Drinking eight to 10 cups of water a day is a good rule of thumb, but the best way to know is to follow your gut feeling. If you find that you feel thirsty often throughout the day, it means you might be dehydrated. Monitor how much water you drink and make sure it’s enough so that you rarely feel thirsty on a regular basis. (Another way to check is by the colour of your urine: an indicator of good hydration is clear or light-yellow urine.)

Bored of plain ol' water?

There are some people who simply don’t like the taste of drinking plain tap water. Fortunately, there are different ways you can experiment with your water to achieve the perfect taste.

Try infusing your water with organic fruits. Common options are lemons and limes, which have the added benefits of helping to improve your immune system as well as maintaining your body’s pH levels. You can also try berries, oranges, or cucumbers mixed with herbs like sage and mint! Infusing your water with natural fruits and vegetables is a great way to add flavour and a nutritional kick to your hydration without artificial ingredients.

Another option is to try the many different types of waters available at your natural health retailer. Popular choices include coconut, maple, aloe and cactus waters. They’re all delicious alternatives that the entire family will enjoy. Click here to find your local CHFA Member health food store, where you can find all of these options and more.

Lastly, just because you stay hydrated in the heat doesn’t mean you’re safe from the sun’s harsh rays. Follow our guide to using a natural sunscreen to make sure you’re protected as you enjoy the rest of your summer vacation.

 
Emily Arsenault