Tips for Staying Hydrated in the Driest and Hottest Months
Although we have enjoyed very mild and refreshing May weather this year, there’s no doubt that the heat will soon be upon us. While those of us who have lived here a while may say we’re acclimated to the hot weather, it’s still very important to stay hydrated throughout the summer season. Here are some tips on how you can make sure you’re taking in plenty of water.
- Carry water everywhere. Keep a large water bottle handy to encourage you to drink water wherever and whenever.
- Eat hydrating foods. Fruits and vegetables are great sources of water and vitamins that keep you hydrated and give your body other necessary nutrients.
- Replenish, replenish. After each trip to the restroom, drink a glass of water to replenish your fluids.
- Use modern technology to help. Set reminders on your phone, watch, or e-mail to drink water every hour.
- Spruce it up. Add a slice of lemon, lime, and/or mint to your water to give it some flavor without adding any extra calories.
- Check your hydration level throughout the day. To measure your hydration status, check the color of your urine. If you’re hydrated, it will be a very pale yellow or almost clear. If your urine is much darker, like the color of tea or apple juice, then your body is dehydrated.
Unfortunately, you can be chronically dehydrated and not even realize it. You may not recognize when your body needs water if you’ve ignored the signals for so long. Constant snacking, especially sugary stuff, can be a hidden sign of dehydration.
Our bodies are about 75% water. When we’re sweating in extreme heat or after exercise, we can lose about 1% of that water. This is when extreme thirst sets in. If we lose 2%, then major organ function is impaired, and heat stroke starts to set in. Also, when water is not replaced, blood begins to thicken, forcing the heart to work harder and increasing the risk of heart failure. For these reasons, staying hydrated is essential for survival in the desert summer. Protect yourself and your family this summer and get in the habit of drinking LOTS of water. Your body and mind will thank you.