Summer months are filled with outdoor activities that keep us active. While drinks containing electrolytes, like Gatorade are helpful, the recommendation is to stick with water for hydrating throughout the day. The key to staying hydrated is not only paying attention to the signs of dehydration but also understanding how much water we need. According to kidney specialist doctors at Harvard Medical School, a healthy person needs 30 – 50 fluid ounces per day. That is the equivalent to 6.5 cups.
Tips on How to Stay Hydrated
- Drink plenty of water – Add lemon, cucumber, mint, or basil for flavor.
- Know the signs of dehydration:
- Yellow urine – urine will be darker in color when dehydrated.
- Headache/muscle cramps.
- Less urination.
- Avoid alcohol, sugary drinks, and/or caffeine
- Know your medications – pay attention to labels and warnings, some medications are diuretics most people take for high blood pressure and heart conditions and they remove fluid from the body.
- Eat foods with high water content – load up on watermelons, cucumbers, peaches, and grapes.
- Replenish when you sweat – instead of Gatorade, try coconut water, which contains less sugar than Gatorade.
Think of hydration as a lifestyle change. Take a full water bottle with you everywhere: to work, to school, in the car, and on walks. Drink water with every meal. Start and end your day with a glass of water. If you commit to these slight changes, you can quickly increase your water intake and stave off the effects of dehydration.