Summer is filled with sun, fun and activity, but sometimes it can be too much of a good thing. Staying hydrated during the hot weather is important, not just for comfort but for your health. Here are a few key tips to help you stay ahead of the game this summer.
Get a Head Start
Start hydrating today if your plan for tomorrow includes a lot of physical activity – especially outdoors in the heat. It's just common sense when you stop to think about it: It's easier to maintain a good level of hydration if you're not trying to catch up right from the start. You don't have to go overboard, but make sure you're drinking regularly throughout the day.
Eat Your Water
There's a reason why crisp green salads, melon wedges and cucumbers are such summertime staples. Most fruits and vegetables are largely made up of water, which is precisely why they're so refreshing on a hot summer afternoon. Your body is good at recovering moisture from foods, but you can help it out by making a conscious decision to eat more things with high water content. Put down that burrito and reach for a slice of watermelon or a crunchy slaw instead. You'll be glad you did later.
Don't Drop the Coffee
If your day isn't complete without a caffeine fix, summertime can be doubly cruel. Hot coffee and tea lose much of their appeal during midsummer's heat and they're mild diuretics as well – they stimulate your body to release rather than hold on to moisture. Thankfully, recent research shows that this effect has been exaggerated. You can indeed count coffee and tea as part of your day's total fluid intake, so enjoy them hot or iced and stay awake and functional even on sultry days.
Juice it Up
Water is the gold standard of hydrating beverages, but it's admittedly not the most exciting thing you can drink. Fortunately, water is also an excellent solvent. You can up the ante by infusing it with fun flavors. Pack your water jug with fresh herbs or chopped fruit to take the water in a whole new direction. Add a splash or two of fruit juice or naturally carbonated spring water. Bright-tasting herbal teas are another good choice. Experiment to your heart's content – you'll be sure to find some memorable combinations.
The long-standing advice to drink eight glasses of water a day can be tough to remember, especially if you’re on the go. It helps if you build some structure into your day so you don't have to actively remind yourself. Make a point of drinking between errands, or every time you get in your car. If your plan for the day doesn't include such obvious occasions, set a reminder on your phone to prompt you at predetermined intervals.