Drinking water is critical because it is involved in nearly every activity in your body, including protecting your organs and tissues, carrying nutrients to your cells, and regulating your body temperature. As we move into the hot summer months, it is important to make sure you are giving your body enough water to keep it functioning at its best.
Aim for 8 cups (64 ounces, 2 liters) of water per day as a starting point. Many people need more than 2 liters/day (fluid needs vary from person to person). During hot weather, you will need to increase your fluid intake, regardless of your activity level.
Your level of thirst is not always the best indicator of your hydration status. One of the easiest ways to know if you are meeting your fluid needs is by assessing the color of your urine. Pale yellow urine indicates you are well-hydrated. Honey-colored urine indicates you are dehydrated. Dehydration can be very dangerous. Other signs of dehydration include: dry mouth, tiredness, dizziness, confusion, muscle cramps, decreased urine output, dry skin, or extreme thirst.
Tips for staying hydrated
There are many types of drinks to choose from to meet your fluid needs; some options are better than others.
Drink more of these:
- Fruit-flavored water
- Unsweetened tea
- Reduced fat milk
And limit these:
- Energy drinks
- Sweetened teas and coffee
- Fruit juice with added sugar
Certain foods can provide hydration benefits as well. Include more hydrating foods in your day! Here are some examples of hydrating foods with a water content of 90% or greater:
- Baby carrots
- Add fruit, a splash of juice or extracts to water to enhance the taste.
- Berries, pineapple, orange slices
- Mint, lavender, rosemary
- Drink from a cup that has a favorite design or message.
- Set a reminder or alarm on your phone to remind you to reach for water.
- Place a reminder at your desk or on your refrigerator.
- Keep a reusable water bottle or mug in your common places: bedroom, desk, travel bag, breakroom.
- Drink a full glass of water if you need to take a pill.
- Download an app on your phone that helps you track your daily water intake (Plant Nanny, My Water Balance, Daily Water Tracker, and many more on an app store!)