In the heat of summer, one of the most important things to prioritize is hydration. If you’re like me… you’re loving the heat! But with the heat, it’s especially important to stay hydrated! So, how much water do we really need? What are the best ways to prevent dehydration? We’ll cover it all.
Even if you’re just lounging outside and not physically active, it’s still SO important to remember to actively hydrate. We tend to forget to hydrate when we’re not dripping sweat after a butt-kicking workout, but it’s just as crucial. Direct sun exposure can quickly dehydrate you, as your body is working overtime to stay cool. You’re likely sweating in the sun losing extra fluids and salt, which can lead to dehydration and serious heat related illnesses. Even if you’re not outside in the heat or sweating it out, chances are, you’re not drinking enough water.
Hydration 101: How much water should I drink a day?
A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight (in pounds) in ounces of water. So if you weigh in at 150 lbs. a good baseline to start with is 75 oz of water per day. Notice I say to use this reference as a base! If you are exercising or sweating, it’s important to replenish any fluid lost during perspiration!
How much water should I drink before, during, and after exercise to prevent dehydration?
If you know you’re going to be exercising, it’s important to hydrate before, during, and after your workout! According to ACE, the American Council of Exercise, you should:
BEFORE exercise: Drink 17-20 oz of water 2-3 hours prior to exercising. I aim to have about 8 oz of that amount 20-30 minutes prior to my workout
DURING exercise: For every 10-20 minutes of exercise, aim to replenish with 7-10 oz of fluid
AFTER exercise: Finish your workout with a cup of water! (8 oz. to be exact)
Tips for Staying Hydrated
Start hydrating first thing in the morning:
The very first thing I do when I wake up is drink an entire 32 oz mason jar of room temperature water. This helps me get a huge chunk of water down for the day, and ensures my digestion is off to a good start. This is a great habit to get into! It kick starts your digestion, flushes out toxins and wakes up your body. If that sounds like too much, find what works best for you! 8 oz of water upon waking up is a great place to start.
Use your urine as a measurement:
Yes, examine your pee! Sounds weird, works great. An effective way to determine your hydration level is by monitoring the color of your urine. A quick pee check can be all the insight you need for your hydration needs! Ideally, your urine should be the color of lemonade, or champagne. If your urine is a dark, concentrated color (like apple juice), this may indicate dehydration. Grab your water bottle and get to sipping! The goal is to have your urine remain that light, lemonade color through out the day, ensuring you’re properly hydrated. If you run out of fun facts to talk about at the dinner table, this is always a great one 😉
Replenish your electrolytes:
If you are sweating for more than an hour (whether outside in the heat, or during a hard workout), it’s important to replenish your electrolytes! My favorite way to do that is with coconut water or a quality electrolyte supplement.
Tips: Look for a brand that is PURE coconut water, not from concentrate. Did you know coconut water is such a good source of electrolytes it has even been used as an IV replacement in emergencies?!
Always carry a water bottle with you:
My favorite brand is Healthy Human. They are sustainable, keep your cold drinks cold for hours and your hot drinks hot. Carrying a water bottle is a constant reminder to hydrate, and helps you drink consistently throughout the day! I am to drink a gallon of water a day. When I carry around my 32 oz. water bottle, I know I just need to drink four of them and I will hit my goal!
EAT your water:
This is my favorite tip! Eat nutrient dense fruits and veggies. To name a few — Cucumbers, Iceberg Lettuce, Celery, Tomato, Strawberries and Watermelon all have a water percentage of above 90%! Not only are these foods (and many others) loaded with water, but they’re also filled with tons of vitamins and nutrients. By incorporating these foods into your diet, you’ll hit your hydration needs faster while providing your body with some nourishment!
Spice up your water!
Add fresh lime or lemon, mint, a handful of berries, or cucumber to spice up your water and give it a natural taste enhancer to help you hydrate!