The ABC’s of Hydration

As a Floridian, I can genuinely say that this is my least favorite time of the year. A storm strong enough to knock the power out can suddenly come out of a perfectly beautiful and cloudless day, the summer lifestyle comes to an end, and worst of all, the heat and humidity are absolutely unbearable.

Perhaps one of my biggest mistakes in tackling this time of year is that I don’t give hydration the importance that it deserves. If you are noticing the same thing about yourself, it is definitely time to make a change and I’m going to give you some easy ways to take that step.

  • Drink WATER. Not juice, not alcohol, not coffee, not even tea. Those either have too much sugar, too many carbohydrates, or actually pull fluid from your body rather than replenishing it.
  • Use technology as a tool! I’ll be the first to admit that I am attached to my phone. If you’re going to be on it anyway, use it to improve your health. Download one of the dozens of apps devoted to staying hydrated. They will usually set a timer that alerts you when you should drink your next cup of water throughout the day. If you are dehydrated because you simply forget to drink water, this is probably your best bet at combating that.
  • Consider a sports drink if you are going to be active outdoors for anything longer than an hour. I know they are loaded with sugar, but they are also packed with electrolytes and after working up a sweat, you need to be replenishing those as well.
  • Cleveland Clinic has laid out the following symptoms for dehydration, so be on the lookout for them: fatigue, loss of appetite, flushed skin, heat intolerance, light-headedness, dark-colored urine, dry cough
  • If you can remember without the help of an app, try to drink BEFORE you become thirsty. You should never realize that you are thirsty unless you are already dehydrated.
  • If you tend to sweat a lot or have a pre-existing condition, that might require a higher water intake throughout the day to stay adequately hydrated, so keep these factors in mind.

Every person is different, so for more advice on how much water you should be drinking and the health benefits that can come from adequate water intake, check out this article from the Mayo Clinic.

Happy end of the summer, everyone! And keep drinking (water, that is)!