Now that summer is approaching, and the heat will be on its way staying hydrated will be important to enjoying your days out in the sun. Whether you are taking the kids to the park, going to the beach, or attending summer activities outside, hydration is important for your overall health. While staying hydrated all year around is important, the summertime is crucially important for spending more days in the sun.
Why is hydration important?
Drinking water throughout each day is important because your body is made up of 60% of water. Therefore, water has many functions in the body such as:
- Controls body temperature
- Allows body cells to survive, grow and reproduce
- Required for transporting and metabolizing certain nutrients into the bloodstream
- Required for the brain to produce hormones and neurotransmitters
- Aids in Digestion
- Lubricates joints
- Assists in flushing waste outside the body through urination
How do I know if I am drinking enough water in a day?
According to our clinical collaborator Mayo Clinic, it is recommended that the average female should consume 11.5 cups of water a day, and the average male should be consuming 15.5 cups. These recommendations are considering fluids from water, other beverages, and food. As growing up, I have always heard the advice to drink 8 glasses of water a day. Well, this is a reasonable goal for some people, but others may need more. Needing more water can depend on where you live, how much you exercise, your overall health and if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
Now you know how much water is recommended in a day, there is still the question how can I increase my water intake to match the recommendations?
Tips to increase water intake:
- Drink an 8oz glass before every meal and or snack
- Alternate water in between other beverages
- Add a calorie-free flavoring ex. Crystal light
- Make ice cubes with fruit
- Drink with a straw
- Create water challenges with friends or co-workers
- Set reminders on cellular devices and or download water tracking apps
- Carry a water bottle with you everywhere throughout the day
- Eat foods with high water content
- Add more spice to your foods
Now with utilizing these tips, try motivating yourself to set frequent reminders to drink water when you are sitting at your children’s next baseball game on a hot summer day.
Written by Sarah Klym, University of North Dakota dietetic student
A member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, Altru has special access to Mayo Clinic resources and expertise.