With summer comes the hot hot heat! Hydration is essential to our bodily function when enjoying the active (and sometimes lazy) days of summer. According to the Institute of Medicine, on average, men need about 12 cups of fluids per day, and women need about 9 cups of fluids. Keep in mind that this is just a general rule of thumb; individuals' fluid requirements will vary depending upon body size, activity level, climate, fiber intake and a number of other factors. Follow these six easy tips to make sure you have the energy for a fun, healthy summer, free of any H-2-Oh-No moments!
Six Easy Ways to Stay Hydrated
1. Create a routine! Try to create “re-hydrating” rituals centered around breakfast, lunch and dinner. Plan to drink eight ounces after a workout, or sip while you do the dishes. Whatever activity you do regularly, associate drinking fluids to it and you’ll be much more likely to follow through.
2. All fluids count! We have all heard about the importance of drinking water, but rest assured that fresh juices, smoothies, protein shakes, milk, seltzer, tea and coffee (in small amounts) are also efficient hydrators. However, try to drink water most of the time -- it's naturally calorie-free, sugar-free and super refreshing.
3. Load up on fruits & veggies! According to the Institute of Medicine, 20 percent of your water intake comes from food sources. Many fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon, grapefruit, broccoli and tomatoes, contain 90 percent or higher water content by weight. These foods can act as an all-in-one meal and beverage, providing essential minerals, natural sugars, amino acids and vitamins that are all lost when dehydrated.
4. Add some flavor! You can infuse water with many fruits and veggies listed above, or jazz your beverage up with a squirt of lemon or lime, or a sprig of mint. Still bored? Create a spritzer by adding a dash of lemonade or limeade to sparkling water or a bit of fresh fruit juice to plain water.
5. Drink in style! Splurge on a fun water bottle you'll want to carry around with you everywhere.
6. Keep it handy! Where do you spend a lot of time? At your desk, in the car, chasing the kids or reading in bed? Keep a glass handy at each location and make a point of filling it before you settle in. Sip while you work, wait, chase or read, and you’ll stay hydrated without even knowing it. Better yet, keep a 20 ounce water bottle at your side and you'll consume even more!