With warm weather comes more outdoor activities, and often hydration becomes an afterthought. You only drink when you feel thirst, but the thirst sensation is a sign that your body may already be dehydrated.
But how much fluid is enough? Typically, just over 3½ and 2 ½ quarts for average adult men and women, respectively, meets the body’s needs. However, this includes all fluids, (i.e. juice, coffee, tea, fruits, vegetables, soups), not just water. According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines, it is recommended to drink mostly low-calorie, high-nutrient beverages such as water, low-fat and/or fat-free milk, and 100% fruit juices. Beverages that are sweetened with sugar, such as soft drinks, sports drinks, and sweetened coffees/teas should be minimally consumed.
Below are some helpful tips to help you stay hydrated during these warm months:
- Invest in a reusable water bottle and always have it by your side.
Having a reusable water bottle not only helps the environment, but will encourage you to drink more fluids throughout your day.
- Flavor your water with fruit or tea leaves.
Adding natural flavors to your water makes drinking water more enjoyable. I like making a cold-brew green tea by steeping it overnight in the fridge so it is ready in the morning. You can also try these combinations:
- Cucumber + Mint + Lemon
- Strawberry + Lemon + Basil
- Watermelon + Mint
- Drink a glass of water with every meal.
Or at least at a certain time interval. But to have a regular routine to drink a set amount of water can help you properly hydrate.
- Swap out soft drinks for sparkling water.
For those who have a hard time decreasing their intake of soft drinks, try substituting sparkling water for pop. You still get that carbonated beverage but with fewer calories, sodium and sugar.
- Drink plenty of water before you start physical activity.
It is crucial to hydrate before you exercise, especially if you plan on doing so outside. This decreases your risk of dehydration during these high-perspiration times. Drinking during and especially after physical activity is encouraged as well.
- Eat your water with high-water content produce.
There are so many produce options that have a high-water content that contribute to your daily fluid intake. Some examples are tomatoes, watermelon and cucumbers!
So I would love to know:
- What is your favorite outdoor activity?
- What high-water content food is your favorite?
- How do you stay hydrated?
With assistance from Christina Chu, Boston University Dietetics and Communication student