10 Great Hydration Tips You Need to Use This Summer
Outdoor sports. Family vacations. Festivals. Who doesn’t love summer? Summer is one of our favorite seasons here at Earth Networks, but it is also one of the most dangerous. Besides the constant threat of thunderstorms and severe weather, heat and dehydration also pose a threat to folks enjoying some fun in the sun.
According to research from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, 50% of kids in the U.S. are not getting the hydration they need. Kids aren’t alone. There are plenty of adults who go about life under-hydrated too. According to The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, men require about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids per day and women require 11.5 cups (2.7 liters). These fluids should come from a combination of water, other drinks, and food.
Water makes up around 60-75% of our body weight, so it’s no wonder why we need so much of it! When we become dehydrated, it becomes difficult for our bodies to function properly and puts us at risk for various heat-related illnesses.
This summer, get ahead on hydration with these 10 smart tips. Whether you’re a coach, outdoor worker, or just an avid beach goer, these hydration tips will help you stay healthy all summer long.
The 10 Best Hydration Tips
Drinking water is the best thing you can do to up your hydration game this summer. We’re sure you’ve heard of the 8 glasses of water rule. While this is a great tip, we recommend drinking whenever you feel thirsty. Some people need less than the recommended 8 glasses while some people need more. It depends on a few different things. For example, if you exercise or sweat, you will need more water. The simplest thing you can do to prevent dehydration is to drink water and keep track of how much you drink throughout the day.
2. Prep For Workouts
Another great hydration tip is to drink enough water for your workout or outdoor job ahead of time. For example, if you have a run or construction job planned for the morning, make sure you drink a lot of water the night before.
While we sleep, we use the water we drank throughout the day. Because of this, many people wake up in a dehydrated state. You can see how this would be disastrous for someone with a spin class or soccer camp planned for the morning. As with most severe weather safety risks, prepping ahead of time makes a big difference.
3. Add Hydration to Your Workout
The next tip on our list is to hydrate while you work out. We know that focusing on hydration isn’t super important to athletes and coaches. We’ve all been there before. When you’re in a sweat session, it seems more important to reach your PR or score a goal. Guess what? Drinking water can help you accomplish any workout goal! In fact, drinking plain water during times when you’re working out or just working outside will boost your performance.
4. Incorporate Electrolyte Drinks
Another drink that will give you a boost before, during, or after some time in the sun is a drink that has electrolytes in it. Electrolytes and carbohydrates help your body absorb whatever fluids you drink. It’s also important to have one of these drinks because we lose electrolytes when we sweat. Our favorite non-water drink for hydration during hot weather or sports is coconut water. Sports drinks are fine, but be sure to read the nutrition label. Too much sugar is never a good thing!
5. Freeze Your Water
This lesser-known hydration tip is super helpful for extending your workout sessions. A British study showed that people who had a very cold drink before and during sweaty cycling sessions could keep going significantly longer than those who drank their beverage at warmer temperatures. This is most likely because the colder water temperature helped keep core body temperature lower.
Try throwing your water bottle in the freezer before your next workout or adding a lot of ice. For beach days and festivals, we highly recommend purchasing an insulated water bottle that keeps your drinks cool all day long.
6. Eat More Fruit
Did you know the food you eat impacts your hydration levels? Approximately 20% of your daily fluid intake should be from food. A lot of the foods that contain water are fruits. Fruit is a great summer snack to keep you hydrated because it’s often super refreshing and there are plenty of options in season.
1 medium apple has about 6 ounces of water. Watermelon and cantaloupe are two other great hydrating fruits. A cup of each yields about 5 ounces of water. Some other great options are oranges and berries. These fruits are great for a pre-or post-workout snack. You can also throw them into smoothies.
7. Eat More Veggies, Too
Vegetables are also a great source of water. 1 cup of cooked, sliced zucchini has about 6 ounces of water. Baby carrots and raw broccoli are also great sources of water. 10 medium baby carrots contain about 3 ounces while 1 cup of raw broccoli florets contains 2 ounces. This is another reason eating healthy is good for you. All of this water should help keep you full so you don’t overeat or snack on unhealthy foods.
8. Pinch Yourself
You’re dreaming if you think this next tip doesn’t work. If you’re unsure if you are hydrated or not, pinch yourself. Your hydration level directly impacts your skin’s ability to change shape and return to normal.
Using your pointer finger and thumb, simple pinch the skin on the back of your hand and hold for a few seconds. If the skin takes a while to return to its normal position when you let go, you could be dehydrated. Make sure you don’t pinch yourself too hard!
9. Pay Attention to Your Muscles
How are your muscles holding up? This next tip is another one that will give you insights as to how hydrated you are. Since lean muscle tissues are over 75% water, your muscles will fatigue faster when you’re dehydrated. If you find your muscles tiring quicker than normal, you should really take a break and hydrate before resuming physical activity.
10. Get Creative
If you really hate water, there are ways to drink it that make it more fun. For example, try infusing your water with things like lemon, lime, and orange slices.
You could also add flavored iced. Fill your ice cube tray with coconut water and add those to your next glass. You can also add sweeteners to your water. As we mentioned before with sports drinks, ensure you carefully read the nutrition label. If you get creative, we’re sure you can reach your hydration goals!
The best way to beat the heat this summer is to stay hydrated. It doesn’t matter whether you are working outside, laying on the beach, or working out. You still need water to keep yourself from falling victim to heat-related illnesses.
There are plenty of other severe weather threats you should look out for during the summer months. Contact us today to learn how to protect your operations from lightning, hurricanes, and flooding and don’t forget the importance of hydration!