We all know that water is one of the most important elements of all living things. Up to 60% of the human body is made of water. Water is so essential for your body as it helps with biochemical reactions, removing waste, regulating body temperature, maintaining blood circulation and supplying nutrients throughout your body. It can also protect your vital organs and tissues, stabilise your heart rate and help with digestion and preventing constipation.
Whether we like the taste of water or not, it is still easy to become dehydrated, especially in the summer heat. You may find that dehydration will show itself in the form of feeling thirsty, being fatigued, muscle cramps and a wide variety of other symptoms. Left long enough, dehydration can lead to lightheadedness, poor concentration, loss of appetite and kidney stones. As it starts to heat up here in Australia, it is important to ensure you’re staying hydrated sufficiently.
How much water you need can vary between each person. Your daily fluid intake recommendations are dependent on your age, sex and whether you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. Start your day off right by waking up with a glass of water on your bedside table and drinking it. Do the same before going to sleep and have a glass before bed. Make sure you have a glass of water with every meal and top up your water intake after working out. It’s good to have fluids throughout your day and not just down a couple of litres once in the morning and not have any more for the rest of the day.
Check your urine
A simple way of finding out whether you’re dehydrated or not is to check the colour of your urine. If your urine is pale, similar to the colour of straw or is clear in colour, this indicates that you may be well hydrated and you should just keep drinking the same amount of water that you currently are. The darker the urine, the more that you need water. If your urine is of an amber colour or is quite a dark yellow, this means that you may have mild to severe dehydration and you will need to start drinking more water. Depending on how dehydrated you are you may also need to top up your electrolyte levels.
Eat foods with high water content
You don’t have to be drinking water all day, every day to stay hydrated (although it helps). If you are eating foods that have high water content, this is also going to help you to stay hydrated. This is especially helpful during the summer, as you may not feel like eating a hot meal. If you’re opting for salads with cucumbers, celery, tomatoes and spinach, you’re already gaining water through your food. There’s also nothing better than eating some cold watermelon on a hot summer’s day. Watermelon has a high water content so it’s a perfect snack to have during the summer heat. These foods contain 90% water or higher which is ideal for those who are trying to keep their hydration levels in check.
Add more flavour
Not a fan of the taste of water? You’re not alone. A lot of people have trouble with the taste of water and just don’t find it appealing. But, there are a lot of products on the market that have flavour infused into the water, which can be a really good option to help you improve your water intake. You also don’t have to buy expensive flavoured waters to have a tasty drink.
You can add lemons, limes, mint, cucumbers and even berries to your water to help improve the taste without any added preservatives or artificial flavours. Another good option is to drink Ener-C. Ener-C is an excellent additive to water as it has vitamins, minerals and electrolytes. Not only will it help you to stay hydrated, but it’s also going to help you with balancing your electrolytes during the heat.
Balance your electrolytes
Whether you’re working out, going to the beach or going for a long hike, in the summer it’s even more important to ensure that you have enough electrolytes in your system. You sweat enough as it is during the summer so if you’re exercising, you need to ensure you are well-hydrated and have enough electrolytes. Electrolytes can help to absorb the water that you do drink. Products such as Ener-C SPORT will help you to get more water into your system as well as a sufficient amount of electrolytes. Without sufficient electrolytes, you may find that water will pass through your digestive system without being absorbed correctly.
No matter what you choose to do to get through the summer heat, make sure to replenish essential minerals lost through sweat and refuel your body. Whether it be through drinking more water, eating the right foods or choosing an electrolyte supplement remember to stay hydrated this summer.