When you’re looking for health advice, one of the top tips you’re likely to hear is that you should drink more water. Indeed, around 65 percent of your total body composition is water, which means that staying hydrated is essential for the optimal functioning of all of your cells, tissues, organs, and systems. For instance, drinking enough water prevents your skin from drying out, lubricates your muscles to support healthy movement, enables your kidneys to flush harmful toxins out of your body, boosts your brain functioning to improve your mood and alertness, and regulates the overall temperature of your body. In addition, staying hydrated can help you achieve your broader health and wellness goals: if you want to lose weight, it can help you feel fuller for longer; and if you’re an athlete, it can improve your performance.
Even when you recognize the many benefits of staying hydrated, it can still be tough to do–especially during the summer months in Atlanta, when the temperature and humidity levels make it much harder to maintain your ideal hydration level. As this summer heats up, consider how the following do’s and don’ts can make it easier for you to stay hydrated, regardless of the weather or your activities.
DO’s for Staying Hydrated in the Summer
During the summer months, it is particularly important to be proactive about your hydration levels. Here are a few things you can DO to make sure you don’t end up drying out in the summer sun.
- DO keep track of how much fluid you’re drinking. You’re probably familiar with the old adage that you should aim to drink 8 glasses of water per day, but when you think about it, that just doesn’t make sense for every person. In a world where healthcare is increasingly personalized, you know that optimum health strategies vary widely, no matter what condition you’re dealing with–and that includes dehydration. Today, more experts than ever are saying your weight should be factored in when you calculate your baseline fluid needs. Specifically, in order to calculate how much water you should be drinking on an average day, take your weight in pounds and divide it by two. The result is the number of ounces you should try to drink on a daily basis.
- DO drink water when you exercise. It is important to remember that the above-calculation only provides a baseline for your water intake. You also need to think about your other activities. For instance, when you’re engaging in strenuous aerobic exercise that works up a sweat, you should add about eight ounces for every fifteen minutes you exercise. Alternatively, for a more precise calculation, you can weigh yourself before and after your workout to figure out about how much you lose by sweating.
- DO be strategic about when you’re drinking water. Your workout isn’t the only time you need to think about extra hydration. For instance, after you get a massage, it is essential to make sure you rehydrate in order to make the most of the treatment. At the same time, you may want to strategically avoid drinking too much water before bed, since you may end up waking up in the night, which can disrupt your healthy sleep patterns.
- DO choose fluids from sources other than water. There’s no denying that water is a healthy, calorie-free hydration–but it’s not the only good way to get your fluids. Snacking on soup or drinking a low-calorie sports drink can keep you hydrated and increase your electrolyte levels, which is important when you’re drinking a lot of water. You can also eat more water-heavy fruits and vegetables, like strawberries, watermelon, lettuce, and zucchini.
Summertime DON’Ts: What To Avoid to Prevent Dehydration
The things you DON’T do can be just as important as the measures you take to stay hydrated. Here are a few of the things you should try to avoid this summer in order to maintain optimal water levels.
- DON’T go anywhere without your water bottle. Whether you’re headed to work, the gym, or out on an errand, make sure you always have water on hand!
- DON’T forget to check the labels on hydrating sports drinks. Many so-called sports drinks pack serious calories, so using them to hydrate can derail your weight loss goals. Look for low-calorie or no-calorie sports drink options. When you do choose fluids that contain calories, make sure that they are nutrient-dense liquids, like low-fat milk or vegetable juice.
- DON’T drink too much alcohol or caffeine. Both alcohol and caffeine are diuretics. Therefore, even though they contain fluid, they will actually end up leaving you dehydrated in the long run.
- DON’T go overboard and drink too much water. If you start drinking too much water, it can be dangerous–so don’t get overexcited. In order to check your hydration level, take a peek in the toilet when you go to the bathroom. If the water is light yellow or clear, you’re on the right track–no need to increase! If it’s yellow, it’s time to start drinking more!
At Atlanta Chiropractic and Wellness, your health this summer is our number one priority. Contact us today to learn about all of the products and services we offer to help you and your family be at your best!Share