This time of year the summer sun is high in the sky and the weather continues to heat up! You may be enjoying walks in the park, hiking up mountains and hills, or spending time on the water. With many outdoor activities and events, whether for exercise or for leisure, you must always remember to stay hydrated.
Staying hydrated allows your heart pump blood to the muscles is helps every organ in your body to work properly. If you start to notice signs of dehydration– dry mouth, headache, dizziness, confusion, sleepiness, fatigue, or urine that looks darker than normal, it is time to up your water intake.
But how much water should you be drinking? While common advice is to drink eight 8-ounce glasses (or 64 total ounces) of water per day, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, recommends between 11.5 – 15.5 cups (or 92 ounces – 124 ounces) per day.
The amount of water you need depends where and how you spend your day. If you are exercising or spending time in the sun, you will need more water than on a lazy day on the couch. Pay attention to your body and drink when you feel thirsty.
Here are some tips and tricks that help me stay hydrated:
- Keep a water bottle with you throughout the day
- Drink water before, during, and after a workout
- Make a water drinking schedule
- Set reminders on your phone or use phone apps
- Drink one glass of water before and with every meal
- Have a glass of water when you wake up and before you go to bed
You can up your water game past adding a lemon or lime slice with The Whole U’s Drinks in a Jar Handout. Of course, water isn’t the only game in town. A variety of fruits and vegetables have high water content that can provide a significant amount of fluids to help your body to stay hydrated along with water.
Whether you are going for a bike ride or a nice walk on the coast, plan accordingly and make sure to bring plenty of hydrating fluids and foods! Want more information about staying hydrated? Check out these two additional articles: Way Beyond Watermelon: Foods That Hydrate and Hydration 101: It’s More Than You Drink.
Aspen Avery is a former nutrition intern for The Whole U and a student in the Master of Public Health Epidemiology program at the University of Washington. Aspen is passionate about nutritional health and approaches nutrition from an open-minded perspective that involves making a conscious effort for positive health, growth, and overall well-being.
Aspen reflects that living a nutrition-centered life can take many forms and can be fun as well. Outside of work and classes, Aspen is an avid swimmer and runner who loves thriller movies and novels—especially any by Stephen King.