Water is essential to our health, supplying nutrients through our body, keeping joints lubricated, and our body temperature regulated. Without enough water, we will simply become dehydrated, showing itself in the form of muscle cramps, fatigue, thirst, and disorientation. Getting enough water into our bodies every day is key to keeping our bodies functioning correctly, especially during the summer. In the summer heat, our bodies demand more water than normal and if neglected it can lead to sickness and fatigue. Here, are our top tips to stay healthy and hydrated during the hot weather.
When it comes to the exact rules for staying hydrated, it may surprise you that there are no rules! As everyone is different it is important to consider numerous factors such as somatotype, sweat rate, humidity, and activity levels when drinking water. The NHS Eatwell Guide recommends drinking 6-8 glasses of fluids per day as a rule. This will account for any tea, coffee, milk, etc so do not think this is exclusive to water. Consider hydration as part of your daily routine and not a demanding task.
Now we have gone over the recommendations it is time to consider how you can get enough water during the sizzling months.
If you are working from home or enjoying a day off, you should consider having a jug of water full in the fridge. This will encourage you to return for more as it is cool and refreshing, as well as indicating how much water you are consuming throughout the day.
If you are feeling lightheaded or have slightly irritated skin, you may be dehydrated! Look at all of the signs of dehydration and if you are experiencing any you must drink water and get out of the sun.
Alcohol works against the body and removes water from the tissue, resulting in thirst and dehydration. Consider swapping out alcohol during the day for water to keep the body healthy during the hot weather. Sweet drinks, teas, and coffees can also have the same effect as alcohol due to them being loaded with sugars, sodium, and other ingredients.
Regulating your body heat is an important factor when it comes to staying hydrated during summer. As the heat rises so does the number of cases of heatstroke so keeping out of the sun will greatly aid in your health. Wear light clothing, hats, sunglasses, and avoid anything strenuous during the hottest times of the day. Take regular breaks and bring water with you to not risk overheating or becoming thirsty.
By the time you start to feel parched, you have most likely lost a significant amount of water. Always keep a bottle or cup with you and regularly top up your bottle. If you are exercising this tip is more pressing as you need to be fully hydrated before, during, and after exercising. The summer heat will increase your sweat rate and water loss so regularly replenishing this is vital.
Fruit and vegetables contain a high amount of water, including tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelon, and strawberries. Some of these fruits have up to 90% water or higher inside so do not overlook a nutritious and refreshing snack!
Think about making your water a bit more exciting by adding fresh ingredients such as limes, lemons, mint, berries, etc. These can help you see water as more appealing due to the drink being less bland!
The most important thing you can do during the summer is to ensure that you have access to water supplies. If you are in the office, it is good to check that the office water cooler is set up correctly and within the reach of everyone. Refill stations are also a great solution to reduce plastic waste and should be used to top up bottles and cups with cool, fresh water.
Developing a healthy habit and resisting the urge to grab water is always the best practice when it comes to drinking. Ensure that you stay out of the sun as much as possible and follow these simple tips to stay hydrated during the summer.