I know we’re nearing the end of the summer, and it’s starting to cool down in some places. Here in Texas, we’re still experiencing 100+ degree weather and blistering sun! I shouldn’t really be complaining, as this summer was a pretty mild one compared to others. Yes, the past couple years we’ve had temps reach 110-115 degrees. So highs of 100 in August is fine by me!
Why is water so important?
No matter where you live, it’s important to stay hydrated. Our body depends on water for survival– it’s more than half of our body weight! Every organ, tissue and cell in our bodies needs water to function. In the heat of the summer, water helps keep our internal temperature in check.
How do you know if you’re dehydrated?
We lose water every day when we sweat, breathe, exercise, or go to the bathroom. If we don’t replace the water we lose, we can become dehydrated. Symptoms of dehydration includes dark urine, dry mouth, fatigue, headache, confusion, dizziness and extreme thirst.
In fact, when you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. By constantly rehydrating yourself, you can prevent it from happening in the first place.
How much water should we drink per day?
Most people need 6-8 glasses of water per day, which is about 48-64 ounces. That would mean drinking about three 20-oz bottles of water per day. Those who are at risk for dehydration may need more– such as those who exercise outside in the heat, or are sick. Older adults may need more fluids as well as they are prone to dehydration. As we age, our brain has a harder time detecting dehydration and sending thirst signals.
What if we get sick of drinking water?
If you don’t feel like drinking water, try fruit and vegetable juices, coconut water, milk and herbal teas. Drinks that contain don’t necessarily count towards your fluid intake because of the caffeine content: caffeine is a diuretic which means it works to rids your body of fluid.
You could also try flavoring your water with lemon, lime, cucumbers, strawberries or watermelon and sweeten with stevia. I like to use Skinny Girl’s new line of water flavors, which are made with stevia and don’t contain artificial sweeteners.
Sports drinks like Gatorade aren’t necessarily needed for the average person. If you exercise at high intensity for more than an hour, it may be helpful because it contains sugar that can prevent energy lows. Sports drinks can also replace electrolytes if you’ve been vomiting or had a fever. Choose wisely, because most are high in calories and sugar.
Tips for staying hydrated
- Always keep water near you during the day. I bring a water bottle to work and try to refill it several times. Keep a glass of water next to you at home and refill as you remember.
- Remember to drink before, during and after workouts.
- Sometimes you may think you’re hungry, but you may just be thirsty. The sensation of thirst is easily confused with hunger.
- Get water when you go out to eat. You’ll stay hydrated and save some money.
Sometimes I like to drink coconut water after hot yoga. After class I generally feel like I sweated off gallons of water and I’m usually super parched. I was recently sent a case of COCOZIA 100% Organic Coconut Water to try. I was asked to taste and report back to you guys!
First of all, I like that the whole 16.9oz container only has 80 calories and contains a whopping 960mg of potassium. That’s 25% of your daily requirement! There’s a nice balance of sodium, potassium, and magnesium. Coconut water can be a smart, refreshing choice that is an healthy alternative to sugary, chemical filled drinks that so many of us grab when we are thirsty.
I’ve tried many different brands of coconut water, and this one is definitely the most “coconut” tasting. It is a little strong at first if you’ve never had coconut water before. If you have, and you enjoy the taste of coconut, you will most likely enjoy this coconut water!
I added some of my water flavors, like Skinny Girl’s White Cherry and it tasted amazing. After drinking a couple of these, I got used to the taste and when I got home from a 90-minute hot yoga class the other night, I definitely guzzled one of these straight from the carton in about two minutes. If you want to try COCOZIA 100% Organic Coconut Water, check them out (affiliate link!).
What is your favorite way to focus on hydration?
Hi! I’m Emily, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and self-taught intuitive chef. I firmly believe that cooking is the simplest and most important step we can take to improve our minds and bodies and build healthier communities. Join me and let’s bring food back to the kitchen!