STOP! Before you keep reading, take a big sip or a couple of sips of water……… Awesome job! Your organs thank you!
Hydration- We all know it’s important for life but it can be a real challenge to stay on top of it, especially in the Florida heat and humidity. Proper hydration can prevent some heat-related illnesses, which you can read more about here: https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/warning.html .
Here are five tips to keep you hydrated this summer:
- Have a big glass of water when you first wake up! There are a lot of theories/myths/health claims out there about why this will 100% change your life. Most likely it won’t do that BUT it can help immediately build motivation to continue to hydrate throughout the day. I think of this almost like adding something to your to-do list that you’ve already done just so you can scratch it off and build confidence for the other items on the list.
- Set alarms on your phone or reminders on your calendar. It can be really easy to get caught up in work tasks, wrangling kids, or an awesome episode of Law and Order. Often we don’t even notice that we haven’t drank anything in hours until we have symptoms of dehydration-dry mouth, dizziness, fatigue, dry skin. Having these encouragements to hydrate pop up on your phone or computer can be super helpful.
- Carry around a reusable water bottle. Having access to fluids is the first step of hydration. You can’t stay hydrated if you don’t have fluids at your disposal that can help you do that! Reusable water bottles are also an easy way to cut back on plastic use and save you money if you’re buying single-use plastic water bottles. Just remember to regularly clean your reusable bottle!
- Eat a popsicle or shaved ice! These ice-y treats are a wonderful way to add some fluids into those especially brutal days. They are refreshing, tasty and for me they bring back a lot of joyful summertime memories.
- Add some fruits and vegetables to your snacks! Warm/summer season fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, and watermelons are mostly water! Not only are they delicious on a hot day but count towards your overall hydration!
A few final thoughts
Water is the optimal choice to stay hydrated but almost all fluids count towards overall hydration. (Yes, even coffee!) If you are outside working, playing or exercising for more than an hour consider drinking something with added electrolytes like a sports drink. And last but not least, small increases add up! You don’t have to go from 0oz to 60oz overnight. With any dietary change, the best thing you can do is start with one meal or snack!
Disclaimer: This blog is for general education purposes. There are some medical conditions or medications that may require specific fluid needs, including limiting fluids. Talk to your doctor or another healthcare provider about your specific fluid needs.
Source: UF/IFAS Alert – https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/