The long, hot days of summer are here, and that makes good hydration practices a major concern. Severe dehydration is a far more serious concern that can become life-threatening if it is not treated properly.
Studies suggest that most people in the U.S. are dehydrated on a regular basis. With headaches, fatigue, fuzzy thinking and joint pain all resulting from dehydration, it becomes clear that establishing better hydration practices is critical. Here are five ways that you can stay hydrated during the summer.
1. Carry a Water Bottle Everywhere
Cool, reusable water bottles are offered for sale pretty much everywhere. Pick up one or even a few. Make a habit of having one with you during your commute, at your desk and when you go for a walk at lunch. When you run errands, make a reusable water bottle your companion. If you're going hiking or to play basketball at the park, bring along a refreshing bottle. Chances are good that you'll start to feel more energetic and optimistic on the first day.
2. Make Water More Appealing
Some people are dehydrated because they don't like the taste of water. They turn to sodas and other caffeinated beverages as alternatives. The trouble is that these drinks typically are diuretics which may make dehydration worse. If you are one of the people who dislikes the taste of water, trying mixing a glass of water with some berries, cucumbers, lemon or other fresh produce. Infused waters also are widely available at grocery stores and other outlets, and this may make a convenient alternative. You might consider drinking a soothing herbal tea too.
3. Get Hydrated From Food
Many of the healthiest foods are packed with water. The more fresh fruits and vegetables you eat, the more hydrated your body will be. Oranges, watermelons and grapefruit all are excellent choices. So are many berries and varieties of lettuce. Yogurt is known to have serious water content, and you can't go wrong with a broth-based soup. Try some bran cereal or oatmeal in the morning to start your day hydrated and ready to go.
4. Check Your Urine
One of the best ways for you to tell whether or not you're getting enough water is by taking a glance at your urine. If it's dark and concentrated, then you're probably dehydrated. Urine from an adequately hydrated person is much paler and more diluted. Aim for a color that is similar to pale straw.
5. Set a Timer
Some people have difficulty sipping water throughout the day. If this applies to you, then you might set an alarm on your smart phone. Have it go off every hour for eight to 11 hours a day. Each time the alarm sounds, that's your cue to drink a glass of water.
With these five hydration tips, you'll be ready to have your healthiest and best summer ever.
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