Hydration and Health

By Alison McMillan

Summer is here bringing many good things like bright sunshine, warm fresh air, and the opportunity to
increase activity outdoors. Summer also brings high temperatures, high UV index ratings, and an increased risk of dehydration. Because water is crucial for bodily functions, it’s important to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of dehydration, as well as to take measures so you stay hydrated this summer.

Hydration Tips:
Drink more water throughout the day. If you struggle with the taste (or lack thereof), drop some fresh
slices of strawberries, cucumbers, or lemons in to add some flavor. Another alternative is low/no calorie
flavor additives you can find in the beverage aisle of your grocery store.

>Carry a refillable water bottle or tumbler throughout the day to help you remember to drink more, especially if you’re in a place that doesn’t have easily accessible water.
>Drink slowly. Your body doesn’t process water the way it processes food. Excessive water gets sent to the kidneys where it’s turned into urine.
>Get water with your diet by eating more water-dense foods – watermelon, cucumbers, celery, frozen fruit ice pops, lettuce, and dairy products, etc.
>Avoid caffeinated beverages and alcohol. Drinks like coffee, tea, beer, wine, and spirits all have diuretic effects meaning they make you produce more urine which creates a risk of lowering your body’s water content.
>Plan to bring and drink more water if you’re getting ready for an outdoor activity, such as a sports game, a concert, a picnic, gardening, etc.
>Try low calorie electrolyte drinks. There are several on the market that help hydrate the body as well as replenish lost electrolytes. Look for the ones that have low or no sugar content!

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