Water is the most essential nutrient to human life. Staying hydrated is vital for both immediate physical and mental performance as well as long term overall health. H2O is essential for certain chemical reactions, maintaining thermoregulation, and lubricant to keep the body moving smoothly. Proper hydration during the summer months is even more important albeit more difficult due to the vast amount of water loss through increased perspiration. It’s hot out there! Make sure you are properly hydrated!
Strategies to Stay Hydrated:
- Know your goal! The recommended water intake in ounces per day is your body weight in kilograms. This does not take into account water you may also get from other fluids and food. One pound is equal to .45 kilograms, so multiply your weight by .45 to learn your number. For example, if you weigh 130 pounds. Multiply 130 by .45 and you get 61. That’s how many ounces of water a 130-lb person should drink each day.
- You can never have enough fruits and vegetables. They are almost entirely made of water!
- Keep a water bottle with you wherever you are .. in your car, at your desk, on your kitchen counter at home, etc. You know the saying, “out of sight, out of mind.” You want the opposite, so keep your water in sight!
- Avoid caffeinated and sugary drinks. They are actually diuretics and cause dehydration.
- If you feel thirsty, it’s already too late. Your body is dehydrated. Try to stay ahead of the sensation of thirst to ensure proper hydration.
- When you are losing a lot of salt through excessive perspiration, electrolyte replenishment is as important as hydration. You may even need to consider using salt tablets or electrolyte replenishment drinks such as Nuun or Gatorade.
Proper hydration can increase your quality of life while allowing you to perform physically and mentally at full capacity. Who doesn’t want that?!