Summer Hydration Tips: Think Your Drink

drink waterDid you know that water makes up more than half of your body weight? Every cell in your body needs water to function correctly, which is why we often talk to our patients about the importance of proper hydration. With these hot summer temperatures, good hydration becomes even more important because your body uses water to maintain its temperature.

How Much Water Should I Drink?

Most people have been told that they should drink 8 cups of water each day which is a reasonable goal, but different people need different amounts to stay hydrated. If you don’t know how much water you should be drinking, ask us and we’ll help you figure it out.

Drinking whenever you feel thirsty is a good start, but many people don’t feel thirsty until they are already dehydrated. Some people are at even higher risk of dehydration, including those who get a lot of exercise or have certain medical conditions. Older adults are also at higher risk because as you age, your brain may be unable to sense dehydration and send the signals of thirst.

Unfortunately, grabbing a thirst quenching sweet tea or an iced caramel mocha may not be in your best interest. Calories from beverages can add up quickly throughout the day.

Calories In Just One Cup Of A Few Popular Beverages

Iced mocha 160
Lemonade 130
Orange juice 125
2% milk 120
Strawberry banana juice drink 120
Cola 100
Lemon-lime soda 100
Sweet tea 90
Skim milk 85
Vitamin water 50
Water 0
Unsweet tea 0
Diet soda 0

What About Sports Drinks?

If you are planning on exercising at high intensity for longer than an hour, a sports drink may be helpful because it contains carbohydrates that can prevent low blood sugar and can also help replace electrolytes. For most people however, water is all that is needed to maintain good hydration.

Top Tips For Staying Hydrated

  • Keep a bottle of water with you during the day. Consider carrying a reusable bottle and filling it from the tap rather than purchasing bottled water, which is expensive and creates plastic waste.
  • If plain water doesn’t interest you, try adding a slice of lemon, lime, cucumber, or strawberries to your glass.
  • If you’re going to be exercising, make sure you consume water before, during and after your workout.
  • Start and end your day with a glass of water.
  • When you’re feeling hungry, drink water first. The sensation of thirst is often confused with hunger. True hunger will not be satisfied by drinking water.
  • Follow a schedule if you have trouble remembering to drink water. For example, consume water when you wake up; at breakfast, lunch and dinner; and when you go to bed. Or have a small glass of water at the top of each hour.
  • Choose water when you go to a restaurant. Not only does it keep you hydrated, but it’s free!