Are you drinking enough water this summer?
I can tell you right now – sometimes I am not.
I hate to admit it but it’s true. Summer’s ever changing schedule completely throws off my routine! Add to that the summer heat and I’m finding myself a little dehydrated.
How do I know?
I get a very mild headache creeping in around 1pm.
When I talk about drinking water, what I’m really talking about is staying hydrated. And that includes two parts – fluid intake and electrolyte mineral intake.
How do you know if you are dehydrated?
Well, there is no hard set rule on how much water you are supposed to drink in a day. There are guidelines like drink half your weight in ounces but that is very generic. The most important rule is how you feel – that means you have to pay attention to your body and any signs it is sending you.
Here are 3 quick ways to tell if you are dehydrated.
Thirst/Hunger – You are thirsty or are constantly hungry.
Thirst is the most obvious and first sign you need water. But you can easily ignore this, especially when you are busy.
An insatiable hunger is another sign — sometimes your body can mistake hunger for thirst. This is a tale-tell sign, especially in the summer. Your appetite usually decreases with the summer heat so if you find you are hungry all the time…or not full when you finish your meal…maybe it’s water that you need and not that second helping.
Elimination – Your pee has a strong yellow color and odor and/or your stools are small and hard.
Volume in dictates volume out. Water plays a key role in the digestive process and the elimination of waste and toxins. The less water there is, the more concentrated your elimination process will be. You can easily see how well this process is working through your urine and stool.
The list of negative domino effects for this is long. One is that you will be more prone to Urinary Tract Infections, no fun. It can also affect your hormone balance and toxic load.
(You want your urine to have a slight yellow tint and be odorless and your stool to be about the size and texture of a banana and easy to pass.)
Energy – You get a mild headache or have lower energy than normal.
Water is the transporter of blood, nutrients and oxygen throughout the body. Without these, you are not giving your cells the nutrients it needs to sustain energy. You will find yourself sitting on the sidelines while everyone else is having fun at the beach or BBQ.
Keep in mind that your daily needs may differ depending on your body, your activity level and your environment. And the change in seasons may require a slight modification in your daily intake.
If you do find yourself a little dehydrated, here are a few easy tips to quench your body.
One of the easiest ways to stay hydrated is drinking plain water. Always take a bottle of water with you. If you are not able to sip causally throughout the day, try drinking in half cup increments when you can, especially before meals.
While water is one of easiest and cheapest ways to quench your thirst, your ‘water’ intake is not just limited to plain ole’ water. Any fluid you drink counts toward your daily water intake. So you can spice things up by drinking healthful drinks like smoothies, green juices, coconut water, broth/soups and teas.
Fruits & Veggies
We can also get water from the food we eat. The best plan includes high water content fruit such as cantaloupe, strawberries, watermelon, and vegetables like cucumbers, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, sweet peppers, radishes, spinach, zucchini, and tomatoes.
I mentioned earlier that hydration includes electrolyte minerals. Natural spring water contains minerals. Depending on the quality of your water and the filtration process, these mineral may not be present. The addition of fruits and veggies helps keep your electrolytes in balance. If you are not getting the minerals, you may find yourself thirsty even when you are drinking a lot of water.
I usually find that when I get my little headaches eating some watermelon or other juicy fruit helps me more than just plain water.
To adjust to summer, I’ve added more smoothies to my morning breakfast routine and make sure I have watermelon or strawberries cut up and ready to eat.
If you found this helpful, you can get more tips like this in the Back-To-Basics Mini-Course where I give more of the why, what and how to incorporate simple, healthy routines that will have a big impact in helping you feel great.
I’m offering a mid-summer special until Wednesday, August 9th. You can purchase the Back-To-Basics Mini-course for $67. Click here to purchase.