The warmer weather is finally here. Time to get outdoors and get busy with summer leagues, hiking, gardening, or just relaxing on the patio with friends and family. Regardless of what activity takes you outside, be mindful of sun exposure and make sure you stay hydrated. It’s easy to get distracted by the activities we love and lose track of how much water we’re actually drinking. This is especially important for children, who may not recognize right away that they’re thirsty or simply may not want to interrupt their play to get a drink of water.
Thirst is the body’s way of signalling that you’re running low on water. That means you’re already somewhat dehydrated when you start to feel thirsty. So how do you stay ahead of it? We’ve put together this list of DOs and DON’Ts for staying hydrated as the weather heats up.
Drink Before You Feel Thirsty
This might feel like stating the obvious, but thirst signals that you are already low on water. So, be sure to have a drink of water before heading out doors and, if necessary, set a reminder to keep sipping water regularly.
Stick with Water
It’s true many other drinks (milk, juice, pop) help to keep you hydrated, but water is what your body really needs, so stick with plain water. That way you’ll also avoid the extra calories those other beverages deliver.
Use a Refillable Bottle
There are plenty of options for getting the convenience of bottled water. Whether you’re all about the style or the chill (plenty of thermos options available that will keep your water chilled for hours), there is a bottle for you. And for the “littles” in your life, there are spill-proof, easy-spout designs. So all you need to do is fill up with filtered tap water and enjoy!
Add Flavour or Sparkle
If plain water gets too boring, add some flavour or sparkle. Adding lemon, lime, or even cucumber slices can often be enough to satisfy the taste buds. Or consider sparkling water or soda water. Again, these can add appeal without adding calories.
Eat Your Water
Biting into a cool, slice of watermelon or a crisp, mini-cucumber can really refresh on a hot summer day. Many fruits and veggies have high water content and would make great snacks while outdoors or a good addition to meals before heading out. Oranges, grapefruit, zucchini, celery, and radishes are a few other suggestions.
Consider the Coconut
If you are partaking in vigorous activity or the temperature is especially high, you’re likely to lose more fluids through sweating. So, you’ll likely need to replenish both water and electrolytes.. If sports drinks are your usual go-to, consider coconut water instead. It can deliver potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium, but without added sugar.
Overdo the Alcohol
If you are out in the heat, it’s best to just avoid alcohol. Alcohol has a diuretic effect causing you to lose even more fluid. If you do want to enjoy a beverage or two on the patio or after the game, be sure to alternate with plain water to minimize the unwanted effects.