As we enter the summer months, the days become longer and more opportunities for outdoor activities arise. This is also the time, however, that our exposure to sunlight and heat increases which can increase the rate at which we become dehydrated. This is one of the reasons why it is important to stay hydrated!
Dehydration is the absence of a sufficient amount of water in your body. Water is important because our bodies are made up of about 60% water. The water in our bodies aids daily bodily functions, balances our electrolytes, keeps our skin lubricated and moist, and helps regulate our overall body temperature. Loss of water from our bodies is increased when our bodies become heated whether from exercise, fever, or a hot climate (like Hawaii!). A good measure of hydration is the color of your urine. If you are well hydrated, the urine is clear to light yellow in color. If you are becoming dehydrated, your urine is dark yellow/orange. Other signs of dehydration include: headaches, fatigue, dizziness, dry mouth, elevated heart rate, flushed skin, or muscle aches.
We need about 8 cups of water on average daily and potentially more if there is excess fluid loss (i.e. fever, exercise, hot weather, etc.). Drink as much clear fluids as you can to maintain hydration. Foods that contain water are also a delicious way to stay hydrated. Watermelon, peaches, strawberries, melons, cucumbers, tomatoes all contain water and make great summer snacks. Rehydration mixes have become popular for maintaining hydration as well such as Pedialyte and Liquid IV. So don’t forget to drink lots of water and stay hydrated!