With summer fast approaching and more outdoor activities on the horizon, staying hydrated and enjoying the outdoor weather is essential.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hydration is essential during the summer months to counter warmer temperatures and any increase in physical activity. Water helps the body maintain normal body temperature and prevent dehydration. This condition can cause fuzzy thinking, mood changes, headaches, and fatigue; cause your body to overheat; and lead to constipation and kidney stones.
According to The National Academy of Medicine, healthy adult men should aim to drink about 13 cups of water daily, and healthy women should consume about 9 cups. Higher water intake may be needed for those who are physically active or exposed to hot climates.
One quick way to estimate hydration levels is to look at the color and volume of your urine. Generally, the darker the color and the less the volume, the less water your urine contains, which may be a sign of dehydration. However, some foods, medications, and supplements (particularly B vitamins) can change your urine color, too.
If you’re struggling to drink enough water or looking for creative ways to stay hydrated and cool this summer, try adding some seasonal fruits and vegetables to your diet!
- Watermelon: Watermelon is one of the most hydrating foods you can eat; some estimations show it is composed of almost 92% water! Try cutting up some watermelon and adding it to your lunchtime meal.
- Cucumber: Cucumber contains almost 95% water and makes the perfect afternoon snack. Cut it up and add some of your favorite spices, eat it as-is, or top it with cottage cheese.
Sliced Citrus Fruit: Try jazzing up your water with a few slices of lemon, lime, or grapefruit for a fun twist to plain water.
Try this watermelon salad for a tasty way to add more hydrating foods to your diet.
Kerri Axelrod, Dietetic Intern