Beat the Heat: Hydration

Posted on August 9th, 2019

I don’t know about you but every time summer comes around I find myself being so much thirstier. Just a coincidence? Not quite.  Whether you are swimming, going to the local park, or doing other outside activities, it is easy to get dehydrated when you are spending time in the sun. If your childhood was anything like mine, the first thing I grabbed for on a hot day was some ice cream and a cold can of soda. Do not get me wrong, it is among my favorite childhood memories but let me tell you once I figured out how much better I felt with the proper hydration it was a game-changer. Read on to see why our body thrives on water and some creative ways to increase fluids.

Why is it important to stay hydrated?

So, why is staying hydrated so important after all? Well, water makes up about 60% of our body, so it is easy to imagine that without it our bodies will not function at its best. Water is beneficial in several ways

  1. Water helps prevent dry mouth– Those who are properly hydrated tend to have fewer issues with bad breath. Not to mention, staying hydrated may make you less prone to cavities, which may mean fewer trips to the dentists–YAY.
  2. Helps promote heart health and energize muscles – Dehydration can cause your heart to work harder, which may make day to day activities like walking up the stairs, or any form of exercise harder. The same goes for muscles, drink more water to avoid muscle fatigue and better movement.
  3. Act as a natural cleanser- When the body is properly hydrated, the body is able to effectively rid the body of waste through bowel movements, urination, and sweating. Furthermore, with proper hydration, the body is able to use and transport nutrients more effectively.
  4. It boosts skin health –Hydration helps the skin maintain its protective barrier and leaves skin looking more refreshed.
  5. Improve brain function- Water helps to expand the blood vessels so that more oxygen travels to the brain allowing for better energy levels, cognitive ability, and information retention

 

How much fluid do I need?

Fluid needs vary based on multiple things such as health status, age, and sex, but it is recommended that women consume about 9 cups a day and men consume about 13 cups a day. While water is the best option for hydration, the good thing is that there are some creative ways to increase your fluid intake other than water. Some of these things include

Creative ways to get in those fluids

  • Add in some fresh lemon or your favorite fruit to make water more appealing
  • Foods like watermelon, cucumber, tomatoes, and peaches can count towards your needs because of their high water content. Crazy, right?
  • Although water is best, other beverages like milk, juice, and tea count too.
  • Blend up some of your favorite fruits and vegetables into a smoothie and drink up.
  • Use blended or juiced hydrating fruits like watermelon and berries and fill popsicle molds for the perfect summer treat. See recipe idea below.

 

Homemade Watermelon Popsicle Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 cups seedless watermelon chunks
  • 3 tsp fresh lime juice

Instructions

  1. Cut up the watermelon into chunks so you can measure out four cups. Put the watermelon and fresh lime juice into a high-powered blender and blend until you have a very smooth puree.
  2. Pour the watermelon juice into six popsicle molds. Add the lid to each popsicle mold and then freeze it for 2-3 hours or until fully frozen

* If watermelon is not your thing, you can substitute it for other fruit like mango, berries, or pineapple.

 

Overall, water intake is something that should not be overlooked because it plays such an important role in our health. Plain water does the job, but get creative and do what you need to do to get the recommended fluids in. If you want to learn more about hydration, Reasors is always here to help.

About the Blogger

My name is Jessica Gibson and I am a current dietetic intern at Oklahoma State University. Outside my passion for nutrition, I love trying new restaurants, going to concerts and being outside.

 

The information included does not constitute medical advice and should only be used as a general recommendation for a healthy diet. Reasor’s Registered Dietitian’s opinions and recommendations are of their own; they are not paid to endorse any products.

 

Additional References

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. https://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=10925

Stacy Homemaker: Easy Vegan Recipes

https://www.staceyhomemaker.com/easy-watermelon-popsicles/

CDC: Center for Disease Control and Prevention

https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/nutrition/index.html