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Importance of good hydration during summer

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Importance of good hydration during summer

Staying well-hydrated is always vital, particularly in the summer months when the temperature rises and we sweat more than usual. Every day, our bodies lose water naturally through the urine, intestines, skin, and lungs. During any physical activity, perspiration increases water loss and therefore adequate hydration is of utmost importance.

Our bodies are 70% water by weight, and proper hydration is essential for our overall health. The water we consume optimizes blood pressure, regulates body temperature, lubricates joints, moves waste out of the body, aids in digestion, supports brain function, maintains hormonal balance, helps in metabolic processes (including fat-metabolism), transports energy-giving vitamins and minerals and supports muscles and bones integrity in our bodies.

If we do not drink enough water, dehydration occurs, causing muscle cramps, fatigue and extreme thirst. Dehydration also affects the brain, especially in hot weather or while doing extreme exercises which then affects our thinking and cognition capacities.

Signs of dehydration include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Dry mouth
  • Mild constipation
  • Temporary lightheadness
  • Weakness and dizziness
  • Water retention
  • Bladder infections
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Irritability

Tips for proper hydration

  1. Have enough water – Recommendations vary depending on age, weight and activity level but an easy way to ensure proper hydration is by consuming an average of 1.5 – 2.5 L of water per day.
  • Reusable bottle – Adopt a ‘BPA – free’ refillable water bottle to help in tracking the amount of water consumed per day. It is advisable to keep the bottle near you to encourage hydration throughout the day.
  • Have more infusions/ infused beverages – Avoid adding artificial sweeteners or fruit syrup to drinking water. Instead add lemon slices/ fresh berries/ fresh orange slices / grapefruit/ watermelon pieces/ cucumber slices/ mint leaves to water to enhance flavor. This helps to add vitamins to the drink and acts as a refreshing beverage during hot summer.
  • Adopt a routine – It becomes difficult to remember to have water during hectic days. Make it a habit and routine to have a glass of water once you wake up, before and after meals and prior to, during and after exercises. Setting a schedule for drinking water can help in achieving the target of having 1.5 – 2.5 L of water per day.
  • Opt for water rich foods – It is important to add foods high in water content to the daily diet. Examples of foods rich in water are:
  • Cucumbers
  • Watermelon
  • Celery
  • Radish
  • Tomatoes
  • Cauliflower and broccoli
  • Grapefruit
  • Probiotics – A healthy gut will keep you hydrated at all times. Beneficial bacteria aid in the absorption of nutrients and electrolytes from foods and drinks. A strong and healthy intestinal flora will help keep away harmful microbes that can cause temporary intestinal issues, leading to dehydration.
  • Coconut water – summer treat – Coconut water is mineral rich, packed with potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium. Coconut water can replenish loss fluids and electrolytes from exercise and hot summer temperatures. Freeze coconut water ice cubes for a refreshing, hydrating summer treat.
  • Superfood – Chia seeds – These tiny seeds are hydrophilic, meaning they absorb water (up to 12 times their weight). When you consume soaked chia seeds in water, they will slowly release that water, keeping your system hydrated.

Have plenty of water and eat a diet rich in hydrating fruits and vegetables to stay full of energy and hydrated during the months of summer.

For more information and advice on water retention and digestion problems, please contact your dietician at Naturhouse.

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