During the summer time, or any time where you are in a warm or humid environment, your body’s need for water increases.
Making sure that you drink plenty of water in order to compensate for this additional need is the best plan of action, but this can be subsidised by eating various foods that have a high water content as well. One such example is the watermelon, which we will cover along with other fruits with a high water content.
This article is going to explain how much water you need a day, and just how to stay hydrated during the summer months ahead, highlighting the best drink for dehydration.
How much water do we need each day?
So how much water do you need a day? Well first of all we should take a look at the volume of water that our bodies need each day, before other factors such as spending time outside in the heat, or physical activity are taken into consideration. These are factors that of course will use up more water through bodily functions, and increase the amount that we sweat.
A commonly talked about benchmark is that drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water each day, which equates to approximately two to three liters, is sufficient to meet your body’s needs. We require water so that a great many processes can take place in our body, and it loses it through sweat, urination and breathing. So keeping our water levels topped up all day is mandatory, under normal temperatures and circumstances, let alone any that increase the overall need.
Should you end up in a hot and/or humid environment, it is fundamental to take on board more water. The need for water is even greater if you are taking part in physical activity in such conditions, and/or if you are spending time at greater altitudes.
It is difficult to say exactly how much more is needed, but you should be exceeding 3-4 liters spread out during the day.
Ways to stay hydrated during the summer months
Now that you know how much water your body needs, and just why this need is increased during the summer months, let’s look at the best ways to stay hydrated.
1. Drink plenty of water and hydrating liquids- The best thing about water is that you don’t have to buy it over the counter. Of course if you want to you can as mineral water is available pretty much everywhere you go, but the point is you turn the tap on and it comes out. It may go without saying, but this is undoubtedly the most obvious, and by far the easiest way to remain hydrated during hot and humid weather. If you are going out, keep a bottle of water with you, or if you are at work then keep a bottle of water with you as well. Refill the bottle as many times as possible during the day so the water is there as and when you need it. Sports drinks, such as Gatorade, are also hydrating due to the electorlytes that they contain, they may in fact be the best drink for dehydration.
2. Eat fruits that contain a high volume of water, such as the watermelon – We should all be making sure that we have five portions of fruit and vegetables each day, and during the summer months you should ensure that those that you eat have a high water content. A brilliant example of a fruit that is bursting with water is the aptly named watermelon, which is made up of over 90% water. There are also a load of brilliant nutritional benefits that can be obtained from eating watermelon such as it’s high volumes of vitamin C and potassium, plus there are literally no calories in watermelon to worry about, if you are a calorie counter.
Other such fruits and vegetables with high water content are:
3. Avoid things that will have a dehydrating effect – It is lovely to sit in the sun and have a glass of wine, or a nice cold beer, but avoiding things such as alcohol, or at least drinking them in smaller quantities and alongside regular water intake, is the safest option. Alcohol has a dehydrating effect on the body, as anyone who has ever suffered from a hangover will tell you, and this is going to make you feel even worse in the summer heat. Other such liquids that can be dehydrating are sodas and caffeinated beverages.
Becoming dehydrated is something that can be very dangerous, so avoiding it at all costs is a must. After all we are never far away from a free source of water, fruits like the watermelon are easily available in stores and supermarkets everywhere for next to nothing, and limiting how much alcohol we drink is down to nothing but self restraint.
Steve Wright is an internet writer and nutritional expert. With various websites to his name including the popular http://www.calories-in-foods.com/, he strives to share his work with as many people as possible online. Residing and working in the UK he is an avid follower of the ATP world tennis tour and Liverpool FC.