It’s summer, which means it’s time for outdoor fun. It’s also the time of year when it’s easy to become dehydrated. Water temperatures, higher humidity, and increased physical activity cause you to perspire more. These fluids need to be replaced throughout the day to keep your body in balance. Water is a key nutrient – we can’t live without it. In fact, every system in the body depends on water. Our bodies use water to carry other nutrients and oxygen to cells, flush toxins out of vital organs, dissolve minerals, and keep mucous membranes moist. We constantly lose water, so we need to replace it. But how much do you really need?
How Much Is Enough? The amount of fluid you require depends on how active you are and how hot it is. Forget the typical rule of eight glasses of water a day – some people may need more. Strenuous exercise or exercise in the heat and humidity can tip the balance toward dehydration. Drink extra beforehand, plus ½ to 1 cup every 15 to 20 minutes. After exercise, drink at least two additional cups – more if it’s very hot.
Wet Your Appetite Don’t drink water much? Here are some tips to help:
- Keep a glass or bottle on your desk at work.
- Add a splash of fruit juice to plain or carbonated water.
- Toss a bottle of water in your bag or briefcase so you can drink up when you’re on the go.
Sources include: American Council on Exercise, American Diabetic Association, National Academy of Sciences, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. National Library of Medicine