There’s no arguing that water is essential for life. And it’s especially important to stay hydrated during the heat of the long summer days. Why? Because fluid losses are accentuated in hot and humid weather (think sweat) - and lack of water can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when you don't have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions.
But it’s hard to know how much water is enough water. It’s been reported that a healthy person can drink up to three gallons of water per day (gulp!). In general, however, experts recommend drinking about 8 cups of water a day.
These recommendations might seem like a lot to swallow, but there are plenty of easy tricks to keep water consumption up while temperatures are high. Here are a few.
10 Easy Ways to Increase Water Consumption this Summer
- Carry a bottle of water with you everywhere you go. Over plastic water bottles? Invest in a reusable stainless steel water bottle.
- Craving something sweet? Add citrus or berries to a glass of water and crushed ice.
- Get classy and add a slice of lime and fresh mint to sparkling water. Sip it out of a wine glass.
- Feeling the urge to snack this summer? Save the calories and have a glass of water instead.
- Chill out with melon chunks and cucumber slices added to cool water.
- Drink a glass of water first thing when you wake up in the morning.
- Drink a glass of water before going to bed at night.
- Replace alcohol, soda, juice and coffee with water (caffeine can act as a diuretic flushing water out of your system, which may lead to dehydration).
- Go green by adding a few springs of your favorite herb—such as lavender or rosemary or your water.
- Drink water before you become thirsty (signs of thirst are initial signs of slight dehydration - even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired).
Dehydration can be serious; especially in the summer heat. If a person becomes dehydrated and can’t sweat enough to cool their body, their internal temperature may rise dangerously high and result in heat stroke. Luckily this can be avoided by drinking plenty of water during outdoor activities and on hot days.
On a lighter note: Staying hydrated this summer will not only keep you cool, but it looks cool, too. You can ensure your chill factor by adding ice to your water bottles.
Whether you call it agua, eau, voda, vasser or water – just drink it. Hydrate for a healthier and safer summer.