Summer is a season we look forward to all year round: the long days, warm weather, and endless outdoor opportunities. Being caught up in what summertime has to offer makes it all too easy to forget about staying hydrated. The dangers of even mild dehydration are serious; dizziness, brain fog, lethargy, and headaches are all indicators of dehydration. If ignored these mild symptoms can lead to serious complications. So increased hot, sunny outdoor time calls for increased water intake.
It sounds basic but if you’re thirsty, drink more fluid! Thirst is the simplest way your body is able to communicate with you about its hydration needs. Other cues to observe include your urine color, energy level, and the amount you’re sweating. Your body’s language is entirely its own, so the classic adage of “8 glasses a day” may not apply to you. It can be a good general rule of thumb, but many people need much less or much more water to properly care for their body.
Here are some fun, simple ways to inspire your intake:
Infuse your water! Try making a large pitcher in the morning of ice water with a few tasty additions. Collect a few herbs or spices of choice and one or two kinds of fruit, making sure to wash them well. Cut up the fruit into large sections and lightly smack the herbs in your hand before adding them to the pitcher. The longer you let it rest the more flavorful it will be.
Carry a water vessel with you at all times, from grocery shopping to coffee with friends. You may be surprised how frequently you reach for it when you have it. We often ignore our thirst because we’re not well prepared.
Create your own sports drink. Are you working out intensely for over an hour outdoors? You may need more than just water to hydrate your body. This would include replenishing your electrolytes and glycogens,which you do not need an artificial sports drink to accomplish. Try a natural mix of unrefined sea salt, honey, and citrus juice or trace mineral drops in your water.