Staying hydrated can be difficult. Staying hydrated in the summer can be dangerous. Whether you’re exercising, working, or just spending time with family and friends, it is crucial to be aware of your water intake. Heat exhaustion and dehydration poise serious potential dangers for anyone outside during the summer.
What more can you do other than making sure to have your water bottles filled? We’ve reached out to college professors and registered nutritionist for their tips on what more you can be doing to stay hydrated this summer.
Here are some helpful insight to get you through the dog days of summer:
Angelia Holland – Assistant Professor at Augusta University
“My tip would be to include electrolytes in daily hydration strategies. Many waters and sports drinks now add electrolytes for improved hydration. Electrolytes should be included in daily hydration strategies. Minerals such as sodium, calcium, potassium, magnesium, chlorine, and phosphate are classified as electrolytes. Electrolytes help maintain the body’s water balance; when electrolyte levels become low, dehydration may occur.”
David Pascoe – Professor in Exercise Science at Auburn University
“Rehydration must be adjusted to one’s sweat rate. The sweat rate varies according to work intensity, environmental conditions, fitness levels, and gender, which constitute an individually determined rate. Evaporative cooling provides the greatest opportunity for heat dissipation which can be diminished in very humid conditions. Knowing your sweat weight loss can help you understand your sweat rate (1 gram= 1 ml). Try to keep hydration ahead or matched to sweat loss. Once you have become dehydrated, it is an extended process to rehydrate.”
Joseph D. Brown – Professor of Kinesiology at East Texas Baptist University
“With all of the smartphones, smart watches, etc., set an alarm to remind you, when you need to drink. Avoid alcohol the day of or the day before an excessive exercise day. Drink at least 750ml of water prior to you exercising. That’s about one and a half bottles of your typical 16.9oz water bottle sold at the grocery store.” Read more.
“The maximal amount of sweat rates can be up to 2-3 liters per hour with a reduction in body mass of around 2-3%. However, there are large variations between individuals in sweat rates in the same conditions. It’s important for the person to be hydrated and drink approximately 5-7 ml/kg at least four hours before exercise. During activity outside, the person should consume 200-300 ml (7-10 fluid ounces), every 10 to 20 minutes of exercise. Then post-exercise rehydration, ideally would replace all fluid loss during exercise. Therefore, for every pound lost during exercise, the person should ingest 16-24 ounces of fluid.
To ensure adequate hydration, the fluids should be easily accessed, taste good based on the individual’s personal preference, should have regular hydration breaks, and consume fluid early during an exercise session and keep hydrating throughout the session.”
“During the summer months it is important to stay well hydrated especially when exercising outdoors. A loss of even a small percentage of body weight due to sweating can affect a number of body systems as well as cognitive function. Many people make the mistake of relying on thirst as an indicator of the need to hydrate, but thirst sets in too late. Making sure of hydration prior to heading outdoors and having a regular schedule of hydration breaks while outdoors is the name of the game to beat the heat in the summer.”
Trish Casey – Registered Dietician at Advanced Nurtition Consultants
“Of course. This is a very common topic I talk about with my own patients at Advanced Nutrition Consultants. One tip I give is to diffuse fruits, veggies, and herbs in ice cold water. This adds flavor without adding many calories or carbohydrates/sugar. Some of my favorite combinations are fresh mint leaves and cucumber slices, lemon and lime slices, frozen strawberries or blueberries or peach and basil leaves.”
“Best tip – weigh yourself before and after your workout – the weight loss is primarily water and it needs to be replaced as soon as possible. For every pound lost you need to replenish with a pint of fluid preferably water or low sugar electrolyte drink.”
Jennifer Doane, President, Advantage Nutrition & Wellness, Registered/Licensed Dietitian, Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, Certified Athletic Trainer
“Remember, we need to sufficiently drink water but we can also obtain water from our foods. Eating a well-balanced diet can help you stay hydrated. It is recommended to eat 5 A Day for all of your fruit and vegetable portions. In the summer months, choose those rich with additional water content such as watermelon, grapes, cucumber, celery, starfruit, radishes, baby carrots and strawberries to name a few.”
Kayla Warechowski – iLiveWell Nutrition Intern
“Sipping on a water bottle isn’t the only way to stay hydrated — snack on some juicy summer fruit to boost your water intake throughout the day!”