Most adults do not keep their bodies properly hydrated throughout the year, but this is especially important when the warm summer months roll around. During this time, people tend to spend more time outdoors being active as the temperatures rise, making it easier to become dehydrated. Unfortunately, this can cause numerous health problems, both short and long-term. Lack of proper hydration can even play a role in your vein health. Of course, drinking water throughout the day is one of the best ways to combat this problem, but there are some other things you can do.
1. Avoid alcohol.
A nice cold beer or glass of wine may seem refreshing after a long hot day, but alcohol actually dehydrates your system. Cut back on your intake during the summer or better yet, trade that beer in for a glass of water.
2. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
So many fruits and vegetables like celery, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, berries, bell peppers, melons, and grapes are largely made up of water, so they can help keep you hydrated if you munch on them throughout the day. Potassium-rich fruits and veggies also help you replenish the electrolytes your body loses when it’s exposed to too much summer heat.
3. Sip tea throughout the day.
Herbal tea — without sugar — is a great alternative when you are burned out on water. Keep a mug at your desk, and sip it throughout the day instead of waiting until you are thirsty.
4. Pay attention to your urine.
If you don’t take a peek into the toilet during your bathroom breaks, it’s time to start. A body that is dehydrated will typically produce dark yellow or orange urine that has a strong odor. If you are drinking enough fluids, your urine will be light yellow, slightly lighter than a glass of lemonade.
5. Try coconut water after you sweat.
When you sweat, whether it’s from a workout or just being out in the hot sun all day, your body doesn’t just lose water but important electrolytes, too. These include sodium, potassium, and chloride. Consider drinking a glass of coconut water after a workout or long day at the pool or beach to replenish those electrolytes and hydrate at the same time.
6. Cut back on caffeine.
Just like alcohol, caffeine can actually dehydrate you. So, put down that soda and swap it out for a glass of water. Even a fruit-flavored sparkling water is a better option than Coke or Pepsi.
7. Pay attention to your body.
If you ever start to feel dehydrated, you need to start taking steps to correct it as soon as possible. Signs and symptoms often include fatigue, loss of appetite, dry mouth, or dizziness.
8. Take it inside on incredibly hot days.
When the temperatures reach over 90, stay inside if possible. Do an indoor workout. Go to a movie instead of hitting the beach. If you must go outside, wear light clothing and stay in the shade. These moves won’t hydrate you, but they will help prevent you from becoming dehydrated too quickly.