It's hot outside in most of the country, hotter than most of us are used to. The heat waves keep coming—and they’re lasting longer than usual. Our plants are dying, our makeup is smearing and our clothes stick every time we venture outside. It's a problem. And how to deal with this problem? Have a drink!
Hold on, there. I mean a drink of water. Those cute drinks with little paper umbrellas are not so cute on days like these. I can’t stress enough how important it is to keep drinking water. Lots and lots of water.
It can be hard to remember to drink enough water. But it’s easy to feel the effects of dehydration, which can include weakness, dizziness and headache. You might not even realize that you are dehydrated. That makes it all the more important that you remind yourself to keep drinking.
Here are some easy ways to make sure you’re getting enough fluids:
Keep a bottle of water handy. Certainly, out of sight often equals out of mind. Keep water easily within reach—on your desk, in the cup holder of your car, on the kitchen counter. And refill often! If drinking plain water isn't your favorite, trying spicing it up with cucumber slice or lemon slice...pick whatever you'd like!
Snack on water-rich foods. Fruits and vegetables loaded with water are another great option in this heat. Watermelon and cucumbers are two of my favorites during the summer.
Take a peek at your pee. Ok, this one is a little personal, but it can be lifesaving. Check the color of your urine! If it is too yellow, that means that you have not been drinking enough water. Ideally, try to go for clear. If your urine looks clear like water, it means you're hydrating properly.
The more you sweat, the more water your body loses. And along with water goes important electrolytes that we need to regulate our hydration status, help keep our body pH-balanced and help with muscle function and nerve activity. The two main electrolytes that we lose when we sweat are sodium and potassium. That's why the main ingredients in sports drinks are sodium chloride and potassium chloride. For most of us, water is a sufficient fluid replacement when we're sweating. During intensive athletic endeavors or other activities that make you sweat excessively, you may benefit from a sports drink that has sodium, potassium and other electrolytes. (But be aware that they usually have a whole lot of sugar, too!)
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