Does hot summer weather make an impact on our need for calories or our metabolism? Our bodies slow down metabolism a little to avoid overheating when the thermometer soars, but those climbing temps don’t really change the calories we need. What can make a change in metabolism is dehydration. Your body loses more than 10 cups of water in an average day even without exercise. Unless you drink plenty of water, you may be at risk for dehydration.


Water is important in helping our bodies absorb nutrients. When you are dehydrated, less of those nutrients and oxygen get to your tissues. That’s because water makes up most of the volume of blood, and dehydration reduces the volume of blood coursing through your body.


Dehydration also can slow your body’s energy levels and metabolism so that you burn fewer calories than you would if you had plenty to drink.


An added bonus in drinking water can be weight control. Water makes you feel full and helps you resist the urge to nibble. Sip a little water when you crave a snack, and you may find that gnawing feeling was thirst and not hunger. Water also fight fluid retention by diluting sodium levels in your body. Here are some tips to help you stay hydrated during summer months:


  • Try to drink between eight to 12 glasses each day. Track your daily intake. Start your day by filling a pitcher of water each morning and keep it nearby throughout the day.
  • Don’t skip your workout, but plan to drink more water when you exercise. Plan ahead of time if you know you are going to work out for more than an hour. Drink more water before you start. Drink six to eight ounces of water every 20 minutes when exercising. After you finish, restore fluids by drinking two eight-ounce glasses.
  • Be aware of drinks that are diuretics and can cause dehydration. These include caffeinated soda, tea, coffee and alcohol. Follow a drink of coffee or a cocktail with a water chaser to replace lost water.
  • Green tea is flavorful, calorie free, and contains an antioxidant that mildly boosts metabolism and is thought to combat diseases from cancer to Alzheimer’s. Tannic acid compounds in green tea slow the release of caffeine into the bloodstream and slow its dehydrating effects.
  • Drink a couple of glasses of water right away when you wake up to replenish fluids lost overnight.
  • Infuse your water with herbs such as mint or basil for added flavor. Drop slices of citrus fruits or cucumber into a pitcher for a refreshing taste.
  • Remember that sodas, sports drinks and fruit juices carry a lot of sugar. Stick with water and healthy post-workout snacks after working out.