Maximize the last full month of summer sun by knowing how much water to consume and when. As sweat is our body’s way to prevent overheating, staying hydrated is a simple way to keep lethargy at bay. Follow these tips to ensure you are drinking enough based on the heat, and your activity levels.
What to Watch For:
Low levels of fluid intake lead to low blood volume. When your blood volume drops, your body compromises circulation and has poor nutrient exchange, hormone balance and toxin removal. Aside from feeling thirsty, a state of dehydration and low fluid intake may feel like:
- Low energy
- Mental fog, difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty cooling down, even when in air controlled environments
- Lightheaded and dizzy
- Puffy tissue (swelling around the joints)
- Slow recovery after exercise
How Much Water Should I Drink?
The amount of water and electrolytes you lose (and consequently need to replenish) depends on the temperature, humidity, type of activity you’re doing and in part your genetic predisposition. As a general guide consume at least .5oz of water for every pound of body weight (Note: There’s 8oz in a cup).
On hot and humid days, or the more active you are, look to increase your intake with additional (non-caffeinated) fluids. Seek out some of the following options while out on your urban adventures in the city:
- Order herbal tea on ice instead of an iced coffee at your local coffee shop
- Seek out a local fresh juice bar/truck or café serving fresh pressed fruit and vegetable juices which are rich in natural electrolytes
- Coconut water. Found at just about every grocery store. Look for unsweetened brands, or crack open a fresh young coconut for the freshest possible taste (found at most Asian specialty grocers).
- Electrolyte drink powders. Look for one with natural colors and flavors, and no added sugar or sweetener.
When should I hydrate?
Always start your day with ample fluids. Try drinking at least a cup of water as soon as you wake up, and to get in the habit, set a timer on your phone reminding you to drink (at least) another cup of water every hour through the day (i.e. 8 cups through an 8hr workday).
Mid-workout, rather than wait until you start to feel dizzy, or experience cramping, it’s best to hydrate consistently throughout your workout. A good rule is to sip on 1/2 cup of water every 15 minutes.
Anytime of day, this Cucumber Melon Hydrating Cocktail makes a great way to stay hydrated through natural sources of electrolytes.
Written by Emma Cutfield for Vancity Buzz. She is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, avid runner, and culinary explorer from Vancouver. As the National Educator for Vega, she speaks and writes for audiences across North America about sports nutrition, energy, optimal weight and longevity through a plant-based diet. Learn more about Emma’s work here and follow her on Twitter – @TheHeartyHeart.
Feature Image: Staying hydrated via shutterstock