As heat hit Loras early this school year, it brought me to a very important topic: hydration. Our bodies are made up of approximately 60 percent water, so it only makes sense to give our bodies what we are made of. The human body needs water to maintain muscle function, digestion, immune health, mood and to protect our gorgeous joints and brain. We lose water every day by going to the bathroom, sweat and even when you breathe. You lose water even faster when the weather is super-hot, when you have a fever or when you’re physically active.
Everyone has a different recommended water intake depending on a number of factors including activity level, climate, altitude, height and weight. A good rule of thumb is to take your body weight and divide it by two – that’s how many ounces per day of water you should have. Some common signs of dehydration to take note of are dry mouth, fatigue, extreme thirst, headache, confusion and dizziness or a light-headed feeling. I have five wonderful tips for my fellow Duhawks to make them feel like a mermaid…or merman.
1. Hydrate in the a.m.
Get out of bed and drink an 8-ounce glass of water first thing when you wake up in the morning. You can have your coffee too, but drink your water first. I like to squeeze half of a lemon into room-temperature water in the morning, which helps rid the body of toxins, detoxes the liver and helps me to wake up in the morning.
2. Carry a Water Bottle
Find a solid water bottle that’s not going to spill, and take it with you wherever you go. Think of it as your best companion. Purchasing bottled water can get expensive and creates waste. Invest in a reusable water bottle and fill it with tap water instead. There are also newer options of water bottles with a built-in filter, insulated bottles and shaker bottles to mix in sports drinks or protein powder.
3. Eat Your Water
Eat it! Fruit is around 80 percent water, depending on the type of fruit you get. Watermelon? I wonder if there’s any water in watermelon. You get fiber from the fruit and the water?! It’s a two-for-one deal here, folks. Another option for eating your water is soup! You can find a vast array of soup recipes which can help boost your vegetable intake as well.
4. Get Flavorful
If you’re one of those Duhawks who just simply don’t like the taste of plain water, try adding a slice of lemon or lime to jazz things up. You can get creative with cucumbers, blueberries or other fruits and veggies. There are a multitude of sparkling waters if bubbles are your thing. Another option is infuser water bottles that help infuse fruit into your water. You can find these at Target, Walmart or just about anywhere.
5. Be An Athlete
Whether you’re an athlete or not, a lot of people forget to drink water when they workout. Make sure you drink an adequate amount before, during and after exercise. Electrolyte balance is a catalyst for athletic success. Electrolytes are minerals in body fluids that contain an electrical charge. Getting enough vitamin D from the sun, food or supplementation along with a healthy diet help maintain peak electrolyte balance and athletic performance.
When heat strikes, as it did this past week, don’t fret about hydration. I have equipped you with all the tips you need to know how to keep your body happy. Keep up on those fluids and don’t be a dehydrated Duhawk.
Signing off, your helper in health, The Fanny Pack Girl