We all know water is important to healthy living, but just like sleep and self care, it is often overlooked or downplayed. Water is essential to our survival but also to our thriving! You may notice a lack of energy, increased headaches, irritability, difficulty concentrating, constipation, and more when you are not hydrated adequately.
A general rule of thumb is to consume at least half of your body weight in ounces of water each day at baseline, plus more for physical activity, temperature, humidity, etc. Don’t rely on thirst to tell you when to drink water- monitoring urine color (should be pale to light yellow) and frequency are much more reliable markers of hydration status. Especially in hot and humid summer conditions, reminding ourselves to drink water is the last thing we want to spend energy on. Here are five tips to achieve adequate hydration and stay cool doing so!
1. Drink a cup of water first thing in the morning
After you wake up and before doing anything else to start your day (especially before using phone/computer/tv, drinking coffee/tea, or eating anything) try drinking a full cup of water. Drinking water can help refresh the body, mind, and spirit to start your day and set the pace to continue hydrating throughout the day.
2. Carry a water bottle all day
If you always have a water bottle at hand or a glass of water next to you all day, you are more likely to drink it. Use the bottle or glass of water as a visual reminder to keep hydrating. When the bottle or glass is empty, take the time to refill it as a stretch break- both for your body and mind.
3. Flavor your water
Some people find plain water boring and that’s okay- fruit (berries are my favorite), lemon or lime juice, cucumber slices, mint leaves, etc added to water are quick and natural ways to make water more enticing, colorful, tasty, and fun! Iced herbal tea can be another flavorful way to achieve your hydration needs. It is best to stay away from caffeinated tea/coffee/soda, as caffeine is dehydrating.
4. Eat hydrating foods
Eating water counts towards meeting your hydration goals too! A lot of fresh fruit and vegetables have a naturally high water content, which not only makes them filling, but also hydrating and satisfying in summer heat. Some of my favorites include- melons, citrus, berries, pineapple, peaches, grapes (try them frozen too!), cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, lettuce, carrots, peppers, snap peas (think of juicy or crispy things.)
5. Eat cool or room temperature foods instead of hot foods
Turning on the oven or even cooking on the stove top can be unappealing and brutal in summer heat. Instead of turning to take out, a frozen tv dinner, or skipping breakfast, try some of these cool and satisfying meal ideas:
- Cold soba noodle salad
- Spring rolls
- Chickpea salad sandwich
- Pasta salad
- Broccoli salad
- Salad for breakfast
- Green smoothie
- Overnight oats
- Fruit and non-dairy yogurt parfait
- Chia pudding