Summer is here and temps are rising! Are you ready to keep your cool with healthy hydration? Staying hydrated in the warmer months is especially important. And that's because we lose a significant amount of fluid through our skin in the form of sweat, so our water needs are greater than in cooler weather. But unfortunately, many people aren’t coming close to meeting their hydration needs.
How much water do you need? And how can you stay hydrated through the heat? Here are my registered dietitian-approved tips.
How Much Water Should You Drink a Day?
Nearly half of Americans drink only three cups of water or less each day, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This is far lower than what’s recommended. According to the National Academy of Medicine, women should have 11½ cups of water per day, while men should aim for 15½ cups a day. (And yes, hydrating foods, coffee and tea, and delicious prebiotic beverages, like OLIPOP, count toward your ‘water’ intake!)
Importance of Water During Exercise
If you’re exercising, you’ll want to boost hydration even more. The American Council on Exercise recommends using the following guidelines for when you’re working out:
Drink 17 to 20 ounces of water up to 2 to 3 hours before you start exercising.
Drink 8 ounces of water 20 to 30 minutes before you start exercising or during your warm-up.
Drink 7 to 10 ounces of water every 10 to 20 minutes during exercise.
Drink 8 ounces of water no more than 30 minutes after you exercise.
Benefits of Water: Why Is Water Important?
Staying hydrated isn’t only about quenching thirst—it’s critical for optimal health. Fluids serve important roles in the body including:
Stabilizing body temperature
Reducing the risk of kidney stones
Maintaining bowel regularity
What’s more, recent research reveals that staying well-hydrated can even help us live longer, healthier lives with fewer chronic conditions, such as heart and lung disease.
How to Drink More Water
If you’re struggling to meet your recommended sips, I’ve got you covered! Here are some easy tips for boosting your hydration needs this summer to help you reach your goal:
Enjoy foods that contain lots of water. The good news is that many fruits peaking in the summer months have a high water content. When you’re on the go or need a healthy snack at home, consider cherry tomatoes, peaches, watermelon, and cucumbers, which provide water as well as important nutrients.
If you aren’t keen on the taste of plain water, add some fresh lemon or lime slices.
When you leave the house, always bring your reusable beverage container with you!
Before you sit down to work, make sure you have a handy beverage within reach, such as a can of OLIPOP. You’ll quench your thirst while getting a dose of prebiotics to help your digestive health.
Drink before you feel thirsty. If you’re already feeling thirsty, you’re slightly dehydrated. Sip water steadily throughout the day and drink more fluids than usual when the weather is hot.
Always forgetting to drink water? Create a smart sipping schedule! For instance, drink water when you wake up, at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and when you go to bed. Or drink a small glass of water at the beginning of each hour.
With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to quenching your thirst and supporting your hydration health. But hydration doesn’t have to be boring! Stock up on your favorite OLIPOP flavors to help you stay hydrated and fueled this summer, featuring 2-5g of sugar and 9g of gut-supporting fiber.
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