Staying hydrated is always important but especially important during the summer months when the temperature really climbs. This is even more important if you are exercising in the heat, the hotter the workout the greater the water loss through sweat. The human body is almost 60% water and every system in the body depends on water to function properly. Among other things water helps to transport oxygen and nutrients to cells and working muscles, regulates body temperature, aids in digestion and waste elimination and protects our joints and cartilage. Most people get about 80 percent of their total water intake from drinking water and beverages and the other 20 percent usually comes from food.
Eat Your Water!
Virtually all food has water in it but some foods contain over 90% water making them great choices to include in your summer meals. Choosing any of these vegetables and fruits will provide vitamins, minerals, fiber as well as a great source of water to help you stay hydrated:
Chronic dehydration can contribute to constipation, frequent joint pain, headaches, low energy and confusion. Unfortunately, thirst isn’t always a reliable gauge of the body’s need for water, especially in children and older adults. Often if you wait until you sense thirst you may already be dehydrated. The best way to prevent dehydration is to make a conscious effort to stay hydrated throughout the day. Drink plenty of water before any exercise, so that your body has some reserve fluid it can use to for cooling.
The signs and symptoms of dehydration range from minor to severe and include:
Dry mouth and swollen tongue
Palpitations (feeling that the heart is jumping or pounding)
Inability to sweat
Decreased urine output
Urine color may indicate dehydration. Clear or light-colored urine means you’re well hydrated, whereas a dark yellow or amber color usually signals dehydration.
Eat better, feel better and stay hydrated!
Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes: Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate http://iom.nationalacademies.org/Reports/2004/Dietary-Reference-Intakes-Water-Potassium-Sodium-Chloride-and-Sulfate.aspx#sthash.W4iVE20Y.dpuf
WebMd. Dehydration in Adults. WebMd.com/a-to-z-guides/dehydration-adults#1
US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Nutrient Data Laboratory. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 27 (revised). Version Current: May 2015. http://www.ars.usda.gov/ba/bhnrc/ndl
Staying Hydrated is Important, These Foods Can Help