July is Hydration Awareness Month
As we continue into the summer months, there are many ways to keep ourselves healthy, and that includes staying hydrated! Below is some information provided by the NOAH Dietitians on the reasons for hydration, how much to drink, and the many ways to hydrate. And remember – Every sip counts!
Why is water important?
- Keeps body temperatures normal.
- Improve brain function and mood.
- Prevents constipation.
- Gets rid of waste from the body in urine, sweat, and the digestive track.
- Lubricates joints and protects your spinal cord and other tissues.
How much should you drink?
That’s not as simple of a question as it sounds. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is 15.5 cups (124 oz.) for men and 11.5 cups (92 oz.) a day for women. All beverages (even coffee and tea) count as fluids, and plenty of foods are good sources of fluids, like fruits, vegetables, and soups. The common wisdom of 8 cups of water a day (64 oz.) is great place to start!
When do you need more water?
In general, you need more water when you lose more water by sweating or your digestive track.
- In hot Arizona summers.
- More physically active.
- Running a fever.
- Having diarrhea or vomiting.
How can you tell if you’re not drinking enough?
You may have one or more of the signs below if you need more water.
- Darker than light yellow urine.
- Dizziness or headaches.
- Muscle cramps or fatigue.
Tips for getting enough water?
- Carry a water bottle. Try freezing one overnight for ice-cold water all day.
- For a little extra flavor, add something! Lemon, lime, mango, mint, cucumber, strawberry, melon, jalapeno or a low/no calorie flavorings can enhance the taste of water.
- Have a glass of water with meals and before, after, and during exercise.
- Still having trouble remembering – try an app. Apps like Water Coach and WaterMinder will help you set goals and send you reminders to keep you on track.
- Snack on watermelon, cucumbers, other water-rich fruits and vegetables or reduced-fat yogurt. You’ll benefit from the extra fluid and healthy nutrients.
- Use a large water container such as 1 gallon (128 oz.) and mark off times to indicate how low the water level should be at different points in the day such as 12pm, 4pm, and 8pm.
- Place water bottles or cups in different areas of the home or office where you spend a lot of time, such as the chair you usually read in. These can serve as a physical reminder to drink more.