Last night, my neighborhood was a flurry of activity. People were out mowing their lawns, gardening, walking and jogging, playing at the park—it was great fun to see everyone out and about. As the weather improves, we’re outside more, working and playing. That means that we all need to be especially mindful of drinking enough water to stay hydrated and healthy.
We should all be drinking fluids, preferably water, throughout the day. A standard rule is to drink eight, eight-ounce glasses of water daily. You can also take your weight in pounds and divide it by two. If you weigh 140 pounds, for example, you should drink 70 ounces of water per day.
Not to be gross, but your urine color will tell you if you’re adequately hydrated. It should be clear or light yellow—if it’s dark, you need to be drinking more water. Other signs that you’re getting dehydrated include dry mouth, headache, fatigue, and feeling light-headed.
If you’re sweating, either from exercise or the heat, you need to increase your water intake to compensate for the loss of that water. The standard recommendation is an extra glass of water for every 20 minutes you work out.
If you’re enjoying a margarita, beer, or other alcoholic beverage, you should add a glass of water for each alcoholic drink. Because alcohol is dehydrating, it may be wise to limit your intake and then switch to a sparkling water or other kind of non-alcoholic beverage.
- Water: Drinking water is the best way to stay hydrated—water is free and has zero calories.
- Other drinks: You could also drink fruit juice or sports drinks, but be aware of their higher caloric content. Herbal teas can be a good choice.
- Foods: Eating fruits and vegetables helps you stay hydrated because of their high water content.
- Liven up your H2O: If you have a hard time drinking enough water, you can cut up slices of fresh lemon, lime, oranges, or cucumbers and add them to your water to make it more appealing.
Water is vital to our existence—it makes up about 60 to 70 percent of our bodies. So when you’re enjoying the great outdoors, be sure to tote that water along. In fact, I think I’ll go fill up my Sigg right now.