If it feels like you’ve been waiting all year for summer…well, your wait is over! The sun is finally out, the grass is green, and you’re ready to partake in all those outdoor picnics, beautiful hikes, and perfect pool afternoons that you dreamed about all winter. As the mercury rises this summer, you’ll need to pay close attention to one important aspect of your health: your hydration.
You see, our bodies are 60% water by weight, and proper hydration is absolutely essential for our overall health. After all, the water we consume optimizes blood pressure, regulates body temperature, lubricates joints, moves waste out of the body, and aids in digestion.
And with increased summer temperatures and outdoor activities comes increased water loss—through sweating and evaporation—as your body works to stay cool.
Here are 5 tips to beat the heat this summer:-
Recommendations vary depending on weight, age, and activity level but an easy one to remember is 8×8, or 8 glasses of 8 ounces of water each day. You can also divide your weight in pounds by 2 and drink that number in ounces. For example, a 130-pound female would need 65 ounces (135/2) of water per day. Many experts recommend drinking to thirst—if you are thirsty, drink!
2. Stick with H2O
Yes, juices, milk, and herbal teas can all help hydrate your body—even caffeinated drinks (in moderation) can provide you with much-needed water. However, water is what your body is really craving, so you might as well go straight to the source. Sticking with H2O will help you skip the unnecessary sugars, additives, and caffeine found in other drinks.
3. Prehydrate with soaked chia seeds
An ancient superfood that sustained the Aztec and Mayan peoples for generations, chia seeds are hydrating nutrient powerhouses. These tiny seeds are hydrophilic, meaning they absorb water (up to 12 times their weight!). When you consume water-logged chia seeds before exercise or a day in the sun, they will slowly release that water as your body digests them, keeping your system hydrated. Plus, they are a great source of Omega-3s and many other nutrients. Think of them as mini time-released water bottles!
4. Go for the coconut
Water that is. Coconut water is a mineral-rich liquid from the inside of young, green coconuts. Packed with potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium, coconut water can replenish lost fluids and electrolytes from exercise and hot summer temperatures. Try freezing coconut water ice cubes or pops for a refreshing, hydrating summer treat.
5. Take your probiotics
It’s true that good gut health can keep you hydrated. Not only do beneficial bacteria help you absorb nutrients and electrolytes from food and drinks but a strong microbiome can keep away any harmful microbes that can cause temporary intestinal issues, leading to dehydration. Probiotics hydrate your skin, too! Over 100 volunteers with wrinkles and dry skin took a probiotic or placebo for 12 weeks. In addition to increased skin elasticity and wrinkle reduction, at the end of the trial the probiotic group had increased water content in both the face and the hands.
Water is truly the elixir of life. As you experience all the wonderful milestones of summer, remember to drink plenty of water and eat a diet rich in hydrating whole fruits and vegetables to keep you going strong all summer long.