Summertime is officially HERE – backyard barbecues, picnics on the beach, neighborhood cookouts, lunch at the park – this season is all about being outdoors and spending lots of time with family and friends.
During the hotter weather, it is important to be mindful and make sure you get plenty of the #1 most important nutrient – WATER!
Water: The Most Essential Nutrient
Water is the most important nutrient for your health – your body is over 60% water and proper hydration is essential for optimal health. Water moves waste out of your body, aids digestion, regulates your body temperature, keeps your heart pumping, protects your brain, and lubricates your joints and tissues.
In the hotter weather, it is especially important to stay conscious of hydrating. During the summer months, we tend to be more active, which means we sweat more and therefore lose more water.
Hydrate for Health
Did you know that 75% of Americans may be suffering from chronic dehydration?
Dehydration affects millions of people in the U.S. and is one of the most common (and preventable) medical conditions in the world.
The rule to “drink 8 cups of water a day” is actually out of date and inaccurate – you need much more than that.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends each day you drink at least the following based on your age:
- Adult men over 19 years old = 13 cups per day
- Adult women over 19 years old = 9 cups per day
- Children ages 14-18 years old = 8-11 cups
- Children ages 9-13 years old = 7-8 cups
- Children ages 4-8 years old = 5 cups
If you are exercising or if the weather is hotter than usual, you should consider adding another 1-3 cups to your daily consumption.
Make Hydration A Habit
1. Drink plenty of water – fresh spring water if you can! Make it easy by carrying a reusable bottle with you throughout the day. Having access to water is an important factor in staying hydrated.
2. Start each day by drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning to get a good head start on your daily fluid intake. This hydrates your cells quickly, fires up your metabolism, flushes out toxins, and kickstarts your brain.
3. Drink before you eat. A lot of times we think we are hungry when what we actually need is H2O. Before you reach for something to snack on, drink 8oz of water first, and then see if you are still hungry!
4. Don’t wait until you are thirsty. You are already dehydrated by the time you feel thirsty. Try to continually drink water throughout your day instead of chugging down a big glass of water when you start to feel parched.
5. Eat lots of high water content organic fruits and vegetables. Check out the percentage of water in these delicious foods: Cucumbers (96%), Iceburg lettuce (96%), Zucchini (94%), Celery (94%), Tomatoes (94%), Watermelon (92%) Strawberries (92%), Green Peppers (92%), Spinach (92%), Grapefruit (91% water), Bok choy (91%), Cantaloupe (90%), Broccoli (89%), Pineapple (87%), Raspberries & blueberries (87%), and Oranges (85%).
If you eat more of these water-rich foods, you can drink less fluid because they count towards your daily water intake!
6. Add chia seeds to your diet. These tiny nutrient-dense powerhouses have been used since the time of the Aztec and Mayan peoples. When placed in water, chia seeds absorb and hold up to 12 times their weight in water! As they travel through the digestive system, the seeds slowly release the water they are carrying. This helps to hydrate you by regulating the level of fluid in your body.
7. Jazz up your water with organic lemon, cucumber, watermelon, or mint!