With the temperatures rising, it's more and more important to stay hydrated in the summer heat, especially when exercising outdoors, traveling or just relaxing in the sun. Staying hydrated is critical for your heart health. Staying hydrated helps the heart easily pump blood through the blood vessels to the muscles, which helps muscles work efficiently, according to the American Heart Association. Dehydration can lead to problems anywhere from a headache or swollen feet to a life-threatening heat stroke.
We've got some vital tips for staying hydrated in the summer months:
Drink a Sufficient Amount of Water
What is a sufficient amount of water? Every day you should be drinking half your body weight in ounces. So if you are a 150-pound female, that's approximately 75-ounces of water each day. This can vary depending on how much exercise you are doing every day and what medications you are taking. The easiest way to monitor your hydration is to pay attention to the color of your urine. The color of your urine should be a pale, almost clear color. This means you are well hydrated. If it is dark, drink more fluids.
Water is The Best Source of Hydration
Water is the best source of hydration. You can get a sufficient amount of water by just simply drinking it or by consuming water dense fruits and vegetables. Athletes who perform high-intensity, vigorous exercises may need to consume sports drink that contain electrolytes. Coconut water is also a good option that provides electrolytes to athletes without all the added sugars.
Hydrate Before, During & After Exercising
It is recommended that you weigh yourself prior to your workout and after your workout. This way you can see how much you have lost through perspiration. For every pound of sweat you lose, that's a pint of water you'll need to replenish. If you don't sweat during a rigorous workout, that could be a sign of dehydration which can lead to heat stroke.
Pay Attention to Your Muscles
Lean muscle tissue contains more than 75% water. When your body is dehydrated, your muscles become more fatigued so it's important to stay hydrated to prevent a decline in performance during exercise. If you feel yourself becoming fatigued, chug at least 16-ounces of water and see how you feel after that. If you have to, stop your workout early.
Avoid Alcohol On Hot Days
If you plan to be outside all day or evening, stay away from alcohol as much as possible, as it is extremely dehydrating. If you do plan on drinking, have 8-ounces of water between each drink.
Eat At Least 2 Servings of Fruit on Hot Days
Fruits are a great source of electrolytes and fluids. Bananas and dates are high in the electrolyte potassium, making them a great option for a post-workout snack.