TIPS TO STAY HYDRATED OVER SUMMER
The festive period is fast approaching and we are all well aware of the hidden side effects of our favourite temptations and pastime such as food, alcohol, partying, day time napping and the like (which we whole heartedly encourage in moderation!!!). However living in Australia, specifically Queensland, we tend to forget one important part of our health over summer: Hydration.
This month we will discuss a few hots tips to stay cool and hydrated throughout the warmer months.
Drink water - This is the most obvious answer to maintain hydration, but how much should we drink? A general guideline is 8 cups for women and 10 for men per day however this is altered by exertion, time in the sun, alcohol, food etc. The more of these you do, generally the more water you would consume. If the idea of pure water is not for you try water additives to add some flavour and kick to your drinks.
Water alternatives - Sodas, iced tea, coffee, and other drinks that contain caffeine are second best to good old-fashioned water when you're trying to stay hydrated. "They act as diuretics, so even if you're getting water, you're also pulling a little extra fluid from your body because of the caffeine.
Fruit - An alternative method of drinking to stay hydrated is eating. We are blessed to have amazing fruit available during the summer season that are full of water. Cucumbers, watermelon, salads, strawberries, paw-paw are just a few fruits that can assist with hydration levels. Research also shows that eating foods that are full of water helps keep you satisfied on fewer calories - added bonus!!
Meat and other foods- Surprisingly meat can contain up to 60% water, however you do have to be mindful of salt intake as a side effect of large meat based meals. Food can make up to 20% of your daily fluid intake therefore it is essential to stay hydrated and well nourished to reduce the chances of dehydration.
Monitor fluid loss - It is important to monitor and maintain our fluid levels. If you notice darker urine, excessive thirst or potentially even light-headedness, chances are you are starting to become dehydrated - so employ some of the above strategies to assist your fluid levels!!
Overall the most important message is to be mindful of your fluid levels and adjust your intake accordingly.
Remember - water is the best method of hydration, but no the only one!!!
TALK TO OUR TEAM OF ALLIED HEALTH PROFESSIONALS
Dietitian and Diabetes Educator
Wian van Heerden
This article has been adapted from the following sources: