Hot summer days call for cool drinks. As temperatures rise, pay attention to your hydration level and make sure you’re getting enough water to stay healthy and feel well. When you don’t replace the fluid your body loses due to exercise, sweat, or illness, you can get dehydrated and your body won’t function normally.
Why is hydration so important?
Our bodies are up to 60% water. Staying well hydrated helps your body:
- Flush waste from the system
- Maintain a normal temperature
- Move nutrients into the cells
- Lubricate joints
Good hydration also helps improve mood, sleep, and brain function.
How much water should I drink every day?
There’s no set amount because hydration needs vary based on a person’s size, activity level, and overall health. But most experts suggest that healthy men should drink an average of 16 cups of water a day. Women should have about 11 cups of water daily.
What are the best hydration sources?
Not all sources of hydration are created equal. Basic is best and that means drinking plenty of plain water. Other good sources of hydration include water flavored with fresh fruit, unsweetened coffee, or tea. Unsweetened sparkling waters including seltzer, club soda, and mineral water are also good options. Try to avoid sweetened beverages including soda and juice and even energy drinks because they contain so much sugar and so many additives.
What are the signs of dehydration?
Your body will tell you if you’re dehydrated. Signs of dehydration in adults include:
- Intense thirst
- Dark colored urine
- Less frequent urination
If you experience these signs of dehydration, drink plenty of water -- not juice or soda as they can upset your stomach -- and cool your body down if you’re hot. If you’re experiencing severe dehydration, seek medical attention right away.
Proper hydration is part of overall good nutrition. Smart food choices support hydration since many healthy foods – including fruits and vegetables – have a high water content. Mom’s MealsÒ offers a range of nutritionally balanced meals that fit your food preferences. We also have health condition menus to people manage their specific nutritional requirements.