Proper hydration of our body is essential for normal metabolism and physiological functions. The lack of adequate hydration may lead to exhaustion, dry mouth and skin, headache, low blood pressure, increased body temperature and sometimes can cause fainting too.
Dehydration means excessive loss of body fluids. Summertime is the perfect time for outdoor activities, so while we enjoy hot weather it’s necessary to hydrate our body properly. At summer, dehydration usually occurs due to increased sweating or poor fluid intake. The first sign of dehydration is thirst. Thirst is a clear signal for us to hydrate our body, and at that moment we can imagine our body as a half-deflated balloon.
Proper hydration of the body does not mean that we drink water when we are thirsty. The water should be drunk well before the feeling of thirst appears. Also, a color of the urine is the great indicator of our body hydration; if it’s a dark yellow color we should drink more water or liquids.
One of the best models of proper hydration is to follow the rule “8 glasses of water per day”. This recommended amount of water means 1.5 to 2 liters per day, which is the average need for fluid for adults and we should distribute this amount of the water equally during the day.
It is recommended to drink a glass of water in the morning after we wake up because the body has not received any liquid during the night. Eating food with high content of water is also an excellent choice for hydration in hot summer days. One slice of watermelon (300g), two slices of melon, or one large cucumber can replace one glass of water (250ml). On the other hand, one whole papaya contains almost half a liter of water in it. We should try to eat at least five cups of fruits and vegetables per day.
Another drink that’s exceptional for hydrating is Coconut water. It is a great and healthy, mineral-rich drink packed with electrolytes. When we sweat we lose electrolytes also, and coconut water can compensate lost vitamins, minerals and electrolytes very fast.
If you are working out during the hot weather, we should drink water before, during and after physical activity in order to prevent dehydration. Mineral waters are especially recommended for athletes and very active people. They contain an increased value of electrolytes in them and promote rapid refreshment and proper hydration of the body.
When it comes to proper hydration of the body, carbonated drinks and coffee should be avoided. The problem with carbonated drinks is that they provide a sense of “quenching” thirst very quickly; so much smaller amount of fluid is consumed than the one needed for hydration of the organism. Coffee, on the other hand, has a diuretic effect-increases fluid loss from the body. If you are a true coffee lover and your coffee is imperative even in the hot summer day, be sure to drink a glass of water with your coffee every time.