Your body’s major systems depend on water to function and survive. Not only does it help regulate your body temperature, but it also keeps your joints lubricated, prevents infections, delivers nutrients to your cells and keeps your organs functioning properly. Staying hydrated can also improve sleep quality, cognition and your overall mood.
When your body doesn’t have enough water, it becomes dehydrated, which means it can’t flush out toxins or help your brain function. Dehydration can also lead to dry skin, fatigue, brain fog, dark-colored urine, headaches and dizziness among other (more serious) symptoms.
Keep reading to discover a few easy tips for drinking more water throughout the day to keep your body hydrated and healthy this summer.
Five tips for drinking more water
Summer months mean higher temperatures, plenty of outdoor activity and, of course, sweating, so it’s important to stay hydrated. Here are five tips for drinking more water this summer:
- Track your intake
Don’t force yourself to drink two or three times more water than you’re used to right away. Start by tracking your regular daily intake for about a week, gradually increasing the amount each day. Over time, you can try switching to a measured water bottle to help you stay on track.
- Keep it handy
Give yourself a constant, visual reminder to drink water by filling up a water bottle and keeping it on your desk at work or near you at home.
- Use a bigger glass
Swap out your regular water glass for a larger size to help encourage you to drink more throughout the day.
- Eat your water
Eat foods that have a high percentage of water to increase your water intake. Fruits and vegetables with high water content include watermelon, strawberries, pineapple, lemons, peaches, oranges, bell peppers, broccoli and celery.
- Get fancy
Does the taste of water get you down? Try adding a few slices of your favorite fruits or vegetables to spruce up the taste. Watermelon, strawberries, raspberries and cucumbers are just a few delicious options that can help your drinking goal a bit easier to swallow.
Five benefits of staying hydrated
Here are the top five benefits of staying hydrated:
- Increases energy and relieves fatigue
Dehydration leads to fatigue because it impacts the flow of oxygen to your brain and causes your heart to work harder to pump oxygen throughout your body, making you more tired and less alert. Hydration helps you stay energized.
- Promotes weight loss
Water can help suppress your appetite, boost your metabolism and make exercise easier and more efficient, all of which can help with weight loss goals.
- Flushes out toxins
Water is a natural lubricant that softens your stool, keeps the content of your colon soft and promotes healthy bowel movements.
- Improves skin complexion
Water helps maintain your skin’s elasticity, which means people who are well hydrated are less likely to suffer from scars, wrinkles, soft lines and other signs of aging.
- Maintains regularity
Hydration can help soften your stool and stimulate bowel movements that are easier to pass.
How to beat the heat and lower your risk of dehydration
If your summer is getting booked up with outdoor barbeques, picnics at the park or poolside lounging, make sure you’re ready with these precautions so you can stay healthy and active all the way through Labor Day:
- Light-colored clothes
Stay comfortable and cool in loose-fitting, light-colored fabrics like cotton, linen, rayon or chambray. Dark, tight clothing will absorb more heat and trap your sweat, making it more difficult to cool your body.
- Sunglasses with UV protection
Whether your style is big, bold, classic or traditional, sunglasses with UV protection will protect your eyes from the harmful rays of the sun and help keep your eyes hydrated.
Wearing a hat that protects your head and face from the sun will help keep it cooler. This will help keep your body temperature from rising excessively, which helps you stay hydrated.
- Sunscreen and lip balm (at least SPF 15)
Whether you’re planning a day at the pool, beach or park be sure to apply sunscreen and lip balm with SPF 15 or higher to protect your skin from sunburn, which can lead to dehydration.
If you’ve been feeling fatigued or are struggling with persistent headaches, you might be dehydrated. More serious symptoms of dehydration include low blood pressure, sunken eyes, reduced perspiration, flaky skin, increased heart rate and fever.
If you or a loved one is exhibiting one or more severe symptoms of dehydration, visit your local urgent care for IV fluid hydration. IV fluid hydration can replace fluids and electrolytes that have been lost through sweating, vomiting, diarrhea and frequent urination. When you receive IV fluid therapy, the fluids enter your bloodstream directly, which means the positive effects of hydration begin immediately. IV fluid hydration will help you feel better faster than drinking water alone. Coastal Urgent Care of Bossier/Haughton is open for walk-in appointments Mon – Fri, 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Sat – Sun, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.