Water is essential for life. Without water, humans can survive only for days. Water comprises from around 75% body weight in infants to about 60% in elderly and is essential for cellular homeostasis and life. When we speak of water intake, it’s not only directly but also from food and to a very small extent also oxidation of macronutrients.
Hydration status is critical for body to control temperature. Body water loss through sweat is an important cooling mechanism in hot climates and in physical activity. Sweat production is dependent upon environmental temperature and humidity, activity levels etc. Water loss via skin can range from 0.3 litres/hour in sedentary conditions to 2.0 litres/hour in high activity in the heat and intake requirements range from 2.5 to just over 3 litres/day in adults under normal conditions, and can reach 6 litres/day with high extremes of heat and activity.
How to Stay Hydrated in Summers
The key to staying safe and healthy this summer is staying hydrated.
1. Drink Plenty of Water
Daily fluid intake recommendations vary by age, sex and other conditions. One can start by drinking a glass of water each morning right after waking up and make a habit of drinking a glass after every meal. If one is working out, during and post working hydration plays an important role. To ward off dehydration, drink fluids gradually throughout the day.
2. Eat Foods with High Water Content
All whole fruits and vegetables contain water. During summers cucumbers, watermelon, muskmelons, grapefruit, tomatoes can come in handy to get additional water intake and may reduce the boredom of consuming plain water all the time.
3. Replenish When you Sweat
Play a sport or heading outdoors for work? It’s essential to drink water throughout these activities. Your sweat rate, humidity levels and duration of activity would determine hydration levels. Proper hydration means getting enough water before, during and after workouts/sports. However, when one is into sports or workouts plain water may not be enough for optimal hydration. Do lookout for good electrolytes which are low on sugar and easy on gut.
4. Hydrate Well During Travel
Travel can be dehydrating and more often than note we don’t realize it. Also It is not easy to drink as much as you usually do when you are travelling. Specially during travel, it may be wise to add electrolytes to your water to get the right hydration levels and to reduce the impact of travel fatigue.
5. Consider a Probiotic
Our bodies are home to good and bad bacteria. Probiotics are living microorganisms found in cultured foods and supplements that can help improve body’s bacteria. Taking a probiotic can help improve immune system, protect against infection and keep the gut healthy.