Summer is an exciting time filled with warm weather, beach visits, and basking in the sunshine. But with the rising temperatures comes an unexpected risk: dehydration. While spending time outdoors during a heat wave, it’s important to remember to prioritize fluids to keep your body healthy.
Learn more about why hydration is so important and find our top tips for how to stay hydrated in hot weather.
Why is Hydration in Hot Weather Important?
No matter the weather, hydration is an important element of total health. Your body is made of about 60% water—and even during normal daily activities, your body requires water to function. You have to maintain a certain baseline level to be replenished to keep you healthy.
But when you’re exposed to extreme temperatures, hydration is even more vital because your body is losing fluids faster than it would in temperate weather. This can cause you to sweat more, and as a result, become dehydrated faster than usual.
What Are the Symptoms of Dehydration?
Dehydration occurs when your body doesn’t have enough fluids to replenish those that have been lost. The first physical—and often most obvious—sign of dehydration is thirst. When left unchecked, dehydration can escalate and lead to other symptoms including:
- Strong-smelling, dark urine
If you notice any of these symptoms, you should drink fluids immediately. Start with small sips, and work your way up to larger mouthfuls. If you are suffering from severe dehydration, you should seek immediate medical attention, as your condition could worsen to hyperthermia, abnormally high body temperature that can lead to heatstroke if left untreated.
How to Stay Hydrated in Hot Weather
On average, some experts recommend you should aim to drink eight glasses of water per day—but more when it’s especially hot. Use these tips and tricks to incorporate more fluids throughout your day, and keep your body healthy and hydrated.
Add Water to Your Morning Routine
Drinking the appropriate amount of water every day can be a challenge—and it gets even harder if you don’t start in the morning. Instead of waiting until the afternoon to drink your daily allotment, start every morning with an 8-ounce glass of water to kick-start your hydration habit early. This will set you up for success throughout the day and ensure you’re feeling refreshed soon after you open your eyes.
Habit stacking can make it easier to integrate drinking water into your morning. Pair it with another habit, like brushing your teeth or applying your makeup, for more seamless integration into your day.
Use Flavored & Infused Water to Your Advantage
You aren’t limited to plain water when you’re learning how to stay hydrated in hot weather. Try switching up your beverages for water alternatives, like flavored seltzer water or water infused with your favorite fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Swapping out your beverages for new and interesting flavors can help keep your taste buds interested, so hydrating doesn’t feel like as much of a chore. You can also expand your horizons with other water-based beverages, like decaffeinated iced tea or coffee, or even coconut water.
Eat a Diet Rich in High-Water Foods
While drinking water is the easiest and most obvious way to stay hydrated, don’t discount the fluids that can be found in your diet. Incorporating water-rich foods like cucumbers, watermelon, and carrots into your meals and snacks throughout the day can help prevent dehydration and keep you satiated, too. Just be sure to not rely exclusively on these foods, and to prioritize drinking enough as well, to maintain healthy hydration levels.
Avoid Caffeine & Alcohol
Caffeine and alcohol work against you when trying to stay hydrated. Both substances are diuretics, meaning they lead to the excretion of water from the body through urination—and, as a result, can exacerbate dehydration. When it’s especially hot, opt instead for hydrating beverages like water, decaffeinated tea or coffee, or other low-sugar options like coconut water. If you’re craving a cocktail, try mixing up a mocktail instead with muddled fruit, herbs like mint or basil, and a bit of simple syrup. It’s just as delicious, without the same dehydrating effects.
Intense exercise is a fast track to dehydration—especially in hot or humid weather. When the temperatures start to climb, try to avoid overexerting yourself. Doing so leads to excessive sweating, which in turn can lead to dehydration. If you want to get in some activity, opt instead for low-intensity cardio, like walking, or other low-intensity exercises like yoga, pilates, or light strength training.
Use a Smart Water Bottle
If you struggle with how to stay hydrated in hot weather, it might be time to enlist the help of technology. Smart water bottles are designed to link to an app on your phone, sending your reminders and status updates. These bottles not only make it convenient to stay hydrated by allowing you to take water almost anywhere, but they also help you keep track of how much you’ve consumed, so you know exactly when you hit your goals.
Certain bottles, like those from HidrateSpark, even light up throughout the day to give you added reminders when it’s time to drink—so you can stay hydrated even without your phone handy. Certain HidrateSpark bottles, like the HidrateSpark Pro, are crafted from durable stainless steel and have insulation that will keep your drinks cold for up to 24 hours straight. You can even choose from a chug or straw lid to customize the bottle to your preferences, ensuring you’ll be more likely to hit your hydration goals throughout the warmer summer months.
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