Healthy Hydration

Dehydration can be a problem all year, but there is no question that summer heat makes staying hydrated a top priority. Skip out on adequate hydration and you could be feeling the range of moderate to severe symptoms associated with dehydration.

watermelon ("green") smoothie
Watermelon (“green”) Smoothie / Lori Ann / CC BY 2.0

When the heat rises, we are at risk of dehydration whether we are outdoors or inside (with or without air conditioning). Unless you are paying attention, you may not realize that you are dehydrated until it is too late. Avoid this by consuming hydrating foods and fluids throughout your day.

Even if you are tired of water, there are many other healthy options for you. The good news is that not only are there many water-rich foods,but many are also good for you and easy to incorporate into your daily diet.

There are several 3 Guiding Star options which are mostly composed of water. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Five Water-Rich Foods to Keep you Hydrated, which includes watermelon, lettuce, grapefruit, broccoli and low-fat milk/yogurt, highlights the added nutritional benefit of choosing water-rich foods to keep you hydrated, as these foods provide powerful nutrition while keeping you hydrated.

So how much is enough? According to the CDC, we should aim for 6-8 cups (48-64 ounces) of fluid each day. Water is generally enough for most people, but for times when you require an electrolyte replacement drink (such as after rigorous exercise or exposure to extreme heat), choose one that is low in sugar and calories.

Reminding yourself to drink throughout the day is key to consuming enough fluid. Keep a water bottle or other no-calorie beverage close by and incorporate water rich foods into your day. Have some fun with creative recipes like these Guiding Star rated recipes for Watermelon Smoothie, Avocado and Pink Grapefruit Salad with Coriander or Chilled Melon Soup , which are all perfectly hydrating on a summer day.