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Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Dog Days of Summer Require Hydration

Tips to stay hydrated and healthy in the hot summer months.

Glass of water with ice cubes.With the temperatures rising, staying hydrated is essential! We lose water daily through regular activities, so in the summer months it is especially important to replace fluids lost from the heat. Dehydration can occur during intense heat, causing many uncomfortable symptoms in our body.

Signs of dehydration may include:

  • fatigue
  • extreme thirst
  • confusion
  • feeling dizzy and/or lightheaded
  • nausea
  • cramps
  • headache
  • not urinating often

It's important to stay hydrated before you experience these symptoms to prevent any complications. Regular hydration includes drinking 91 ounces (about 11 cups) a day for women and 125 ounces (about 15 cups) of fluid per day. 

If you are exercising, you may need even more fluid, especially if you sweat excessively. When exercising, try to drink water every 20 minutes to replace lost fluid. For workouts lasting longer than 60 minutes, sports drinks are a great option to help sustain energy and replenish electrolytes.

Don’t like water? No problem! Notice that I said “fluid” earlier—all fluids will hydrate (although those containing caffeine and alcohol not as well). Try swapping in other beverages, or opt for these delicious tricks to spice up your water: 

  • sparkling water
  • coconut water
  • unsweetened tea
  • low-calorie flavored water
  • water with lime, lemon or cucumber
  • smoothies

Not only do beverages provide fluid, but fruits and veggies can too! Increase your water intake with foods such as cucumbers, watermelon, tomato, lettuce, and more.

Sometimes drinking water can be hard to remember. For extra intake try these tips:

  • Keeping a water bottle with you throughout the day.
  • Sticking with water when dining out to save calories and money.
  • Drinking water when you first wake up and before going to sleep.
  • Drinking water when you feel hungry. Sometimes thirst can be confused with hunger.

Water and fluids will keep you hydrated and safe this summer. Drink up so you can enjoy the hot summer months.

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Tags: Hydration

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About the Author


Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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