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Proper hydration is always important, but even more so in the hot summer weather. Our dietitian Theresa Shank shares some tips to keep yourself hydrated and healthy.
Since the summer heat is in full blast this week, it is important that you stay hydrated, especially during physical activity. Proper hydration is one of the most important aspects of physical activity. Drinking adequate amounts of fluids before, during and after physical activity is vital to helping your body prepare, sustain and recover after physical activity. First things first. Know if you are properly hydrated before participating in physical activity. A way to measure your hydration status is by checking the color of your urine. Clear or pale yellow urine is a sign of appropriate hydration. Dark colored urine, the color of apple juice or tea, indicates dehydration. To prevent dehydration before exercise, The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends consuming 16 ounces of fluid 2 to 3 hours before the start of physical activity.To maintain proper hydration during exercise, it is recommended to consume 8-12 fluid ounces every 15-20 minutes during exercise. The duration of physical activity matters when choosing which fluids to hydrate with. For instance, for short durations (60minutes) low to moderate intensity activity, water is the best choice to drink before, during and after exercise. On the other hand, sports drinks such as Gatorade or 100% natural coconut water are good options for hydration when participating in moderate to high intensity activity lasting longer than 60 minutes. These types of fluids help to replace carbohydrate and electrolytes that are lost during exercise. Post exercise hydration should include consuming 24 ounces of fluid for every pound lost during exercise. A person should weigh themselves prior to exercising and then after exercising to determine how much fluid is needed to rehydrate adequately. If you are not participating in physical activity during times of extreme heat, it is still important to stay hydrated throughout the day. Try to apply these simple tips to your daily routine so as to avoid the harmful effects of dehydration. 1. Drink a tall glass of water every morning when you first wake up. Try placing the glass next to your bed the night before so it is ready & waiting. 2. Drink water at every meal. You’ll stay hydrated and cut the calories from sugar sweetened beverages. 3. Consume water filled foods such as fruits and vegetables to stay hydrated and to maintain optimum health. 4. Add a splash of all-natural flavor. If the taste of water is keeping you from drinking your fair share, add a bit of lemon, mint or cucumber to jazz up the taste. 5. Carry a water bottle with you wherever you go.6. Set a reminder on your phone to drink water every hour.