The summer months are heralded for their warm ambiance, eternal sunshine, and joyous nature. And as the bubbly, feel-good vibes start lifting, so does the number on the thermostat. In which case, if there was ever a season to stay hydrated, then it’s right around the corner.
To that end, if you’re wondering how to stay hydrated in hot weather, you’ve found yourself in capable hands. Today, we’re going to extend this discussion to review the three key drivers of proper hydration—quantity, frequency, and speed.
From there, we’ll provide a few hydration tips for summer and outline some basic safety practices to help you avoid any potential heat exhaustion or any heat related illness.
#1 Quality: Be Sure to Drink the Right Beverages
Let’s make one thing clear—not all drinks are created equal. While it’s common sense that drinking liquids help you hydrate, there are certain beverages that can do the exact opposite (looking at you, alcohol).
Furthermore, drinks that are saturated with caffeine or sugar can act as a diuretic, which means they move water through your body at a faster speed. To that end, when it comes to adequate hydration, one of the key drivers of a “quality” beverage is its electrolyte concentration.
Electrolytes are essential minerals that help regulate muscle contractions and balance fluid cells in your body. In other words, they help you keep hydrated!
Types of electrolytes include but are not limited to:
Did you know that even water will (typically) have trace amounts of electrolytes? Although electrolytes are commonly associated with sports drinks, they’re also found in fruits with high water content like coconut water, watermelon water, and other fruit juices.1
By ensuring that the liquids you’re ingesting are rich in electrolytes, you help your body retain its hydration (which is especially important in warmer climates). However, it’s important to note that many beverages marketed to be “high in electrolytes” are also saturated with sugar.
That’s why it’s paramount to review the label, do your due diligence, and ensure you’re drinking the right types of liquids when in hot weather.
#2 Quantity: Be Sure to Drink A Lot of Liquids!
The CDC recommends that you “drink 1 cup (8 ounces) of water every 15–20 minutes” when you’re spending prolonged time in a hot climate or under summer heat. This can help you cool down your body temperature and maintain proper hydration. Another way to conceptualize this guideline is one and half (or two) single-use water bottles (the type you can buy at a gas station or grocery store) every hour.2
However, you shouldn’t consume more than 48 ounces of water in an hour. While this may seem counterintuitive, extreme quantities of water can dilute the electrolytes—especially sodium— in your body.
If you’re looking for tips for staying hydrated in the summer that’ll help you track your water intake, consider the following:
- Read the label to see how many ounces the bottle contains
- Use a reusable water bottle with set measurements
- Drink at least a single cup of water with every meal and snack
- Count how many times you’ve refilled your bottle
Ultimately, you’ll need to drink enough water to replace what you lose in sweat.
While this can absolutely depend on your body type, metabolism, and overall fitness level, it’s widely acknowledged that keeping a healthy intake of liquids is incredibly beneficial for hydration (especially when it’s hot outside!).
#3 Frequency: Be Sure to Drink Throughout the Day!
When your body signals that you’re thirsty, it can be a sign of dehydration. While this shouldn’t come as a surprise, in hotter climates, you should aim to mitigate that thirst by being proactive about your water intake.
So how often should you drink water? As mentioned above, try to drink hydrating liquids every 15 to 20 minutes and don’t go for more than an hour without drinking water in the heat.
While not the most appealing thing to visualize, you should also pay attention to the color of your urine to estimate your hydration levels.2
- Light yellow – If your urine is light to pale yellow, that typically means you’re quite hydrated.
- Bright yellow – If your urine is bright yellow or darker, that typically means you’re dehydrated and it’s time to focus on intaking liquids.
The reality is that hydration favors consistency. In the hotter months, it’s important that you’re at least drinking something every hour. Additionally, you should aim to never be thirsty as opposed to letting that feeling signal that it’s time for a beverage.
Summer Hydration Safety Tips
On the hottest days, hydration becomes a safety factor, not just something to aid your physical well-being. In which case, to ensure you’re protecting yourself from the heat, it’s paramount that you:
- Hydrate early – You have to drink water throughout the day. Consider starting your morning with a full glass of water or a liquid that contains electrolytes.
- Stay cool – Protect your skin with hats, sunscreen, and shade to reduce your sun exposure.
- Eat regularly – Be sure to have three full meals and snacks during your day. The electrolytes contained in your food will help you retain your hydration.
- Bring water – Keep water and other hydrating beverages close by. If you’re going to be in the sun for an extended period of time, bring a healthy amount of liquids.
- Take a break – If you start to feel tired from the heat, move to a cooler location or take a break in the shade. In other words? Listen to your body.
In tandem with liquid intake, you need to do all you can to mitigate the effects of warmer weather and the sun. So, be sure you make use of reminders to help you remember to drink water.
The Drinks to Avoid
While it’s important to focus on what you should do to stay hydrated, there are some clear red flags you should steer clear of to ensure you’re staying hydrated. Drinks to avoid include but are not limited to:
- Energy drinks high in caffeine
- Multiple servings of coffee
If you’re going to avoid any of these beverages, alcohol should be at the top of your list. Given that alcohol is a diuretic, it can actively dehydrate your body.
Invest in Residential Water Filtration Systems
When you’re constantly refilling water bottles to stay hydrated, quality tap water can spell a different drinking experience. To that end, investing in a water filtration system might be the hot weather game-changer you didn’t anticipate.
While it’s easy to reach for a single-serving bottle of water to quench your thirst, is that the most sustainable and cost-effective way to hydrate?
Even if you’re aware that drinking your tap water could save money and resources, there are various factors that might keep you from drinking it (this also largely depends on where you live). If that’s the case, filtered tap water might be a phenomenal upgrade to your home!
Benefits of Filtered Tap Water
When your tap water is your primary source of hydration, you’re making both a cost-effective and environmentally sound choice. In which case, a few benefits include:
- Save money – You pay at least 300 times the cost of tap water to drink bottled water, so why not save the difference? The cost of a gallon of bottled water—in individual servings—is also greater than the cost of a gallon of gasoline.3
- Conserve resources – The next time you gather your recycling to put on the side of the street for pick up, count the number of plastic bottles that you used for the week. Whether those bottles are going to a recycling center or a landfill, you can dramatically reduce the amount of plastic you consume by drinking tap water.
- Save a trip – You know how it feels to run out of milk or eggs when you need them. What if you had an endless supply in your house? If you can rely on your tap water, you never have to make that extra trip to the store when you run out of bottled water.
Especially if you live in an area that’s prone to extreme climates, filtered tap water can make a huge impact on the way (and your ability to) you stay hydrated.
Rayne Water, Water Filtration for Your Home
Now that you know how to stay hydrated in hot weather, the most important thing to practice is consistency. Drink beverages that actually nourish your body, make sure you’re intaking enough liquid, and keep a consistent drinking schedule.
If you’re doing this from home and you don’t want to purchase single-use water bottles or refillable gallons, then you’re in the right place. Whether you’re in need of a reverse osmosis system or a water softener, at Rayne Water we’re on a mission to service your filtration needs.
Curious to learn more? Let’s talk about some solutions to keep your household happy and hydrated throughout the warmer months!
- Healthline. 8 Healthy Drinks Rich in Electrolytes. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/electrolytes-drinks
- CDC. Heat Stress: Hydration. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/mining/UserFiles/works/pdfs/2017-126.pdf
- Slate. You Are Paying 300 Times More for Bottled Water than Tap Water. https://slate.com/business/2013/07/cost-of-bottled-water-vs-tap-water-the-difference-will-shock-you.html
- Cleveland Clinic. Electrolytes. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diagnostics/21790-electrolytes
- Rayne Water. Residential Reverse Osmosis Systems. https://www.raynewater.com/residential_category/drinking-water-systems/