10 Tips for Staying Hydrated During the Summer Heat

10 Tips for Staying Hydrated During the Summer Heat

During the summer, your body’s natural cooling system kicks into high gear, often at the expense of your hydration levels. The signs of dehydration can be subtle, with fatigue and dry skin creeping up on you before you even realize you’re dehydrated. In this article, we’ll explore simple yet effective ways to keep your hydration levels in check.

Dehydration Sneaks Up On You

In the hotter months, your body sweats more to cool you down. This process is your built-in cooling system doing its job, but it also means you’re losing water—fast.

You might be wondering, “Why don’t I always feel thirsty?” It’s because thirst isn’t the most reliable indicator of dehydration. By the time you feel it, your water reserves are already running low. Plus, the hotter it is, the more your body focuses on cooling rather than sending regular ‘I’m thirsty’ signals. Are you paying enough attention to your water intake? Here’s how to tell if you might be dehydrated:

  • Persistent thirst
  • Change in urine color
  • Dry or flaky skin
  • Fatigue or dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Muscle cramps

The Benefits of a Well-Hydrated Body

✔ Supercharge your energy: Water is the fuel that powers your body’s engine. Keeping your hydration levels up ensures your heart can pump blood more efficiently, delivering a fresh supply of oxygen to your hard-working cells.

✔ Improve skin health: Hydration is the secret to glowing summer skin. Water flushes out toxins, improving your skin’s elasticity and reducing signs of aging like wrinkles.

✔ Regulate digestion: Water aids digestion by breaking down food and absorbing nutrients, reducing the risk of constipation and acid reflux.

10 Tips for Staying Hydrated During the Summer Heat

1. Start (and end) your day with mineralized water.

No matter how hydrated you were the day before, your body spends hours without water while you sleep, resulting in mild dehydration. A morning glass of mineralized water kick-starts your hydration, revs up your metabolism, and flushes out toxins to set a healthy tone for the day ahead.

2. Replenish with a liquid electrolyte formula.

Sweating depletes your body’s electrolytes—crucial minerals like sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium—which support muscle function, regulate blood acidity and pressure, and aid tissue repair. 

While popular, many sports drinks contain several teaspoons of sugar, resulting in extra pounds and blood glucose spikes. Ironically, the high sugar content dehydrates you quicker, as your body has to pull water into your intestines to process it. Instead of reaching for a sugary sports drink, add 1/2 teaspoon of your favorite liquid electrolyte formula to every liter of water, along with a pinch of natural sea salt. This simple switch can keep you hydrated and help maintain your electrolyte levels without the extra calories.

3. Carry a reusable water bottle everywhere.

Having water on hand is a constant reminder to stay hydrated throughout the day. Choosing a reusable bottle reduces reliance on single-use plastics, which are harmful not only to the environment but also to our bodies because they leach harmful chemicals into the water.

4. Try protein powder as a pre-workout.

When you fuel up with a low-glycemic protein powder before heading outdoors, you’re choosing a slow-release energy source. What does this do for you? It keeps your energy levels steady throughout your workout (or outdoor activity), allowing you to perform at your best without hitting a wall. Plus, protein is essential for muscle repair and growth. So, by incorporating a protein shake before your workout, you’re fueling your body and priming it for recovery. 

5. Incorporate water-rich foods.

Yes, you can eat your water! Summer is the perfect season for hydrating foods like watermelon, strawberries, peaches, cucumbers, celery, and lettuce—all of which are 90% water. Incorporating these into your diet helps with hydration and provides essential vitamins and minerals for your cells.

6. Avoid diuretics.

Limit your intake of diuretics like alcohol, coffee, and sodas. These beverages encourage your kidneys to expel more sodium, which pulls more water from your body, increasing dehydration.

7. Hydrate before, during, and after summer activities.

  • Pre-hydrate: Hydrating before your workout primes your body for peak performance, ensuring your muscles, joints, and brain are ready to go.
  • During: As you power through your workout, sipping mineralized water helps maintain your stamina and prevent muscle cramps, dizziness, and fatigue.
  • Post-exercise: Rehydrating post-workout helps replenish fluids and electrolytes, aids muscle repair, and reduces muscle soreness.

8. Avoid the hottest part of the day.

Schedule your exercise and outdoor activities during cooler parts of the day, like early morning or late afternoon. If you’re out midday, wear light clothing, take breaks in the shade, and rest often to prevent overheating.

9. Consider a soil-based probiotic.

It’s not just about how much water you drink but how well your body holds on to it. Your gut microbiome affects how well you absorb water and nutrients from food. So, when soil-based probiotics (SBOs) enter your digestive system, they play a role in producing short-chain fatty acids like butyrate, which nourish your gut lining and increase water absorption.

10. Keep a hydration schedule.

How do you keep up with your water intake? Start by setting daily reminders or keeping a visible water bottle nearby. Aim for water every hour or so, and listen to your body’s cues. Consistent, small quantities can be more effective than chugging large amounts infrequently.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

How much water do I need?

To put this into practice, divide your body weight in half and aim to drink that many ounces of water daily. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, that’s 75 ounces of water.

What are the best times to hydrate during the day?

  • First thing in the morning: Jump-start your hydration by drinking a glass of water as soon as you wake up. Starting your day with water fires up your metabolism, helps your body flush out toxins, and gives your brain fuel to kick off the day.
  • Before meals: Sipping a glass of water about 30 minutes before each meal helps with digestion and can curb your appetite, preventing overeating.
  • When you’re tired: Reach for water before grabbing that cup of coffee. Fatigue is often a sign of dehydration. 
  • Before and after exercise: Drink water before you start, and make sure to replace the fluids and electrolytes lost through sweat.
  • Before bed: Drinking a small glass of water an hour before bed can help prevent dehydration during the night. However, keep it minimal to avoid interrupting your sleep for bathroom trips.

What can I drink other than mineralized water to stay hydrated?

Coconut water and water-rich fruits and vegetables also boost hydration. Just be cautious with drinks that are high in sugar or caffeine. A balanced protein powder like ReStructure is a great way to maintain your hydration and energy levels without the blood sugar spikes, perfect for the long summer days ahead. 

Do hydration needs change with age?

Yes. Children and older adults are more vulnerable to dehydration. Older adults often have a diminished thirst and might need regular reminders to drink water. For children, especially when playing, pausing for regular water breaks is vital to stay well-hydrated.

What are some fun ways to stay hydrated?

If plain water doesn’t excite you, infuse it with natural flavors. Add slices of lemon, lime, cucumber, or berries to a pitcher of water, along with a splash of your liquid electrolyte formula, and let it infuse in the refrigerator for a few hours. 

Bottom Line

Remember, your hydration habits make up the foundation of your health. This season, challenge yourself to implement it in your daily routine until it becomes second nature.