Every part of your body needs water to work properly. As the temperatures climb, so does the importance of staying hydrated.
Just how much should you be drinking? The answer depends on things like your age, weight, level of activity, outside temperatures and medications you may take. A common recommendation is six to eight glasses a day. More recent studies suggest that men should consume about 15 cups daily and women, 11 cups (through food and drink). Another rule of thumb is to drink half your weight (in pounds) in ounces of water.
Here are ways to enjoy staying hydrated:
- Just add fruit! Enhance the flavor of your water for more enjoyable sipping by adding fresh lemon, strawberries or mint leaves.
- Snack smarter. Increase foods that are rich in water content, such as watermelon, cantaloupe, celery and tomatoes.
- Avoid alcohol or caffeine. These beverages can cause you to become more dehydrated.
Athletes need to stay hydrated. Although water is a great go-to choice, intense activity lasting longer than 1 hour may need more. At that point, athletes can choose electrolyte-rich drinks. Hydration before, during and after the workout is wise.
Preventing dehydration is the best plan. Learn the signs of dehydration here. If you exhibit any of these signs, start hydrating right away. If problems persist, consider visiting your nearby urgent care. If symptoms are severe, you should go to your local hospital emergency department for care.
-Marcia E. Neil, MD, Northwestern Medicine Convenient Care, Convenient/Urgent Care
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