When it comes to health, there is so much focus on diet and exercise but did you know being hydrated has real advantages for your overall well-being, too? This is especially important to remember during the summer months, when we need to increase our fluid intake to counter warmer temps and higher humidity. And while there are hundreds of choices, one simple choice stands above the rest for healthy, everyday hydration: water. Jillian Wanik, Aramark’s lead dietitian for the Summer Olympic Games, weighs in on the importance of getting enough H20 and six tips to help you make hydration a habit.

“Getting enough water and staying hydrated helps us perform our best whether we’re going for a run or literally running errands. Proper hydration helps keep our energy levels up,” says Wanik.

So, how much water do we need to drink each day? The answer depends on, “how active we are, our physical activity level, and diet, but in general, women should aim for 11 cups each day and for men, 15 cups,” advises Wanik. And don’t forget, these totals include water from liquid and from food – so it’s easier to achieve 11-15 cups a day than you might think. Here are some tips from Wanik to help you get started:

1. Start early. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty. If you do feel thirst, you may already be dehydrated. Be sure to drink enough water throughout the day, every day, to stay hydrated and to keep your body working normally.

2. Eat! Fruits and veggies, that is. Many fruits and vegetables contain a high percentage of water, so eat plenty of your seasonal favorites for nutrients and Try cucumbers (95% water), watermelon (92% water) or tomatoes (94% water). Oranges, honeydew, apples, and lettuce are good choices, too.

3. Keep a hydration log. Like a food diary, a hydration log can help you manage and track your beverage intake and help you reach your daily goals. And thanks to the latest wearable technologies, tracking intake is that much easier. Many come with smartphone applications that can help you log your water in addition to your food, keeping you up-to-date on the progress throughout the day.

 4. Infuse with fruit. Sometimes it can be hard to drink plain water, but there are tasty options that are healthier than a sugar-sweetened beverage. Try infusing your water with sliced fruit instead. Combine three quarts of water with 1 ½ grapefruits cut into wedges, two oranges cut into wedges, or one pound of fresh strawberries cut in half with their stems removed. Refrigerate overnight and enjoy the next day.

5. Drink more when you exercise. During exercise, our body temperature and heart rate increases, so we sweat to cool down. If we don’t replenish those lost fluids, we can become dehydrated and suffer from muscle cramping, fatigue, and decreased performance.

6. Make friends with your water bottle. You might find it easier to drink more water if you keep a water bottle with you when you’re in the car or even at work on your desk. You’ll be more likely to stay on top of your hydration if it’s accessible and in plain sight.

With so many ways to fill up, it’s easy to give your hydration habits the attention they deserve. So drink up, enjoy the summer, and make sure a cool, refreshing glass of water is never too far out of reach!

Note: Since everyone’s health history and nutritional needs are so different, please make sure that you talk with your doctor and a registered dietitian to get advice about the diet and exercise plan that‘s right for you.

Thank you to the Dietitians at fyp365.com for this blog!

Monday, March 18, 2019 in
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