Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer! Woot!
That means more time in the hot, hot sun, maybe more travel and perhaps a little too much celebrating with beer or cocktails in hand. All that can translate to dehydration if you don’t go out of your way to drink plenty of water. I know drinking water is not everyone’s idea of summer fun, but there are some simple steps that can help you avoid the downside of dehydration.
Why Is Hydration Important?
Water is a crucial part of many of our bodies’ natural processes, including carrying nutrients into our cells, assisting in urination and bowel movements, keeping certain tissues like the mouth and eyes moist, regulating body temperature and lubricating the joints. Some people experience signs of dehydration without necessarily recognizing it. Signs can include:
- dry skin
- hangnails or cracking nails
- low energy, fatigue or brain fog
- consistent cough
- excessive weight
- urinary infections
- excessive wrinkles
- gas, bloating or indigestion
Some of these can absolutely indicate other health issues, so always check with your doctor if these ring true for you. But if these sound familiar, know that dehydration is very common!
How Much Water is Just Right?
There is no one answer for everyone about how much water to drink each day. This is because there are so many factors. There are certain times or situations when you may need extra water, such as:
- when you exercise, especially when you sweat
- on airplanes
- at high altitude, especially if you don’t live at high altitude
- extreme heat
- if you are nursing or pregnant
- when you drink alcohol
But for many people there is a calculation that can be a great starting point.
Take your weight in pounds and divide it in half to find the number of ounces of water to aim for each day.
For example, is someone weighs 160 pounds, they should drink at least 80 ounces or 10 cups of water a day.
But I Don’t Like Water!
Some people just don’t care for water. Water can admittedly seem boring, especially if instead you are used to drinking coffee, soda or juice. But like with many things, you do get used to drinking plain water.
In the meantime, infusing your water with fruit, vegetables and herbs may help dazzle your taste buds. And what with all the fresh produce popping up soon, it couldn’t be a better time to play around with throwing peach, mint, strawberries, lime or cucumber slices, a sprig of thyme or chunks of ginger into your water bottle. Find flavor combinations that get your excited to hydrate.
I also enjoy sparkling waters like Pelligrino and Perrier which have trace minerals that are beneficial to us. Naturally flavored sodas (no artificial flavors or sweeteners) like La Croix are a good option too! You can always create your own soda water at home (flavored or not) with a Soda Stream!
Breaking Old Habits
For many of you, just remembering to drink water may be the hardest part. (Or maybe it’s having to run to the bathroom every 40 minutes.) But by breaking up your routine and trying to anticipate just what gets in your way, you can overcome the obstacles.
This may mean buying a snazzy new water bottle to get you excited and maybe a little proud to walk around with it. Or maybe you would benefit from leaving cups of water in different rooms of your house (and don’t forget the car!) so that water is always there for you when you need it.
Of course you should drink water and stay hydrated year-round. But let’s be honest, summer brings the heat, the poolside hangouts, the overindulging in food and drink, working in the garden, hours spent in the car or an airplane, and many more activities that don’t exactly spell out hydration.
So yes, grab that margarita this Memorial Day weekend to celebrate summer. (Have you tried my Jalapeno Kumquat-a-Rita?!) But maybe just make sure the other hand is holding a nice, big, cold glass of water!
While we’re talking about fun in the summer sun…
Don’t forget to protect your skin too!
Sunscreen is crucial for kiddos and adults alike but many of the ingredients in store-bought sunscreens may make you cringe. That’s why I recommend and use Beautycounter’s Sunblock on both myself and my kiddos. Check it out here and don’t miss my special!
Beautycounter products are clean, safe and help us decease our toxin-load. Bonus, they actually perform! I especially love their cleansers, cosmetics and kid line! (And the Scarlett Lipstick is my favorite red of all time!) What’s your favorite?