Seven tips for keeping hydrated this summer
Each year, it is becoming more and more common to see heat waves that scourge the Earth in summer. Examples of these high temperatures could be seen in the Canadian town of Lytton last summer, with thermometers hitting 49.6 °C, or 47.2 °C in Córdoba in 2017, setting the record for the highest temperature on record to date in Spain. However, these are becoming less of a one-off, with unusually high temperatures seen over the past few weeks around the globe.
Thousands of people die each year across the world as a result of heat waves. As we have seen, these extreme weather situations are becoming more common worldwide, compromising everybody’s health. Although drinking waters is not going to help to bring the temperature down, it will help to keep us hydrated and make the working day more bearable.
The importance of staying hydrated
From the moment we are born, our body is made up of a large volume of water, with this amount varying depending on the person’s gender and age. Generally speaking, it is estimated that water accounts for 65% of our body weight, in other words, it accounts for almost two third of our body weight, in addition to being present in our tissue and all our vital organs. Water plays an essential role in our health and it is essential for our body to work properly.
The recommended daily water intake for an adult male is 3.7 liters, and 2.7 liters for an adult female. Liquids account for about 3 and 2.2 l of men and women’s water intake per day, accounting for approximately 75-80 % of the total amount we should ingest. The rest of the water we ingest comes from food, in particular fruit and vegetables.
Tips for drinking water and keeping hydrated
- Take your bottle with you wherever you go
The first tip to help increase your water intake and get into the habit is to get used to taking water with you wherever you go, for example, in a bottle. Taking your bottle with you when you are on the go is the easiest way of remembering to drink water throughout the day. What’s more, if you choose a reusable bottle, you’ll also be contributing to sustainable development and your health, eliminating single-use plastics from your daily routine. Leaving a glass of water next to your bed or having water nearby, on your desk, is another way of keeping it at hand and remembering the importance of staying hydrated.
- Introduce a little flavor into your water
Adding a touch of flavor to your water is a good option to encourage you to stay hydrated. What’s more, this is an appealing way of adding a little color to your water and your table, for example, when you have guests over. One way of doing this is to add slices of fruit, like oranges or lemons and/or aromatic plants.
- Use apps, reminders or alarms on your cell phone
Nowadays, many solutions to the problems in our lives come in the form of an app and reminding us to drink water is just one of these. There are now many applications that encourage you to drink water, some of which allow us to record how much we drink, set targets and add alerts to remind us that we should be doing so. However, if you can’t stand the thought of another app on your phone, another simple tip to make sure you are consuming the recommended amount is to use alarms or reminders that remind you it is time to drink some water.
- Eat foods with a high water content
One good way of ensuring that you remain correctly hydrated is to consume foods with a high water content. Example of fruit and vegetables that contain a large amount of water include watermelon, chards, tomato, cucumber, melon, etc. Other products that can also help to keep you hydrated are gelatins and dairy.
- Drink a glass of water when you wake up and when you go to bed
One of the times when it is most important to drink water, in addition to when you are playing sport or when you are feeling thirsty, is when you get up in the morning. At this time, you have spent many hours sleeping and without any water intake, meaning it is the ideal time to get rehydrated.
However, it is equally important to drink water just before you go to bed. When we sleep, we barely do any activity; therefore, drinking a glass of water will help to keep you hydrated.
- Exercise to drink more water
Water helps to maintain body temperature, meaning that when you train, you lose water as you sweat. Therefore, when your body sweats more during an intense workout, this will increase your need to drink water. Your workout routine is likely to increase your water intake and without the need for much effort, your body will ask you for water after you exercise. Furthermore, during physical exercise, you should top up the liquids and electrolytes you lose through perspiration in small doses.
- Don’t wait until you feel thirsty
Thirst is your body’s way of telling you that the dehydration process has begun. Having said that, you should obviously not only drink when you feel thirsty, rather it is important to keep hydrated throughout the day to maintain strong levels of hydration. Finally, it is important to emphasize that these recommendations are general and do not take individual health conditions or pathologies into consideration. Here at MAPFRE, our recommendation is always for you to consult health professionals for them to provide you with their advice.