Hydrate in Summer’s Heat
It’s no surprise that Florida summers start early and last a long time when compared to other states. Our summers are hot and humid, and while our bodies try their best to adjust to the temperature by sweating, there is only so much they can do on their own. Our bodies sweat to try to keep our body temperature from getting too high. While this is helpful, it also means that we need to do our part to help replace the water we lose through sweat and urine.
Staying hydrated is important year-round. It’s even more important during the summer. When our bodies lose too much water, they can become dehydrated. Dehydration can be dangerous, as it can make us feel tired, dizzy, confused, and can lead to other health problems.
Make it a habit to drink fluids on a regular basis. A general rule of thumb is to drink at least eight 8-ounce cups of water per day. The amount may be slightly higher for men than women, and it can also be higher or lower based on other factors. Work with your primary healthcare provider to determine how much water you need. In a few specific cases, doctors may ask that a person limit how much fluid they drink.
Hydration in Elder Adults
Our bodies change as they age. For example, it becomes harder for our kidneys to concentrate our urine and so we visit the bathroom more frequently. We can also lose our sense of thirst. Elder adults may not realize they are thirsty until they are almost dehydrated. The best thing to do is to drink fluids on a regular basis, even if you’re not feeling thirsty.
What about that urge to visit the bathroom often? Typically, that’s normal. If you find that you are visiting the restroom regularly, think of it as adding extra steps and physical activity to your day! If you’re concerned about having to wake up at night, then aim to drink more fluids during the day and ease off in the afternoon.
Sources of Water
The great thing about water is that it’s almost everywhere. The best source of fluids for our bodies is plain water. Aside from water, we can get fluids from other things we drink, like milk, soy milk, almond milk, fruit juices, tea, coffee, and other non-alcoholic beverages. On top of that, we can get fluids from eating fruits and vegetables. Think of a juicy piece of watermelon, a plump cherry tomato, or even a crunchy bell pepper. All of these are filled with water, and eating them also gives us vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Our bodies are made up mostly of water, and they work their best when they are hydrated. Drink water and other fluids regularly, enjoy your fruits and vegetables, and keep yourself cool this summer by staying hydrated!
Sparkling Strawberry Mint-Infused Water
- 3 1/2 cups sparkling water (divided)
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 4 large fresh mint leaves plus 4 mint sprigs (divided)
- 4 large fresh strawberries (stemmed)
- Puree the strawberries, mint leaves, lemon juice, and 1/2 cup of the sparkling water in a blender on low speed until smooth, at least 30 seconds.
- Pour the puree into a serving pitcher. Very slowly pour in the remaining sparkling water.
- Serve chilled over ice in tall beverage glasses. Garnish each with a sprig of fresh mint.
Source: American Diabetes Association – Diabetes Food Hub – Sparkling Strawberry Mint-Infused Water