Video with SMH Outpatient Dietitian Emily Harren
Your body is 60-percent water. During the hot summer months, getting enough of the right fluids is essential to good health — especially if you work or play outdoors. Prevent heat stroke or heat exhaustion with these easy hydration tips and fast facts from SMH Outpatient Dietitian Emily Harren.
Hydration Fast Facts
1. Water does the body good.
- Drinking water boosts physical and mental performance.
- Water helps regulate body temperature.
- It rids the body of waste through sweat, urination and bowel movements.
- Water helps lubricate joints.
2. How much water you should drink depends on your size, activity level, age and medical condition(s). Most healthy adults need to consume 60 to 100 ounces of water daily.
3. Signs of dehydration include:
- Early fatigue or feeling that you are working harder than usual to do a certain task
- Skin becomes flush or your body temperature is warmer
- Increased breathing or heartbeat rate
Late signs of dehydration include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Not urinating as often as usual and urine is dark
Tips for Staying Hydrated
1. Drink 1 or 2 glasses of water when you wake up in the morning, before morning coffee or tea.
2. Add water-rich foods to your diet. These include:
- Fruits like watermelon and grapefruit; for example: 1 cup of watermelon contains about 5 ounces of water.
- Vegetables, especially crisp lettuces, cucumber, zucchini and broccoli; for example: 1 cup of cooked broccoli contains about 6 ounces of water.
- Dairy-based foods like yogurt.
3. Make drinking water fun!
- Buy a fun water bottle and personalize it.
- Infuse your water with fruit, herbs and teas.
- Try flavored, calorie-free seltzer waters.
- Use drink mix-ins; I recommend those sweetened with Stevia and colored with fruit/vegetable-based colorings
- And remember, when consumed in moderate amounts, caffeinated coffees and tea count toward your daily fluid goal.
4. Having a beer or cocktail? Stick to the one-to-one rule: For every alcoholic drink you have, drink one glass of water.
5. Use an app to track your water intake. Two free tracking apps I use are “Daily Water Free” or “Waterlogged.”
6. Hydrate before, during and after exercise. Save the sports drinks for times you are exercising vigorously or moderate-high intensity exercise for greater than one hour
7. Drink water in between meals – especially if you’re hungry. Hunger and thirst signals are sometimes confused.
We hope these tips help keep you healthy and hydrated. Have some tips to add to our list? Let us know: Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emily Harren, MS, RD, LD, is an outpatient registered dietitian at Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Diabetes Treatment and Outpatient Nutrition Services. She provides medical nutrition therapy to patients with acute and chronic dietary needs. She also serves on SMH's Health and Wellness Committee, provides talks on nutrition strategies for disease prevention and management, and regularly offers healthy eating tips on SMH's Healthe-Matters blog.