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Staying Hydrated During Summer

Since the human body contains more than 60% water, maintaining this balance requires drinking enough fluids. We're looking at strategies to remain hydrated on the warmest days as summer approaches.

The importance of staying hydrated

Water is important for our body. It helps many processes like carrying oxygen in the blood and removing waste through kidneys. It also helps to lubricate our joints and eyes, aid digestion, and keep our skin healthy.

how much fluid do i need?

It’s hard to know if you’re drinking enough water or fluids. Waiting until you feel thirsty is too late as you might be already dehydrated. The NHS says we need to drink 6-8 glasses of liquid each day, including water, low-fat milk, sugar-free drinks, tea, and coffee. However, how much we need to drink can vary depending on activity levels or the climate.

signs of dehydration

Dehydration means losing more fluid than we take in. When we don’t have enough water in our bodies, it can affect the balance of minerals and how our body works. For more information about dehydration, visit the NHS inform website.

According to the NHS some of the warning signs of dehydration are: 

  • Feeling thirsty 
  • Feeling lightheaded 
  • A dry mouth 
  • Tiredness 
  • Having dark coloured urine 
  • Needing to go to the toilet less often than normal 

And signs a baby might be dehydrated are: 

  • Having a sunken soft spot 
  • Little or no tears when they cry 
  • Fewer wet nappies than normal 
  • They’re drowsy 

 

Drink a lot of fluids if you’re dehydrated. Tea and coffee are less effective than water, diluted squash, or fruit juice, according to the NHS. Be cautious of fizzy drinks as well because they could have more sugar than you require. Take frequent, little sips of water if you’re ill and have trouble swallowing.

hydration in the heat

Our bodies cool down when we sweat in hot weather. To keep our temperature steady, we need to drink more to replace the fluids we lose. If it’s hot, drink more water than usual and drink even more if you’re feeling dehydrated.

healthy ways to stay hydrated

Since it is safe to drink from the tap in the UK, water is the healthiest and least expensive way to stay hydrated. Water has no calories or sugars that can harm your teeth. Coffee, fruit teas, unsweetened plain tea, and other hot beverages are also available. Some people don’t enjoy the flavour of plain water; you can always add a slice of lemon or use sparkling water to change things up.

Juices and carbonated beverages should be avoided because they often include a lot of added sugar and few nutrients.

Keep a water bottle close by when you’re out and about and regularly top up your fluid levels. The USN 1 litre water jug is a good way of keeping track of how much you’re drinking, fill it up in the morning and take it with you to work, the gym or whatever the day holds. 

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