You know staying hydrated is important, especially in the heat and humidity of summer. So how much water should you drink every day?
The answer depends on your personal health, and how active you are. Start by thinking about how often you head for the bathroom. In general, you should drink enough so you need to urinate every two to four hours.
But don’t assume that what is true in the winter will be the same in the summer. Or that what works for you at home will be the same when you travel to a different climate.
Whether you are just sitting out on a warm day or competing in extreme sports, your body needs extra fluids during the heat of summer to maintain a healthy balance.
Traveling to a location with more humidity, or to a sunny beach where the breeze is cool, may trick you into thinking you don’t need to drink as much, when the opposite may actually be true.
Remember, if you are thirsty you are already dehydrated. So make sure you drink enough so that you don’t get thirsty.
If you know you are going to be sweating a lot, it’s a good idea to weigh yourself before and after you head outdoors. For every pound of sweat that you lose, you’ll need to drink two to three cups of water or other fluids to help your body recover.
Be sure to remember how much water you drank to catch up this time, so you can plan ahead next time. If the conditions are similar, plan to drink that same amount of fluid before and during your activity next time, so you won’t fall behind on hydration again.
What should I drink to stay hydrated?
If you are exercising for an hour or less, reach for water before, during and after your workout.
If you are working or exercising in extreme heat or for more than an hour, you may need to supplement your water with sports drinks that include electrolytes.
When you sweat, your body loses electrolytes along with water. So replenishing electrolytes can help your fluids stay in balance.
Eating at least five cups of fruits and vegetables can also help keep your fluids in balance.