Staying hydrated is always important, and in the summer it is essential! Water makes up about two thirds of our body. Every day through chemical reactions our body loses water.
When we sweat, go to the bathroom, and even when we exhale, we lose small amounts of water. Water is important for temperature regulation, lubricating your joints, protecting your spinal cord and other sensitive tissue, and removing waste from the body.
It is important for us to drink water or eat foods that our bodies can convert to water every day. When the weather is extremely hot our bodies lose water faster than it normally does. When we are exercising we lose water faster, too.
Exercising when the weather is hot it is even more important to make sure water is part of your daily routine. This means drinking water, even when you don’t feel thirsty.
In naturopathic school we learned that our thirst sensors aren't sensitive enough to let us know that we want something to drink at the moment that we need more water. Instead the sensors are designed to give us a signals that we are thirsty when our levels of water begin to affect our body’s normal processing.
Since it is so important, we need to find ways to drink enough water every day. According to the Institute of Medicine, women need about 9 cups of fluid and for men it is about 13 cups of fluid daily.
So how do we get it all in?
Many people complain that water doesn’t taste good so that is why they don’t want to drink it. Flavoring your water can help you stay hydrated. One of the best ways to flavor your water is to add herbs or fruit, or both.
There are many different ways you can do this. Since there are so many fresh fruits during the summer you can freeze your favorite fruit and use them as ice cubes in your water.
You can also take herbs, like mint, and break them into pieces and add them to hot water so the flavor gets into the water. Then put them in ice cubes trays and freeze them. Now you really have ice cubes with flavored packed inside.