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Blogs by Nutritionists

Tips to Prevent Dehydration this Summer

by True Elements 11 Apr 2024

It's important to be aware of our bodies' needs for water as the sun's rays intensify and the temperature rises. Particularly in the sweltering summer months, dehydration can sneak up on us and cause a variety of health problems, from minor discomfort to life-threatening complications. But worry not—if you have the correct information and habits, you can combat the heat and prevent dehydration. We'll go over some crucial advice in this blog to make sure you drink enough water this summer. Let's start by discussing what dehydration is and why it's a problem, especially in hot weather, before moving on to prevention techniques. When the body loses more fluids than it takes in, it becomes dehydrated, which disrupts vital electrolytes and physiological processes. Dehydration can cause a range of symptoms, from mild thirst and dry mouth to more serious conditions like dizziness, fast heartbeat, and even fainting. Heat exhaustion and heatstroke, two severe medical emergencies needing immediate attention, can be brought on by prolonged dehydration.

Drink Water Early and Often

Having a glass of water first thing in the morning helps you stay hydrated and boosts your metabolism, which helps with digestion and nutrient absorption.

To make sure you start the day hydrated, keep a water bottle by your bedside to sip from as soon as you wake up.

Drinking water regularly throughout the day is preferable to waiting until you feel thirsty because thirst is frequently an indicator of partial dehydration.

If you find plain water boring, try flavouring it with slices of cucumber, fresh fruit, or herbs to get people to drink it. 

Recognize Your Fluid Needs

When determining your daily fluid needs, take into account variables like sweat rate and electrolyte loss from physical activity or exercise.

Keep an eye on how your hydration requirements change in response to external factors, such as high temperatures or high humidity, which can raise fluid requirements.

Be mindful of personal characteristics like age and medical issues that could impact one's level of hydration and require modifying one's fluid consumption. 

Select Hydrating Foods

Use your imagination to include hydrating foods in your meals and snacks all day long.

For a hydrating and nourishing meal, try some cool recipes like cucumber gazpacho or watermelon salad with feta cheese and mint.

Try freezing berries or grapes for refreshing snacks on hot days. This will satisfy your sweet tooth and keep you hydrated.

Drinks That Can Dehydrate You

Be wary of hidden sources of dehydration, such as flavoured waters and energy drinks that might be highly caffeinated or sugar-filled.

If you're sensitive to the diuretic effects of caffeine, choose herbal or decaffeinated teas as a hydrating substitute for caffeinated beverages.

Refrain from consuming alcohol in excess as it dehydrates and impairs judgement, which raises the risk of heat-related illnesses. 

Keep an Eye on Urine Colour

Check your level of hydration by using the urine colour chart; a pale yellow colour indicates that you are well hydrated.

Remember that some foods or supplements high in vitamins, such as riboflavin (B2), can momentarily change the colour of urine; keep this in mind when determining your level of hydration.

See a doctor to rule out any underlying health concerns if you consistently notice dark urine despite drinking more fluids. 

Keep Cool and Seek Shade

To prevent perspiration from getting on your skin and encourage evaporation, invest in breathable, lightweight clothing made of moisture-wicking materials.

Wear hats, sunglasses, and umbrellas as accessories to protect yourself from the sun's rays and lower your chance of contracting heat-related illnesses.

On extremely hot days, consider taking cool showers or baths to reduce body temperature and create a cool haven at home with fans or air conditioning.

Replenish Electrolytes

Eat whole foods high in electrolytes, such as bananas, avocados, leafy greens, and nuts, to improve your hydration strategy.

Try making your own DIY electrolyte drinks with natural ingredients such as lemon juice, coconut water, and a small amount of sea salt to help replenish sodium and potassium lost through perspiration.

If you're a fan of packaged sports drinks, go for varieties that are lower in sugar and artificial additives to maximise hydration without adding extra calories. 

Exercise Hydration Tip

Create a customized hydration strategy for your workout based on variables like length, intensity, and surroundings.

During exercise, keep an eye on your fluid intake and sweat rate. Modify your hydration plan as necessary to avoid becoming dehydrated or overhydrated.

Include hydration routines for before and after exercise, such as sipping water before and after a workout or eating snacks high in electrolytes to aid in recovery.

Be Aware of Medicines

If you take diuretics, antihistamines, or specific blood pressure medications, pay close attention to the possible effects of these drugs on electrolyte balance and hydration levels.

When beginning a new medication, discuss hydration concerns with your healthcare provider and inquire about ways to reduce the risk of dehydration.

While taking medication, keep an eye on changes in your thirst, urine production, and general health. If you experience persistent symptoms of dehydration, get medical help. 

Listen to Your Body

Develop awareness of your body's need for water by paying attention to thirst cues and quickly consuming fluids.

Drink intuitively by following your body's natural thirst signals and drinking water all throughout the day, as opposed to depending only on set water intake targets.

Use mindfulness practices to improve body awareness and relaxation, which can support general hydration and well-being. Examples of these practices include deep breathing exercises and meditation. 

Incorporate Healthy Shakes

The Summer Season brings a great opportunity to beat the heat by incorporating healthy shakes in place of heavy meals.

These shakes would help the body keep cool and hydrated while fulfilling all the nutritional needs.

Shakes made with grains like Oats or Millets could be a great idea to replace your meals with.

These could also help in increasing convenience and saving time in actually cooking meals.

Hydration Tracking Apps

Use smart water bottles or hydration tracking apps to make use of technology to help you meet your hydration objectives.

These apps give you the option to create customised hydration goals according to your age, weight, and degree of activity. They also send you daily reminders to stay hydrated.

Certain intelligent water bottles can even connect to your smartphone and track your water consumption automatically, giving you immediate feedback on how well you're staying hydrated. 

Hydration for Special Population

Be aware that some groups may require different amounts of water than others, including elderly people, expectant mothers, and people with long-term medical conditions.

For example, older adults might not feel as thirsty and might require constant reminders to drink water.

To meet the demands of pregnancy and ensure optimal fetal development, pregnant women need to drink more fluids.

To effectively manage their hydration levels, people with conditions like diabetes or kidney disease may need to keep a closer eye on how much fluid they consume and collaborate with healthcare professionals.

In Conclusion, staying properly hydrated is critical to preserving health and well-being, particularly in the summer when heat-related illnesses are more likely to occur. You can prevent dehydration and have a safe and enjoyable summer by heeding these tips and making healthy hydration habits. Recall that maintaining adequate hydration is essential for overall health and vitality throughout the year. So this summer and beyond, make sure to stay hydrated, drink plenty of water, and stay cool. 

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