Is there a topic you never joke about? Yes, that’s dehydration.
Once I was so dehydrated that I couldn’t even remember all the letters of the alphabet. I remembered ABCDEFGHIJKLMN, then PQRSTUVWXYZ. I was missing the O.
Dehydration is no joke. We all need to stay hydrated. It’s obvious! (Okay, I’ll stop kidding.) We lose nearly two liters of fluids through defecating, breathing, and sweating in an average day. When it’s hot, we lose even more water through sweating. Since breathing and defecation are essential, you will have to replace all these lost fluids. Everyday.
Everyone knows that water is essential to our survival and that dehydration can have significant consequences on the proper functioning of our body. On a daily basis, it is recommended to drink about 3.7 liters of water for men and 2.7 liters for women. A figure that can seem intimidating… especially if water is not our drink of choice. Here are some tips to help you stay well hydrated during the hot season.
Don’t wait to be thirsty
When we feel thirsty, the process of dehydration has already begun. Get into the habit of keeping a bottle of water handy and drinking a few sips regularly. You can also schedule certain times of the day when you drink a glass of water, such as when you wake up, with every meal, before and after a workout, or during your breaks at work.
I often hear clients tell me that they are not drinking enough fluids. This is often because they forget, don’t really know how much water they need, or just don’t like to drink water.
If you don’t like water or are struggling to drink your 3 liters of liquid a day, I have good news: water is not your only resource to stay hydrated this summer.
How to stay hydrated if you don’t like water?
Water is the best way to stay hydrated , according to Canada’s Food Guide. That said, there are plenty of other fluids that contribute to your total intake.
Your morning coffee, for example, counts towards your daily goal.
Here are some other thirst-quenching options:
Coconut water. This tasty liquid found inside coconuts can be bought from the supermarket in a bottle or can, or sucked out of a coconut with a straw.
Juice in moderation (no more than one glass per day)
Sparkling water with cucumber, fruit, or one of the delicious suggestions shown here .
The best foods for hydration
Have you ever wondered where the names of fruits come from? Some are obvious: blueberries are blue and oranges are orange, etc. Watermelons, on the other hand, contain 92% water . No wonder they are so refreshing in the middle of a heat wave!
It turns out that all fruits are mostly made up of water. That’s why eating it in the summer is a great way to stay hydrated. .
Add to that delicious taste and exceptional nutritional value. Eating any of the fruits mentioned here doubles the health card! Some of the most hydrating fruits include watermelon, strawberries, oranges, peaches, and mangoes.
One of the benefits of fruit is that you can take it with you. That said, it’s easy to level up fruit. For example, you can:
Combine a mix of fresh cut or frozen fruit in a fruit salad.
Make fruit skewers with fresh cut fruit.
Put fruits like peaches or pineapples on the grill.
Make a tropical green smoothie with mango, pineapple and banana.
Top a refreshing salad with fresh berries or peaches.
Puree frozen bananas to make a very simple “ice cream”.
Find apples and plums small enough to fit in your pocket!
One hydrating food that always surprises people when I tell them about it is yogurt. Yogurt is about 80% water. If possible, opt for plain yogurt, as flavored products tend to be high in sugar.
Mix yogurt with fruit and honey. I assure you that you won’t miss the excess sugar in flavored yogurts.
If eating lots of fruit isn’t your thing, no problem. Another delicious and easy option is to make a soup with broth, such as chicken noodle, vegetable, or onion soup.
Drink iced tea or coffee
Contrary to popular belief, tea and coffee do not contribute to dehydration. A glass of iced tea or coffee can help you reach your daily water intake, in addition to being very refreshing.
You can easily make your own iced tea or coffee at home, giving you more control over the amount of added sugar.
To do this, simply infuse your favorite drink, let it cool in the fridge, then adjust the flavor to your liking (for example, by adding a little honey, milk, lemon juice or of vanilla essence).
How much water should men drink per day?
You may have heard that we should all drink 8 glasses of water a day. This recommendation apparently dates back to 1945 and, although it is not based on any solid evidence, it is not far from the truth.
For men, I generally recommend drinking 12 glasses of water a day, or about 3 liters.
When it’s hot and we’re sweating (even a little), it makes sense to increase your intake by a few extra glasses (or ½ liter) of water a day.
How do you know if you are dehydrated?
If you have trouble keeping track of how much fluid you drink per day, I encourage you to listen to your body and pay attention to what it is telling you. Do you have a headache?
Do tou feel lethargic or tired? Another sign that people are usually unaware of is feeling a little more “depressed” than usual or a little grumpy for no apparent reason.
However, the final indicator is to look at the color of your urine. It should have a pale yellow color. If your urine is lighter or darker yellow, that’s a sure sign that you need to drink more water or fluids.
How to drink more fluids
The easiest thing to do is try to keep a bottle of water handy. It may seem obvious, but just make a conscious effort to keep a glass of water nearby.