Smart Choices for Summer Hydration

Smart Choices for Summer Hydration

On the really hot days of summer, it can be a challenge to stay well hydrated.

According to Lindsay Malone, a registered dietician at Cleveland Clinic, the good news is that unless a person is losing fluids excessively, most don’t need any more than plain old water.

“Most of us are not drinking enough water,” Malone says. “We want things that are flavored and sweet-tasting or maybe do give you a little bit of a jolt with caffeine, and water is really nature’s perfect way to stay hydrated.”

As far as how much water we need, experts say that depends on a person’s size, weight and activity level, but on hotter days, when outside, people will need to drink more than the standard eight 8-ounce glasses per day.

Malone says that electrolyte-infused sports drinks are really only necessary if a person is losing fluids excessively from vigorous exercise, or if they are sweating profusely from working outdoors in very hot temperatures.

She cautions those watching their waistline to take note that many sports drinks are also full of sugar and calories that they probably don’t want or need.

For those who are looking for an added boost, Malone says that in addition to water, there are some foods that can help keep us hydrated, as well.

“(This includes) anything that has a high moisture content, so think about fruits and vegetables that splash when you bite into them. Oranges, melons, cucumbers, tomatoes — all of these are naturally high in water, so as you’re eating them, you’re not only nourishing your body, but you’re giving yourself some extra hydration as well,” Malone says.

She adds that one thing to be wary of when trying to stay hydrated is caffeinated beverages. While that iced tea or coffee might look good on a hot day, caffeine is a natural diuretic — meaning that we lose water when we drink it.

— Submitted by Cleveland Clinic News Service

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