Linda Rellergert, Nutrition Specialist, St. Charles County, University of Missouri Extension
Soaring summer temperatures and high humidity means your body will need more fluids to keep it working properly, to maintain a healthy temperature, and to avoid feeling fatigued. Here are some tips for staying hydrated:
- Drink to prevent thirst. For instance, before starting exercise, drink one or two cups of water.
- Thirst is not always the best measure for when your body needs water, especially for children and older adults because their thirst mechanism is not as sensitive. So, it’s a good idea to drink before you feel thirsty.
- Make it a habit to carry along a water bottle, especially if activities take you to locations that lack a water fountain.
- Either straight from the tap or bottled, water is the best choice for keeping the body hydrated. Tap water in most communities has an edge over bottled water as it contains fluoride that helps prevent tooth decay.
- If water’s taste is not to your liking, add a slice or two of lemon, lime or any citrus fruit.
- Most people find cold water more refreshing than that right out of the tap. Keep a container of water in the refrigerator or in an insulated mug on your desk at work.
- Water is the best option, but other beverages and juicy fruits and vegetables will help you stay hydrated as well.
- Try to avoid or limit drinks containing caffeine or alcohol because they will cause your body to lose more fluid.
Here are a few additional suggestions for thirst quenchers from the American Institute for Cancer Research:
- Mix 100 percent fruit juice with plain or sparkling water.
- Combine unsweetened, decaffeinated iced tea with orange juice or lemonade.
- Add a dash of cinnamon or vanilla to iced decaf coffee along with coffee ice cubes to keep the drink cold and undiluted.
- Try your favorite herb tea as iced tea.
- Mix 100 percent juice and water and freeze into fruit juice popsicles for a refreshing thirst quencher.
- Use sparkling water instead of tap water to reconstitute frozen juice concentrates.