The Importance of Proper Hydration

Jul 15, 2019 | Patients

by Amber White • 

ChiroHealthUSA Social Media Specialist

Summer is that time of year filled with exciting outdoor activities and highly anticipated family vacations that usually take place in the blistering summer sun.  With the hot summer months rapidly approaching, you may be wondering how you and your loved ones can stay properly hydrated this year. While drinking water is the best way to stay hydrated, it’s not the only way.  Maintaining the right levels of electrolytes and carbohydrates, and consuming the right foods, can also aid in proper hydration.

Water is Key

The human body is made up of approximately 60% water and needs to be properly hydrated throughout the day to reach its maximum potential.  A few hours before bed you should drink plenty of water so that the eight hours spent sleeping and not drinking anything won’t leave you waking up in a dehydrated state.  Upon waking, be sure to drink a glass or two to start off your day.  If you are planning to participate in any energy-demanding activity, drink plenty of water during and rehydrate after it’s over.

Electrolytes to the Rescue     

Electrolytes play an important role in keeping the body hydrated during the summer months.  Electrolytes (as well as carbohydrates) help the body absorb whatever fluids you drink.  Sodium, chloride, magnesium, calcium, and potassium, are essential to healthy nerve and muscle function.  These nutrients keep the body going when it has to exert excess energy.

 What You Eat Is Important Too

 Did you know that food accounts for approximately 20 percent of your daily fluid intake making it a major contributor to hydration status?  Nutrition News states “Luckily, many foods that are in season in the hot summer months, such as melon, tomatoes, and strawberries, are naturally rich in water, carbohydrates, and minerals, including those all-important electrolytes. In addition, infusing water with fresh fruits and vegetables such as cucumbers can give your ordinary bottle of water an extraordinary and healthy dose of flavor.”  So, if you enjoy fresh fruits and veggies, summer is the best time to load up on them.

Watch for Loo Clues

 One of the best indicators that the body is properly hydrated is the color of your urine.  If your urine is a light color, you are more than likely properly hydrated.  If your urine is darker than apple juice, that usually signals dehydration and a need for immediate rehydration.