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NOURISH

Quick tips to quench summer thirst

As summer temperatures rise, so does your risk of dehydration. Water makes up at least two-thirds of our body weight which is why drinking enough water to stay well hydrated is essential to your health and well-being. Just a small percentage loss of total body fluid can lead to muscle cramps, headache and fatigue. Being properly hydrated helps supply nutrients to your body, removes waste and ensures proper digestion.

Water is best

About 75 percent of our fluid intake should come from water and the other 25 percent can come from foods or other liquids. Good choices are:

  • fresh fruits and vegetables with high water content like cucumber and watermelon
  • 100 percent fruit and vegetable juices
  • milk and milk substitutes
  • herbal teas
  • coconut water

Caffeine is dehydrating, so drink coffee and other caffeinated beverages in moderation. Steer clear of beverages with added sugar like lemonade, soda and sweet tea. Limit sports drinks to those times you're exercising for an hour or longer. 

How much water should I drink?

The amount of water you should drink in a day depends on your age, weight and activity level. Here are four practical guidelines to ensure you're getting enough water:

  • Drink eight, eight-ounce glasses, or 64 ounces, of water daily.
  • Drink half of your body weight in water. As an example, a person who is 150 pounds should drink 75 ounces of water every day
  • Drink enough water to keep your urine a pale yellow color.
  • Weigh yourself before and after exercise, then drink 16-24 ounces of fluid for every pound of weight you've lost. 

Tips to help you stay hydrated

  • Carry a reusable water bottle. If you prefer ice water, partially fill your bottle and freeze it.
  • Set fluid intake goals. For example, consume 16 ounces of water before breakfast, another 24 ounces before lunch and another 24 ounces before dinner.
  • Set a reminder on your phone or use an app to track your fluid intake.
  • Add a splash of 100 percent juice to water or sparkling water.
  • Infuse your water with citrus slices, chunks of frozen fruit, thinly sliced veggies and/or herbs.

Try one Allina Health's beverage recipes or check out the infused water recipes at infusedwaters.com.

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