Created by: Gabrielle Forman, Dietetic Intern
While it is important to keep our bodies properly hydrated year-round, it is especially important to watch our hydration status during the hot summer months. This is the time of year when we require more hydration due to increased perspiration.
How many fluids should I be drinking each day?
Water is the best beverage to drink when keeping hydrated. Foods like fruits and vegetables contain high amounts of water that can also help with hydration. Caffeinated beverages including tea and coffee can contribute to dehydration as they act as diuretics and promote frequent urination. Sports drinks and juices are another form of hydration but are oftentimes loaded with sugar and extra calories.
Fluid needs vary from person to person. A good estimation of fluid needs is to multiply 30-35mL of fluid per kilogram of body weight.
Note: Kilograms are determined by dividing your weight in pounds by 2.2
How to monitor hydration status?
Many people believe that thirst is the best indicator for when the body needs to hydrate, but this is a sign that the body is already dehydrated. A simple indicator that is used to determine hydration status is urine color. If your urine is clear or lemonade colored the first thing in the morning then your body is properly hydrated. If you notice that your urine is darker in color than lemonade than you are dehydrated.
Material adapted from The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, eatright.org