H is for Hydration

H is for Hydration

Jul 27, 2022Alea Fite, MS RD LD

The peak of summer heat is beating down on us most days now. This means that it is more important than ever to make sure we are staying properly hydrated. Good hydration is important for many systems throughout the body. Proper hydration helps regulate body temperature, deliver nutrients to cells, keep organs functioning properly, lubricate joints and much more.

How much fluid is the right amount? One way to estimate a basic amount for your daily intake is to simply take your body weight in pounds and divide by 2 to get the total number of ounces. For example: If an individual weighs 150 pounds, they should be shooting for 75 ounces of water per day. Not getting enough fluid and becoming dehydrated can result in a variety of symptoms, including dry mouth, fatigue, headache, dizziness, rapid heartbeat and more.

Tips for improving your hydration game:

  • Create a water schedule:
    • Just like a meal plan, you can plan out your water intake. This could be as easy as picking specific times of the day to have a glass. For example, you could have a tall glass of water in the morning with your vitamins (instead of just enough to take them). You could also set reminders on your phone to go off at certain times throughout the day.
  • Add it to your daily tracking:
    • Many people are in the habit of tracking their food intake daily, so why not water? Many food tracking apps also have a function to input your water intake as well. And there are also water-specific tracking apps that you can download onto your phone.
  • Jazz it up with infusions:
    • Not a fan of just plain water? Spice things up by adding some fruit and fresh herbs to your water. You can put together a large pitcher that you keep in the fridge to refill your glass or bottle. Some of our favorite combinations are strawberries and basil, watermelon and mint, and kiwi and orange. Or you can create your own concoction.
  • Bring the bottle with you:
    • Water bottles have become great accessories these days. You can find ones in all different shapes, sizes, colors and designs. Find one that you really enjoy and take it with you throughout the day. Having that festive water bottle right next to you can be a great reminder to drink more.

You can also get fluid from the foods that you are eating. Many produce items contain good amounts of water trapped inside, just waiting to be released into your body. Some examples of fruits and vegetables that have a high water content are cucumbers, tomatoes, apples, celery, lettuce, watermelon, peaches and berries. You could always improve your hydration status even more by creating infused water with some of these fruits or vegetables and then eating them up once you have finished drinking the water. For more individualized guidance on how you should be fueling or hydrating your body properly to reach your health and wellness goals, you can always reach out to your local Hy-Vee dietitian.

*The blog articles, recipes and recommendations found on this site are not intended as medical advice and should not replace consulting with your medical provider. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

About the Registered Dietitian

Alea Lester Fite, MS, RD, LD, received her bachelor’s degrees from the University of Minnesota in Spanish and biology and her master’s degree with coordinating internship program at the University of Illinois at Chicago in Nutrition and Dietetics. Alea has always had a passion for health and fitness, participating in competitive sports for most of her life. She found that she loved inspiring and helping people make healthy changes. Alea started seeing a registered dietitian when she was having her own digestive health issues and realized that she enjoyed learning about and working with food.

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