Summer is officially here, and temperatures outside are hotter than ever, so it is important to drink water.
It’s important to note that water doesn’t just quench our momentary thirst. It is also essential for the proper functioning of all the body’s systems, from the skin, through the joints, to the digestive system.
Drinking water also protects the body from disease and inflammation, and a lack of fluids can cause fatigue, headaches, weakness, and more.
But how do you do it? How can you make sure that you drink the right amount of water for your body, especially if you aren’t used to drinking so much water every day?
Here are some habits that you should consider taking on to make sure you drink enough water, especially during the summer, to better understand how much water you need.
An average person needs about 3.3 liters of fluids on a hot day, with 20% of it coming from our food – and that includes bread, not just fruits and vegetables. Around 2.5 liters need to come from drinking water, with the recommendation being to drink at least 10 cups of water on a hot day.
Those who can’t drink anything without taste can add some mint or lemon to a jug of water and refill it throughout the day. Another option is to prepare caffeine-free cold herbal infusions. Only consume a limited amount of caffeinated drinks like tea and coffee because they can make you need to urinate frequently, resulting in a loss of fluids.
Be sure to go everywhere with a bottle of at least a half-liter of water. Try to fill it several times a day so you can keep track of how much water you drank.
There are also a number of technological methods to improve your drinking habits. A simple and easy option is to put a permanent reminder on your phone to remind you to drink water. Another option is to use different free apps to calculate how much water you need according to your age, height, and weight, and of course, to remind you to drink.
How to prevent fluid loss and dehydration
If you exercise on a hot day, you can lose up to five liters of water – enough to be considered life-threatening. Because of that, one shouldn’t do any prolonged or intensive physical activity in the hottest hours of the day, and any exercise should be in an air-conditioned area. If one has to do physical activities outdoors, one should do it either early in the morning or in the evening.
It is also important to remember that during the day our bodies lose fluids through urine, sweat, feces, and the respiratory system. On hot days, you can lose up to a liter and a half of water through sweat alone.
One of the simplest and fastest ways to check your hydration levels is through the color of your urine. If you’re drinking the right amount of water, your urine should be almost completely transparent. But if you haven’t been drinking enough water, your urine will be dark yellow – a sign that indicates dehydration and that you should drink a lot of fluids.
Hadar Lankri-Akiva is a dietician with Meuhedet Health Services