8 glasses of water per day might not be enough during summer

June 19, 2024 | (Valerie Bonk)

WASHINGTON — When it comes to staying hydrated in the heat of summer, we’ve often heard the eight-glasses-a-day rule for drinking enough water. But Lean Plate Club™ blogger Sally Squires says you may actually need more.

She says, before this begins to sound overwhelming, that this includes coffee and tea, and even milk and juice, as well as water that’s in foods that you consume. One thing you can do, says Squires, is stay ahead of the curve by drinking fluids throughout the day — don’t wait until your thirsty, which is one of the early signs of dehydration.

And, if you know you’re going to be out in the heat — working, walking or exercising — drink at least a glass of water before you go outdoors and be sure to keep drinking water or other beverages while you’re outside. Don’t forget to stay hydrated when you’re doing indoor exercise too, including lifting weights and even swimming, too.

Squires advises not to worry too much about sports drinks — you probably don’t need them. They’re designed for elite athletes engaged in endurance activities, such as running a marathon. But even for ordinary folks, the rule of thumb is if you’re doing 60 minutes or more of vigorous activity in high heat, then you may want to think about a sports drink — water is fine otherwise.

Your body does give you clues if you are not well hydrated. First, if you’re thirsty, it’s a sign.

Other signs include the following:

  • Flushed skin;
  • Premature fatigue;
  • Increased body temperature;
  • Faster breathing and pulse rate;
  • Increased perception of effort and decreased exercise capacity;

The color of your urine also is an indicator: the lighter it is, the more well hydrated you are.

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