Summer is a favorite season for many, especially with the Fourth of July coming up! This is the time of year where I become more active outdoors. Whether it’s taking my dogs on a walk, sitting out on the patio, or hanging out by the pool, it is important to remember to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day to stay well hydrated.
This summer be sure that you’re aware of the early signs of dehydration so that severe dehydration may be prevented. Signs and symptoms include:
- Muscle cramps
- Dry mouth and tongue.
- Urine color is also an early sign of dehydration. Urine will be clear to light yellow when adequately hydrated.
Thirst may not be a good indicator of early signs of dehydration because a lot of times when thirst sensations arise, dehydration may already be present. If dehydration is left untreated, severe dehydration may occur. Signs and symptoms of severe dehydration include:
- Very dark/amber colored urine
- Minimal to no urination
- Skin stays in tenting position when pinched
- Low blood pressure
- Rapid breathing
- Elevated heart rate
- Weak pulse
- Cold hands and feet
About 60% of our body is made of water and the amount we need depends on exercise, fever, heat exposure, and/or trauma. For example, someone who is outside sweating in the garden will need more fluid than someone sitting inside watching TV. The best way to prevent dehydration is to drink plenty of fluids and consume foods with high water content, such as popsicles. Drinking plain water is not the only way you can stay hydrated this summer. Mix things up by infusing water with fruit, mixing a little bit of juice with water, or using other water enhancers. For a more savory flavor, broths may be sipped alone or added to a soup to help improve fluid intake while also contributing to a meal or snack. You can also add to your daily fluid intake with a sweeter flavor through popsicles and/or smoothies.
Some foods also contain fluid and can add to your daily fluid intake. Raw fruits and vegetables are a great source of fluid. The list below can help add high fluid foods into your diet:
- 1 cup of sliced, peeled cucumber is 96% water
- 1 medium tomato is 94% water
- 1 cup of diced watermelon is 92% water
- ¾ cup of sliced bell pepper is 92% water
- 1 cup of grapes is 92% water
- 1 medium orange is 97% water
- 1 cup of blueberries is 85% water
- 1 medium apple is 84% water
These fruits and vegetables can easily be added into your diet this summer, so cool down after working in the garden with a bowl of watermelon or grapes or start your day off by tossing a handful of blueberries into a yogurt cup or bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. Help yourself and loved ones stay hydrated this summer by remembering to drink plenty of fluid throughout the day and incorporating more of these fluid filled foods into the diet.
With Fourth of July coming up in a few days, make sure your family and guests stay hydrated during all of the Fourth of July shenanigans by making this fruit infused water!
Mixed Berry Infused Water
- 1 gallon of water
- 1 pint of blueberries
- 1 pint of strawberries (halved)
- Add berries to water and store in refrigerator over night, the night before you would like to drink it. Enjoy this sweet treat!
Happy Fourth of July!