The temperature might’ve dropped these last couple of weeks (sob!), but summer is well and truly still with us. Staying hydrated is key for maintaining optimum health when it’s scorchio outside - whether you want to keep energy levels high, stay safe during a workout or simply stay healthy all-round - especially during the hotter months when dehydration is more common.
What to look for
If you lose more fluids than you take in, your body can suffer from dehydration. When you become severely dehydrated you can experience obvious symptoms like vomiting, constipation and blackouts, but dehydration can affect our bodies in more subtle ways, too, which are important to look out for. Headaches, lightheadedness and tiredness are some of the more common symptoms that can be associated with a low fluid intake - but look out for low energy levels, cramps in the muscles and a dry mouth, too.
Catching dehydration in these earlier stages means you can take the necessary steps to stop it in its tracks. Since water is needed for all bodily functions (even breathing!), replacing any fluids lost throughout the day - rather than just when you’re feeling thirsty - is smart.
What to do
As well as regularly sipping on water throughout the day, it’s also a good idea to up your usual water intake if you’ve sweated more than normal. This could be during a workout, or even on a particularly sweaty commute. Make it easy on yourself by carrying a water bottle with you wherever you go and filling it up at any opportunity.
Although 1.5-2 litres of water per day is the generic recommendation for most people, we need to take into account both body mass and lost fluid. Up your intake if you’ve got a high body mass and if you are doing more activity than the average person. Add to this amount at least half a litre for each hour of exercise, too. But most importantly, listen to your body and respond accordingly - we’re all different!