Sun-Proof Your Hydration: Tips for Staying Hydrated This Summer
As the temperature begins to rise, staying hydrated becomes even more crucial. Dehydration can cause an array of health concerns, including loss of energy, frequently feeling lightheaded, headaches, heat exhaustion and even in serious cases, heatstroke.
Here at Healthy Lifestyles Gloucestershire, we understand how important staying hydrated is to perform at our best. According to global hydration specialist, Waterdrop, around two-thirds of people living in the UK do not drink enough water. Here are our top tips for staying hydrated, healthy and happy in the heat this summer.
How much water does our body need?
The NHS advises that we should be drinking between 6-8 glasses of water per day, around 1.2 – 1.5 litres. A recent survey conducted by the National Hydration Council found 13% of women don’t drink their recommended daily amount of water, while 20% of men are not drinking their recommended daily amount.
It can be hard to know if we are drinking enough fluids and if you are waiting until you feel thirsty, this can often be too late as you may already be dehydrated. It is important to remember the amount of fluids we need can vary significantly depending on levels of activity and climate too.
What are the signs of dehydration?
With temperatures already reaching 30 degrees in parts of the UK this week, it is important we know what the signs of dehydration are. According to the NHS, here are some warnings signs to look out for:
- Dry mouth
- Feeling thirsty
- Feeling lightheaded
- Dark-coloured urine
Research shows people who drank 4 litres of water a day shown increased reaction times, or increased alertness of 14% after only 5 days. Reaction time refers to the amount of time it takes to respond to things - when we’re properly hydrated, we have optimal cognitive function, enabling us to respond more quickly.
If we’re dehydrated, this can reduce alertness, and negatively affect cognitive performance. Did you know there’s a ‘Hydration Deck’ on our app, Best-You? This handy resource contains a ‘reaction test’ which shows you how hydrated you are right now.
Hydration and heat
Our bodies are excellent at regulating body temperature, providing it is well hydrated. In hot weather, we sweat more which helps our bodies to maintain a regular temperature. This means we need to ensure we are replacing the fluids we lose through sweating.
It is important we increase our fluid intake and if you notice any of the signs above or your symptoms worsen to consult your GP or call 111.
Tips to stay hydrated
Studies by Harvard show that staying hydrated looks different for everyone as it depends on various factors such as: activity level, outside temperatures, age, and overall health. This is why it’s key to figure out what works best for you, and your daily routine when it comes to getting those all-important liquid levels up. Why not try...
- Using the Best-You Calendar feature to add personal reminders throughout each day.
- Setting yourself a challenge to drink 3 litres of water per day and use our reaction time feature to see how hydrated you are.
- Drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning, and before each meal to get your metabolism running.
- Increasing your water intake a challenge and sharing your progress with other members in your Best-You community here.
Make hydration a priority this week and see the amount of benefits it offers. Ready to take charge of your health? Join our FREE Healthy Lifestyles service today by calling 0800 122 3788.