Did you know that pure, refreshing water is our most vital nutrient? Hot weather means staying smart with hydration – but keeping yourself well-watered in the heat of the summer can be a challenge. While healthy individuals can rely on thirst as their guide, the elderly and very young children may need to be prompted to consume an adequate amount of fluids.
The amount of water you need each day depends on the climate and your age, physical activity and diet. Generally, you need one milliliter of water for every calorie you burn. In other words, if you consume 2,000 calories daily, you should also drink two liters (roughly eight cups) of water daily. However, if you exercise or work outside in hot weather, you need to consume much more water. During activity in hot and humid conditions, an adult can perspire up to three liters every day.
To be mindful of your hydration efforts, try tracking your intake of water on our “8 to LiVe By Track it!” flyer. Print the tracker to record your food and water intake, track your physical activities, and establish and celebrate your goals. You can also download an application on your smartphone or tablet, such as Waterlogged*, to track your daily water intake and receive hydration reminders.
Recommended daily water intake
|| Amount of daily water intake
| Age 1 – 3
|| 4 cups
| Age 4 – 8
|| 5 cups
| Girls, age 9 – 18
|| 7 – 8 cups
| Boys, age 9 – 18
|| 8 – 11 cups
| Adults on 2,000 calorie-per-day diet
|| 8 cups
Ideas for mindful hydration
- Have children drink fluids before heading out to play, and call them in regularly for beverage breaks. Studies show children consume more fluid when it’s flavored, so consider flavoring water with slices of lemons, limes, oranges or berries. You can even try cucumber and fresh basil in your water if you’re feeling bold. Just remember, the longer the fruit is in the water, the more flavorful it is. Another healthy alternative is to make a fruit spritzer – simply blend one part 100 percent fruit juice with one part natural, carbonated water.
- For adults and older adults, measure the water you need to drink daily, and keep it within easy reach. You should take several sips of water an hour. Use a water bottle for convenience; there is a wide variety of BPA-free water bottles.
- Drink a glass of water when you first wake up in the morning. You should consider drinking one or two glasses before you eat, which can help you eat a little less at your meal.
- Healthy fruits and vegetables can help with hydration, so include plenty of these in your diet daily. Think watermelon, oranges, tomatoes, cucumbers and more!
- Be mindful of which beverages are high in sugar like sweet teas, soft drinks, lemonade and fruit punch. Go easy on these and only consume sports drinks if you engage in high-intensity physical activity for more than 60 minutes. Remember that pure, refreshing water is our most vital nutrient.
Let’s raise our glasses to good hydration this summer!
Try this quick refreshing summer drink recipe:
1 cups strawberries, cleaned
1 can tropical fruit with its juice
1 ripe kiwi, peeled
1 ½ cups ice
Combine in a blender and mix until liquefied and icy – enjoy!
*Waterlogged is copyrighted by Shadel Software, Inc.