Your lawn isn’t the only thing needing more water in the hot months ahead of us here in north Texas. Staying hydrated is crucial to your well-being all year long, but it can be even more of a challenge in the summer.

Why it’s so important to stay hydrated

Plain and simple, water is necessary for survival. We can’t live without it, and we can’t function properly without an adequate daily amount.

Water is used by every cell, tissue, and organ in your body. It maintains your body’s temperature, removes waste, lubricates your joints, carries nutrients to your cells, flushes bacteria from your bladder, helps your heart pump blood, helps muscles work efficiently, maintains your heart rate and blood pressure, and maintains a healthy metabolism. Kind of important, right?!

Staying hydrated is necessary—not just for survival—but for good health.

A hydrated body…

Being well-hydrated is good for your body, brain, appearance, and feeling of well-being. Giving your body plenty of fluids has the following benefits:

  • Provides better energy levels and brain functions
  • Helps prevent and treat headaches
  • Keeps your skin healthy looking
  • Helps prevent constipation
  • Encourages weight loss
  • Boosts your metabolic rate

A dehydrated body…

On the other hand, dehydration can cause serious health problems ranging from swollen feet and headaches to life-threatening illnesses such as heat stroke. It’s very important to be aware of the warning signs.

The difficulty with dehydration though, is that your body hides the beginning of dehydration very well. It can be hours before you start to actually have symptoms. By the time you’re feeling thirsty or experiencing other warning signs, you’re already dehydrated!

One of the best ways to recognize that your body is dehydrated is to pay attention to the color of your urine. Pale urine means you’re well-hydrated. Dark urine shows that you’re not taking in enough fluids.

Watch out for these other common dehydration symptoms:

  • Thirst
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion

Always keep in mind though, it’s important to remember to take in plenty of fluids before you start experiencing the symptoms of dehydration.

How to stay hydrated

The very best way to stay hydrated is to…you already know it…drink water. There are other healthy ways to stay hydrated, but it’s pretty hard to get the fluids you need without drinking water every day.

How much water? Some experts recommend the standard six to eight (eight-ounce) glasses daily. Others suggest drinking 30 to 50 ounces a day. But everyone needs different amounts. The amount of water you need depends on your weight, age, level of activity, physical condition, health conditions, etc.

Probably the best way to determine how much water you need to drink is—again—by paying attention to your urine. You should drink enough fluids so you need to go to the bathroom every two to four hours and that your urine is a light color. If you can last all day without needing to urinate, and your urine is dark in color, you’re not getting enough to drink.

To make sure you drink enough water every day, try these practices:

  • Keep a reusable water bottle next to you and keep it filled up!
  • If you have trouble drinking plain water, try adding some fruit slices to it or choose carbonated waters.
  • Get in the habit of drinking water with your meals instead of other drinks.

Besides water, other drinks and foods can also help you stay hydrated. Just make sure you’re not choosing drinks that add unnecessary sugar and extra calories to your diet.

Water is found in lots of fruits and vegetables. For example, an orange is 90% water. Salads, soups, watermelon, tomatoes…many foods are full of water. So you can get a lot of your daily water requirements just through a healthy diet.

Water, water, water!

When we get into these really hot days ahead of us, it’s more important than ever to remember to stay hydrated. Remember, by the time you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.

Outlaw FitCamp group classes are always indoors, and this can help. But whether you’re inside or outdoors, exercising or relaxing, in summer or winter—you always need to pay attention to staying hydrated.

Now drink up!