With summer already upon is, one often overlooked aspect of a healthy diet is hydration. So, we’ve written this blog to help you stay hydrated in the summer heat!
Why Do We Need To Stay Hydrated?
Good hydration is important for:
- Helping to move food through the digestive system and waste through the bowels for elimination
- Helping eliminate waste products through the kidneys for elimination in urine
- Helps to regulate body temperature
- Good hydration is also a factor in maintaining good energy levels and concentration across the day
So, How Do You Know If You Are Well Hydrated?
There is no hard, fast rule to this and you may need more water on certain days compared to others (e.g. warmer weather, time spent out side in the heat, intensity and duration of exercise etc). One of the easiest ways to gauge hydration is to look at the colour of your urine, aiming for a pale straw colour to indicate a good level of hydration. If it looks more like apple juice, drink up!
Those who exercise regularly will often need more water than others due to sweat losses. An easy way to monitor sweat loss is to weigh yourself before your exercise session, then again at the end of your training session. The difference (plus any water you’ve consumed during the training session) is the amount of fluid lost in sweat.
For example, if someone were to weight in at 70kg before exercising, then weigh 69kg after exercising and they consumed a 600ml bottle of water during their workout, sweat losses are as follows: 70kg – 69kg + 0.600 = 1.6kg sweat loss, equating to 1.6L of fluid needing to be replaced.
Another question dietitians often get asked is what is the best fluid for hydration. 99% of the time, water will be the best choice. For most individuals there is no need for a sports drink or oral re-hydration solution. The latest research also suggests that water consumed with a meal after exercise is just as re-hydrating when compared to a sports drink such as Gatorade or Powerade.
For tailored information on how to stay hydrated in the summer heat, get in touch with one of our Accredited Practising Dietitians from Sunshine Coast Dietetics.