Spring is now in full swing. We hope you already have the sun cream and wide brim hats ready for the hottest weather? In the next few weeks, you’ll notice a definite change in the temperature. Although truly hot days are rare in April and May, you may be caught unawares when out for the day. Using the right sun cream is one way of ensuring you enjoy the sunshine. Staying hydrated is another. Here is how you keep your water and other levels topped up in the sunshine.
Drink Enough Water
The first piece of advice for remaining hydrated is the most obvious – ensure you drink enough water. Nothing hydrates better than water. Contrary to popular belief, tea and coffee are not bad ways to rehydrate. They still have water content, but 2-3 cups on their own will not be enough in warm weather. Water is low calorie, good for the skin and the most efficient way of staying hydrated though.
How Does Your Urine Look?
Most of us don’t stay hydrated enough. We don’t know we’re under-hydrated until we get the symptoms of thirst – a dry throat and soreness in the mouth. But did you know your urine colour is a great indicator of how hydrated you are? If it’s clear (the colour of water) or a very pale yellow, you’re hydrated enough. If it’s dark yellow, you need fluid. The darker it is, the less hydrated you are.
Drink Water with Alcohol
Another myth is that alcohol has a negative effect on your hydration levels. It’s never a good idea to drink too much alcohol, but it’s not bad for your fluid levels. People mistake the dehydration experienced with a hangover for a lack of hydration on the part of the alcohol. The mistake people make is not to keep fully hydrated while drinking alcohol. If you’re drinking a lot on a night out, ensure you balance that with several glasses of water. Ensure you have at least a litre of water before you go to bed after a night out.
Get Plenty of Fruit and Veg
Most food contains fluid; fruit and vegetables are no exception. Along with the great nutrients contained in these foods, they will keep your fluid levels up during the day. Food is one of the forgotten sources of water with fruit and vegetables being amongst the best and most important. They also contain salt which you will lose while sweating. Too much water on its own can make you ill if your mineral levels are not kept in check.
When is Water Insufficient?
There are occasions when water alone is not enough. We have already discussed the need to replace salt levels during heavy sweating. When this happens, you’ll also be losing other minerals too. One example where this happens is during heavy exercise – anything that lasts for an hour or more. This is especially critical if you’re engaging in cardio such as an intense run. This is one of those rare occasions where water on its own is insufficient. Sports drinks are ideal as they contain a number of minerals such as salt and potassium to help you recover your energy levels fast.
Going for a Long Walk?
Intense exercise is not the only situation where you need to replace minerals. Long walks are another area, especially in warmer weather. If walking for anything more than 5 miles (which on average should take 2 hours or more), then take a small bag of nuts and seeds, bananas and some water. You’ll lose valuable minerals during the walk that these food types can replace. With water alone, you won’t feel your thirst sufficiently sated.