Hydrate safely during COVID-19

Getting outside this summer is a great way to be active or socialize during the coronavirus epidemic. But be aware that many public water fountains and faucets may be blocked off or unsafe to use.  Take a reusable water bottle filled with water when you are “out and about.”  Now, as always it’s important to stay hydrated.

Did you know that our bodies are 60% water?

Everything in your body needs water to work well.  Losing too much water (dehydration) can lead to fatigue, headache, dizziness. Chronic dehydration can lead to constipation, kidney stones, urinary tract infections, and problems thinking.

One way to tell if you’re drinking enough fluids is from the color of your urine. The darker it is, the more dehydrated you are – urine should be lightly colored.

How do we prevent dehydration?

The old “8 glasses of water per day” may not be what everyone needs. We become dehydrated by not taking in enough fluid or by losing too much. During hot weather, we lose a lot of water through sweating, so we need to think extra hard about drinking enough, especially water.  Plain water is a good choice because it doesn’t come with extra calories!

Although thirst is one of the body’s way to tell us we need water, it isn’t always enough to keep us drinking as much as we need to. This can be true for older adults, for adults that are exercising heavily, or for kids who may get caught up playing and ignore the need to stop and get a drink.

Try these additional tips to make sure you’re staying hydrated:

  • Water is the best choice – try adding fruit or herbs for flavor, like lemon and lime or cucumber and mint
  • Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink, especially in high temperatures
  • Drink water between meals and with snacks
  • Try snacking on more of the delicious water-dense fruits and veggies around in summer, like watermelon, grapes, citrus fruits, cucumbers, and tomatoes
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