Why Water is Essential in the Summertime

Why Water is Essential in the Summertime

Why Water is Essential in the Summertime 

Pack your sunscreen and sunglasses, because as the temperatures rise, it is the perfect time to bathe in the sunlight outside. Whether you spend your summers cannonballing in pools, hitting tennis balls across courts, or getting your hiking boots dirty along local trails, everyone has their favorite way to spend time beneath the summer sun. However, spending too much time under the sun causes us to sweat, depriving our bodies of the water they so desperately need to function. But why is water so important? 

Why hydrate when it’s hot outside? 

You know the feeling of sweat glands lining your forehead when you’ve been outside for a long time, especially when it’s hot. Sweat is your body’s natural way of cooling itself down when exposed to high heat or during physical activity, keeping your body at the perfect temperature you need to function. Water takes up about 50-70% of your body weight and helps with losing weight, keeping your blood pressure stable and healthy, boosting performance during physical activity, flushing body waste, regulating body temperature, and much more. Since sweat makes us lose water, we need to drink enough water to make up for the water lost. 

Here are some consequences of not having the right amount water in your body: 

  • Your body could lose its ability to properly regulate heat. 
  • Your heart rate could elevate more than it should during exercise. 
  • Your brain function may diminish, causing harm to your concentration and thought processes. 
  • You may perform worse and/or lose your endurance during exercise, especially in warmer conditions. 
  • You may suffer with headaches, fatigue, muscle cramps, weakness, and dry/cracked lips. 

How much water should I drink? 

It’s essential to drink enough water to properly hydrate and replace the amount of water lost due to sweat during the day. However, there is such thing as “too much water,” officially known as “water intoxication.” Water intoxication happens when a person drinks much more water than they need, most likely due to intense physical training. This may cause your blood cells to swell, and this is especially dangerous when it happens to the cells in your brain because it can disrupt brain function.  

WebMD recommends that men drink about 3 liters of water each day while women need to drink around 2 liters a day. This is a great basic guideline for how to hydrate each day. However, not everyone sweats at the same rate every day, so the amount of water you should drink should correspond to your individual needs. 

To determine the right amount of water to drink during the day, especially when exercising, you should calculate the typical amount of sweat you lose. UCLA Health recommends this 5-step process to calculate your sweat loss in an hour after completing your typical exercise: 

  1. Weigh yourself before exercising. Make sure your bladder is empty before you weigh yourself. 
  2. Complete a one-hour workout of your typical exercise (preferably an outdoor exercise to calculate the amount of sweat lost in the outdoor heat) without consuming any food or drink. For example, if you typically go on walks, walk outside for an hour. If you don’t have a favorite exercise but are looking to find a great way to spend time outside, check out these suggestions! Once you find one that you would like to continue throughout the summer, complete that exercise for an hour to help calculate your sweat rate. 
  3. Weigh yourself again. 
  4. Calculate the difference in weight in kilograms. 
  5. Multiply your weight difference by 1,000, and that will give you the rate at which you lose sweat in milliliters per hour. The typical weight change for an average healthy human is 0.5 kg, according to UCLA Health, making the typical sweat rate 500 milliliters per hour. 

To replace the sweat lost, you should drink the same amount as your sweat rate per hour. Drink too little and you risk being dehydrated, but drink too much and you risk being water intoxicated. Because of this, you should try to keep your water intake at about your sweat rate. 

How do I stay hydrated? 

Sometimes, you just are not motivated to drink water no matter how dehydrated you feel. If this is the case for you, try adding a tasty flavor to your water bottle using a water enhancer. If you are looking for a natural flavor to add, Sweetleaf’s Water Drops may be the perfect healthy water enhancer for you, giving you that boost of encouragement you need to drink more water. No calories, no sugar, only great flavor! 

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