Summer is almost here! Who can resist the urge to get out and soak up some sunshine after being cooped up all winter? Before you know it, we’ll be heavy on the perspiration across the nation! Just remember, perspiration can lead to dehydration.
You’ve heard the saying, ‘listen to your gut’, right? Unfortunately, when it comes to hydration, your gut is not likely to be a good indicator as to when and how often you should drink. Mild dehydration often goes unnoticed until it becomes severe dehydration, which is a life-threatening situation. Many don’t realize they have a water imbalance until they start experiencing one or several of the warning signs:
• Extreme thirst
• Dry mouth
• Decreased urine output
• Dark-colored urine
• Dry skin
• Muscle cramps
Even mild dehydration is anything but mild. Our bodies depend on adequate hydration for the transport of nutrients and to eliminate toxins. While eating raw, fresh fruits and vegetables is a great way to hydrate, it is not enough. Furthermore, if you enjoy alcoholic beverages or beverages with a high caffeine content, such as coffee, tea, or energy drinks on a regular basis, the risk of dehydration may be increased.
I enjoy spending a lot of time outdoors in the summer, but I am the worst when it comes to drinking water. Well, I was until recently. A few months ago, I started seeing a nutritionist for some health issues I was experiencing. Of course, the first recommendation he had for me was…drink more water! He recommended 80 ounces a day. I never really paid much attention to how much water I was drinking in a day, or should I say, wasn’t drinking! Looking back, I was lucky to average a quart of water in a day! I guess that explains how I got my first (2001), and now second ‘too big to pass’ kidney stone.
I thought I would surely die before I would manage to get 80 ounces down, but it turned out not to be so bad after all. I just had to find what worked for me. I started out using a gallon water jug to measure my progress. I managed to average a gallon a day. It wasn’t exactly convenient carrying a gallon jug everywhere, and I’m not a big fan of drinking from plastic containers (harmful chemicals). Since I always drink my green juices and smoothies from a quart mason jar, I thought I would try using it for my water too. That has worked out the best for me. So, four jars a day and I’m good on the H2O!
Now, I’m not going to lie, I get tired of drinking plain water all the time! The good news is, with a little creativity and some fresh fruit, I don’t have to! Have you ever heard of infused water? Infused water is basically water with any combination of fruits soaked in it. Probably the best infused water you can drink is water with fresh lemon, as it is super awesome for your body in so many ways.
There are so many fruits out there, the possibilities are endless! Fruit infused water is a great way to get your children to drink more water, and it’s fun to make together. Here are a few recipes you might want
• Lemon + thyme
• Cucumber + mint + lime + strawberry
• Honeydew + watermelon + mint
• Raspberry + lemon + rosemary
• Blueberry + basil +orange
• Ginger + lime + basil
• Cucumber + lemon + lime
• Strawberry + cucumber + kiwi
• Pear + ginger + cinnamon + vanilla bean
Making infused water is super easy:
1. Fill the pitcher or mason jar with the amount and combination of fruit you desire. Organic fruit is preferred to avoid drinking pesticides/herbicides.
2. Fill the container almost to the top with water. Leave room for ice cubes.
3. Refrigerate at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight.
4. Add ice cubes.
5. Fill your glass with the infused water. Add cubes and fruit, if desired. Enjoy!
I hope you find these tips helpful in keeping your body hydrated. Water balance is not just important on those hot summer days, but every day! If you have any infused recipes you would like to share, post a comment below. I would love to hear from you! Be well.