Stay hydrated…you know you’re supposed to.

While you are out there enjoying the fabulous summer weather, its important to remember that along with sun and warmth comes a greater need for water. Our bodies are 60-70% water and sweating is our bodies natural cooling mechanism. So when we heat up, we sweat more to cool down.

Sweat is made up of water plus electrolytes ( sodium, chloride, calcium, magnesium, potassium etc).

All that sweating can greatly reduce the amount water and electrolytes available for the body to function optimally. Without enough water we risk over heating, “sun stroke”, dehydration, and less urgent symptoms like foggy thinking, moodiness, joint pain and muscle cramping. On a typical day we need about 1/2 our body weight in ounces of water daily- for example a 150 pound person would need 75 ounces of water daily. On a hot day add at least 16 ounces more to that plus electrolytes.

That’s a lot of water! Try it out, you’ll find you experience other health benefits as well, like weight loss, more energy, better immune function, healthier skin and normal bowel function. Start slowly, gradually increasing your daily water intake to these levels. Your body can only absorb about 1/4 cup of water every 15 minutes. In the summer when your losing water through sweat, you’ll also be losing electrolytes. Be sure to add some electrolytes rich beverages to the mix. If you can’t make it the store for a sports drink, or are interested in a healthier version here is an electrolyte replacement recipe you might try:

1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 Tbs sugar/maple syrup OR 2 tsp honey
1 c apple juice
3 c water
lemon juice to taste
Enjoy your summer and stay hydrated!

Dr. Elise Schroeder, ND