It’s a sunny summer season day. You’re sizzling and thirsty.
What do you attain for—a glass of chilly water? Lemonade? Soda? Beer?
Water will at all times be the only option, Spectrum Health dietitian Holly Dykstra mentioned. However there are nonetheless loads of methods to get pleasure from your favourite drinks all summer season lengthy, whereas retaining correct hydration and good well being high of thoughts.
Q: How a lot water ought to I drink? Do I want extra in the summertime?
There’s no one-size-fits-all reply. It’s necessary to concentrate to your physique to make sure you’re getting sufficient water, Dykstra mentioned.
An ordinary guideline is 64 ounces of water a day, or 8 cups. Normally, it’s about 8 to 11 cups for ladies and 11 to 14 for males, she mentioned.
“All people has completely different wants,” Dykstra mentioned. “So some folks may do properly with 6 or 7 cups and a few may want 12 or 13. It’s useful to concentrate to your individual thirst and urine and stools.”
The purpose is evident urine. Darkish yellow means you want extra fluids. Additionally, it’s best to have easy-to-pass stools.
And sure, you probably do want extra water in the summertime.
“Typically, should you’re exterior extra within the solar and extra lively, you will have to drink additional fluids and take heed to that,” Dykstra mentioned.
It’s additionally necessary to acknowledge that our thirst reflex declines as we become old.
“As we age, our danger of dehydration is increased as a result of we’re much less capable of perceive after we are thirsty or not,” Dykstra mentioned. “So you could be extra aware of how a lot you might be ingesting, even should you’re not thirsty, as you age.”
Q: How can I make water extra interesting?
Should you’re uninterested in ingesting plain water—and let’s be trustworthy, it might probably get boring—you’ll be able to at all times liven it up in wholesome methods.
One in all Dykstra’s favorites: Brew a big batch of fruit-flavored tea and chill it to make iced tea.
She additionally suggests making your individual flavor-infused water at dwelling. Add lemon or lime wedges, mint, basil, lavender, berries or cucumbers. You should utilize a countertop pitcher or water dispenser, and even buy a water bottle with an infuser inside.
“You may make so many various mixtures,” Dykstra mentioned. “This could scale back the blandness of water, however with out providing you with any added sugars or synthetic sweeteners.”
One other tip: Add a small quantity of juice or coconut water to your glass of water. Whereas it provides sugar, it’s a pleasant change every so often, she mentioned.
A sexy presentation—a enjoyable water bottle or a user-friendly water dispenser at dwelling—also can encourage extra water consumption.
Q: Is it OK to have soda?
There are some necessary issues to remember should you choose soda every so often.
First, should you’re ingesting common soda, you’re consuming quite a lot of added sugar.
“We actually wish to watch the added sugars,” Dykstra mentioned. “We must always simply take into account that to be the identical as consuming dessert.”
And whereas food regimen soda doesn’t have energy or carbohydrates, it does comprise synthetic sweeteners.
“There’s nonetheless quite a lot of analysis that must be carried out on synthetic sweeteners, however some analysis reveals that it’s not helpful for us if we eat it in giant portions,” Dykstra mentioned. “Though it doesn’t have energy, it’s best to nonetheless take into account it a deal with.”
Analysis has proven that synthetic sweeteners can contribute to better danger of glucose intolerance and will negatively impression the stability in your intestine microbiome.
“Synthetic sweeteners, like sucralose and aspartame, are a lot sweeter than common sugar. Should you eat food regimen soda regularly, your style buds might get used to this actually candy taste, and it might trigger you to crave candy meals extra usually,” Dykstra mentioned.
As with all indulgences, there’s a spot for all sorts of meals and drinks. Simply be conscious about selecting indulgent gadgets as an occasional deal with—and acknowledge they’re not a dietary selection.
Q: Any added dangers to ingesting alcohol in the summertime?
Significantly in the summertime, it’s necessary to keep in mind that alcohol has a diuretic impact in your physique. This implies it might probably dehydrate you—not hydrate, Dykstra mentioned. Mixed with the additional warmth, that might put you in danger for extreme dehydration.
“I like to recommend an additional glass of water for each alcoholic beverage you drink,” she mentioned. “If you’re ingesting, particularly within the warmth of the solar, you could be actually aware of the truth that you’ll be able to put your self in danger if you’re not cautious. You should definitely get some water in as properly.”
Along with the danger of dehydration, Dykstra urges everybody to drink responsibly, any time of 12 months. She urges limiting alcohol, spacing out drinks and ensuring to not drink on an empty abdomen, which might trigger dehydration signs to come back on extra rapidly.
Q: Do I want electrolyte or sports activities drinks in the summertime?
Most individuals don’t want these drinks, Dykstra mentioned. In reality, these drinks can do extra hurt than good for many individuals due to the sodium and added sugars or, within the food regimen variations, synthetic sweeteners.
Sports activities drinks is perhaps useful for athletes who’re very lively or individuals who work outside within the warmth all day, as a result of they’re sweating closely, she mentioned.
“That is perhaps the place these drinks are useful, however in any other case folks don’t want them,” she mentioned. “These drinks are marketed as nutritious choices, however they normally have quite a lot of added sugar and sodium.”
So whenever you’re reaching for a summer season beverage, give your self some selection—however preserve your selections wholesome more often than not, Dykstra mentioned.
“Don’t neglect that water is normally one of the best.”