In hot arid conditions, it’s easy to underestimate your hydration needs, and dangerous because the summer heat may be adversely affecting you before you realize it. Even mild dehydration can reduce muscle performance and mental alertness, and to avoid everything from headaches to heat stroke, try these four simple tips:
1. Drink before, during and after activity.
2. Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages, which will actually increase your body’s need for water.
3. Carry a water bottle everywhere you go, and drink small amounts often. Drinking 4-6 ounces at a time, every 20-30 minutes, will keep your body regularly hydrated better than drinking large amounts, all at one time when you’re already parched.
4. Eat to beat the heat. As much as 20% of our daily fluid intake is from the foods we eat, and adding fruits and vegetables with a high water content to your diet is a great way to increase your intake. Fruits like watermelon, strawberries, and star fruit, and vegetables like cucumbers, celery, tomatoes, and radishes are all over 90% water, low in calories, and are tasty additions to your meals or as snacks.