Staying Hydrated in Summer Heat

The hot days of summer have been upon us for several weeks now and we still wonder if we are drinking fluids that will keep us healthy during the summer doldrums. Hydration is essential to maintaining good health and having some guidelines as to what fluids should be consumed is vitally important.

Of course, we all know that water is essential for all bodily functions and we should be drinking water throughout the day. Although the recommended amount depends on the level of activity, body weight and propensity to sweat, 70 to 100 ounces per day is a good range. If you are into heavy exercising, more than water will be needed to keep your engine running smooth.

Exercising for an hour or more will require you to replenish carbohydrates and electrolytes. This can be achieved with many of the sports drinks that are on the market. If you are a super athlete and are working out for more than an hour, you may want to consider sport bars and gels to maximize available energy. Sports drinks should include the essential ingredients of calcium, potassium, magnesium and sodium. Your body needs all of these electrolytes. You should be drinking at least 10 ounces. for every 30 minutes of exercise. It is also important to drink 20 ounces of fluid or more in the first 30 minutes after you have finished exercising to rehydrate and replenish your electrolytes.

Sports Drinks should not be promoted to children as a substitute for soda. In fact their content is almost as unhealthy as soda and if a child is not burning the calories, he is taking in dangerous amounts of sugar and sodium. Sports drink popularity among the youth is alarming and is believed to contribute to the early onset of diabetes. Dilute the product with water if you must, and save money why you are at it. Limiting the sports drinks and increasing the drinking of water is a better choice for children.

Enjoy your summer, exercise in a healthy way and stay hydrated for lasting health.