Bottoms Up! It’s National Hydration Day!
How often do you get told to drink, drink, drink, and drink some more? Not often, so today is your day. However, we're not suggesting you drink alcohol or a caffeinated beverage. We want you to drink water in honor of National Hydration Day celebrated annually on June 23rd.
Whether you're an athlete or not, it's so important for your health that you stay hydrated! I'm sure you've heard that your body is 70% water. That number is actually inflated, the real number is that your body is up to 60% water and your body needs it to function properly. Now the amount of water we each need on a daily basis varies, but here are some recommendations from USGS:
Generally, an adult male needs about 3 liters (3.2 quarts) per day while an adult female needs about 2.2 liters (2.3 quarts) per day. All of the water a person needs does not have to come from drinking liquids, as some of this water is contained in the food we eat.
The U.S. Geological Survey website also lists the basic things that water does for our body on a cellular level and they include:
A vital nutrient to the life of every cell, acts first as a building material.
It regulates our internal body temperature by sweating and respiration
The carbohydrates and proteins that our bodies use as food are metabolized and transported by water in the bloodstream;
It assists in flushing waste mainly through urination
acts as a shock absorber for brain, spinal cord, and fetus
As you can see, water is pretty darn important... especially here in Louisiana in our intense summer heat. Here are some things you can do to protect yourself, keep your cool, and stay hydrated.
1. Stay Hydrated - The CDC recommends drinking anywhere from 16 - 32 ounces of cool water for every hour you spend in the heat.
2. Find Some Shade - Whether you find a tree or bring along an umbrella or a pop-up tent, shade makes a huge difference. Of course, a cabana boy fanning you with a large palm leaf would be good, too!
3. Take a Dip - Is there anything more refreshing than taking a swim during the summer? Whether it's a pool, lake, or even running through the sprinkler, it'll cool you down fast. Just make sure to wear sunscreen!
4. Try to Avoid Peak Heat - If you can schedule your activity for the morning before the full heat of the day or when the sun is finally going down, do it! And don't forget to make sure your ceiling fans are rotating counterclockwise.
5. Wet Towels - Keep damp towels in a cooler or even better, freeze paper towels and take them with you. When you get hot, apply these to your neck and wrists. You'll instantly feel much cooler. And if you can find it, try Florida Water. We used this during travel ball and it really works! A spray bottle filled with chilled water is nice, too!
6. Choose Lightweight, Light-Colored, Loose Fitting Clothing - Trust me on this, darker colors get hotter faster and you certainly don't want to be caught wearing a wool blend in 90+ degree heat. Opt for breathable cotton fabrics that fit loosely and allow your body room to breathe and regulate its temperature.
7. Chill Your Lotions - You'll thank me for this one. There's nothing more soothing than smoothing on some nice cool sunscreen!
8. Wear a Hat - Don't wear just any hat though... I've found that a close-fitting baseball cap only makes me hotter. You want to find something with a wide enough brim that will protect your face, neck, and ears so you don't get a sunburn!
9. Pace Yourself - If you're working or playing outside in the heat and you're not used to it, make sure you limit your time outdoors. Later, as you become acclimated, you can increase your time in the heat.
10. Take a Drive - Even if you don't have A/C in your vehicle, roll your windows down and enjoy the breeze!