The Extension Corner: Replenish with water

Published 2:15 pm Thursday, June 28, 2018

It is summer and many of us are spending a lot of time outdoors.

With the temperatures and heat index steadily going up it is important to stay hydrated. Individuals may be participating in sports, summer camps, gardening or other activities which require spending endless hours outside.

This can easily lead to dehydration. Sixty percent or more of our total body weight is water, which shows that being aware of our water intake is very important.

An average person should drink eight eight-ounce glasses of water a day. With the combination of the heat and physical activity, you will need to drink even more.

During this time, you are losing electrolytes and other minerals that need to be replenished. Water is the best choice to rehydrate.

To replenish the electrolytes, many think a sports drink is the go-to. However, the added sugars in sports drinks are not helpful when you are trying to rehydrate, plus they can really pack on unwanted pounds.

Did you know you can also consume water from the foods you eat? There are numerous fruits and vegetables that have high water contents.

Cucumbers, zucchini and celery all have more than 90 percent water in them. Grapefruit, watermelon and strawberries also contain more than 90 percent water. These are also all great summer snacks that contain nutrients your body needs to recover.

Water is a necessity for our body to function properly. Our small intestines use water to help move the nutrients from our foods to our organs, help remove waste and even help regulate body temperature.

In conclusion, if you know you are going to have a strenuous day, make sure to hydrate your body beforehand. Being dehydrated can be dangerous, especially with heat indexes above 100.

Some signs and symptoms of dehydration are increased thirst, fatigue, headache or dizziness.

So don’t forget to drink or eat your water and stay safe this summer.

Cortney Huneycutt is the nutrition program assistant with the Stanly County office of N.C. Cooperative Extension.