Hydration Highlight

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With average temperatures of 90℉ each day, this month has been a hot one! Water accounts for around 60% of an adult’s body weight and as we start to sweat more during this time of the year, we are losing an essential nutrient. For this reason, it is important to maintain adequate hydration as you are spending more time in the heat. Water is found to help restore fluids lost through sweating and keeps you from overheating! It also lubricates your joints and tissues and is key for achieving healthy skin and proper digestion. Your body sends thirst signals as it starts to run low on water and for those with access to safe drinking sources, water is the best option to rehydrate!

The National Academy of Medicine recommends that healthy men should aim for 13 cups, 104 ounces, and healthy women should aim for 9 cups, 72 ounces, of daily fluids. This is taking into account that you receive about 20% of your water needs from the food you eat. These are the general recommendations but there can be exceptions for lower or higher amounts depending on body size, health status, exercise routine, and exposure to very warm climates. We suggest talking with your physician about the amount of water you should be drinking. They can take into account the previously mentioned exceptions to the general recommendations as well as accounting for any over-the-counter or prescription medications you are currently taking.

When too much fluid is lost and not replaced, dehydration can occur. With the extreme temperatures recently, it is important to be able to recognize the symptoms of dehydration. These can include extreme thirst, dark-colored urine, fatigue, dizziness, and confusion. Be aware that for older adults, the early indicator of thirst declines with age. Focusing on your water intake for the day can reduce the risk of dehydration.

Tips for Increasing Water Intake:

  1. As mentioned above, about 20% of our water needs come from the food we eat. Try choosing high water-containing foods such as melons, berries, cucumbers, lettuce, celery, and cooked squash.
  2. Keep water next to you especially when you are on the go. This will be helpful when your body is sending you a thirst signal!
  3. Flavor it up by adding fresh berries or citrus fruits.
  4. Build it into your daily schedule!





Harvard School of Public Health – Water

How Much Water Do You Need?

Mayo Clinic – Dehydration 

N.C. Cooperative Extension’s goal is to provide the residents of the community with research-based knowledge. For more information on nutrition, health, food preservation, and food safety in Lee County please contact the Family and Consumer Sciences Agent, Ashley Szilvay at 919-775-5624.