Summertime in Texas means hot and humid temperatures and high heat index levels that may cause discomfort to many. It is very important that we take care of ourselves whether being indoors or outdoors in the summer months.

A great way to do this is by drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated daily. Drinking water is essential for all ages and can prevent heat exhaustion and dehydration. The recommendation of the amount of water adults and children should drink ranges from 9-13 cups a day. This amount varies due to age, gender, health and length of physical activity. However, the overall goal is to drink water every day.

If you enjoy taking a walk outside, riding a bicycle or working out outside, water should be taken with you. A good rule of thumb is to drink 6 ounces of water before you exercise and then every 15 minutes during your workout. Particularly, if you are exercising moderately or vigorously, you should drink at least 4-6 ounces of water every 15 minutes.

The more water you drink, the more hydrated you will be. Some perks of being hydrated are: provides boosts of energy and it helps you to feel good throughout your day. Some signs that indicate you may be dehydrated are headaches and dry mouth. Be sure to do a quick self-check each day to determine if you need to increase your water intake.

According to WebMD, 60% of your body weight is made of water. It flushes toxins from your organs, carries nutrients to your cells, cushions your joints and helps you digest the food you eat. It is good to drink water when you first wake up in the morning and also before any meal. Establishing a water routine is a great plan to practice. Setting reminders on your phone to drink water or take water breaks throughout your day can help you be more consistent.

Having water with you wherever you go is a key tip to staying hydrated. If you are always on the go, be sure to keep water handy or grab one at a convenience store. Fill up your water bottle prior to leaving for work and refill as needed during the day. Also, flavored water or infusing your water with nutritious fruits is another healthy alternative. Try this option if you prefer more of a taste to your drink. Being intentional with drinking water is a great habit to develop and will benefit your body over time.

During the summer months, I encourage you to stay hydrated as much as possible. Create a schedule for drinking water daily that works best for you. Water is such a significant source to us and helps our bodies to function. Let’s all remember to develop this healthy habit, because water truly works!

JESSICA SMALL is the Better Living for Texans agent with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension in Denton County. Email her at jessica.small@ag.tamu.edu or call 940-349-2891.

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