North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Healthy hydration for the summer


File Photo

File Photo It's important to stay properly hydrated during the summer.

Summer is here. For most that means a lot of BBQ'ing, lake time and vacation. That also means a lot more drinking ... and no I don't just mean the cold brews.

In the summer we tend to consume more caffeinated and alcoholic beverages. This is a fun way to celebrate a special event, vacation or our country on the 4th, but it is also very dehydrating. In addition to the increase in these beverages, we need more water from our increased sun exposure and outdoor physical activities. The sun itself can be very dehydrating, paired with more dehydrating beverages can make for a very bad combination.

We know we need to stay hydrated for our overall health, but do you know why it's so important? Proper hydration allows all of our body to function property. When we get dehydrated we can experience dizziness, dry mouth and feeling sluggish. It can also stall weight loss and in server cases lead to death.

The great news is we can still enjoy our fun summer beverages while staying hydrated and healthy.

Ways to sneak in more hydration in the summer time:

Set a timer: Every hour while you are in the heat set an alarm for a water break. Drink at least an 8 oz. glass or bottle of water.

Spruce it up: If you have a hard time hydrating add some taste to your water. Sweet Leaf water drops are a great way to add a punch to your water without adding extra calories or sugar.

If you're thirsty, Drink: It's really that simple, if you start to get a dry mouth or feel thirsty that is your body gently reminding you to hydrate.

Mix it up: While water is No. 1, adding electrolyte-enhanced beverages to your day can help as well. Just look out for the sneaky added sugars.

When you know you are going to be celebrating make sure you keep your dehydrating beverages in check.

Healthy alternatives for caffeine and alcohol:

Tea Time: A great alternative to your morning coffee is some un-caffeinated tea. If you are used to a lot more caffeine in your day you will want to ease into this.

Mock-tails: If you want to cut back on your alcohol while still enjoying the fun drinks make your cocktail a mocktail. Sparkling water with a few slices of lemon or lime in a fun glass works great.

Soda Pop: If caffeinated pop is your drink of choice try replacing some of them with a sparkling flavored water. These are caffeine free and while they wont help increase your hydration much they will not be working against you and wont cause dehydration.

Remember, if you are feeling thirsty you are already dehydrated. It's easier to prevent this than to treat it so make sure you are getting in at least half of your body weight in ounces of water a day plus a glass of water for every alcoholic or caffeinated beverage. Cheers to a hydrated summer.

Emily Countryman is a board certified health coach and owner of Ideal Wellness located at 2639 172nd St. NE Suite 104 in Smokey Point/Marysville She can be reached online at


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