How to Stay Hydrated During the Summer

Three Methods:Consuming the Right FluidsPlanning AheadRemembering to Hydrate

Summertime means spending time outside, soaking up the sun, and spending time near the pool. Keep your summer days healthy and fun by staying hydrated! Keeping plenty of life-giving fluid (a.k.a. water) in your system means that you will be able to enjoy summertime fun to the fullest.

Method 1
Consuming the Right Fluids

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    Drink water. Our bodies are made up of 75% water. We need water to live. So drink up! Bottled water, filtered water, or (in most places) water straight from the tap will do just fine.[1]
    • One rule of thumb is to drink eight 8-ounce glasses (2 liters) of water per day.
    • Another good rule is to drink half of your body weight in ounces. So if you weigh 140 lbs., you should try to drink 70 ounces of water per day.
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    Drink coconut water. Coconut water is delicious and filled with electrolytes, so it makes an excellent alternative to water on hot days. If you have been sweating or working out, replenishing your body’s electrolyte stores is a great way to stay hydrated. Look for unsweetened varieties, as sugar hinders your hydration.[2]
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    Drink diluted fruit juices. If drinking water is too bland for you, you can enjoy diluted fruit juices. Choose natural, 100% juice options with no added sugar, such as apple juice or cranberry juice, then just add water. The higher your water-to-juice ratio, the more healthy hydrating power you’ll receive.[3]
    • Be sure to read ingredient labels.
    • Avoid fruit punch and cranberry juice cocktail, as these tend to have added sugar.
    • Avoid juices with artificial sweeteners added (such as sucralose or aspartame), as these are not great for hydration either.
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    Add a slice of fruit to your water. Spice up your glass of water by adding a bit of fruit. Slices of lemon or lime are classic choices and can make your glass of water more refreshing. You can also think outside the box with slices of cucumber, mandarin orange, or grapefruit. A simple slice of fruit can improve the taste of your water, and may even add a bit of Vitamin C to your drink.[4]
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    Avoid energy drinks. Anything high in sugar or caffeine is going to dehydrate your body, so avoid beverages with exceptionally high levels of both: energy drinks. These powerful mood-altering beverages can actually be dangerous in the summer heat.[5]
    • Not only do these drinks cause dehydration, they have adverse effects as well, which can increase risk for cardiac complications, such as palpitations, tremor, shaking, agitations, shaking, chest pain, ischemia, dizziness and paraesthesia (numbness and tingling).
    • If you do consume an energy drink, be sure to compensate with lots of extra water.
    • If you must enjoy an energy drink, limit yourself to one, and do so with caution.

Method 2
Planning Ahead

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    Eat fruits and veggies. Fruits and veggies are filled with water, and eating plenty of them helps you stay effectively hydrated. Prepare for a big day out in the sun by eating plenty of produce beforehand. Eat a nice big salad with strawberries and tomatoes, or snack on watermelon, celery, and grapes.[6]
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    Carry a reusable water bottle. Studies have shown that people who carry around reusable water bottles end up consuming more fluids each day. Make it easy for yourself to stay hydrated by tossing one of these bottles in your bag and taking sips all day long.[7]
    • Look for a stainless-steel water bottle to avoid any plastic contaminants.
    • A second option is to look for a plastic bottle that is BPA-free.
    • Avoid reusing disposable water bottles, if possible, as they are difficult to clean properly, which may result in bacteria growth. There is also concern about chemicals from these plastics leeching into your water.
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    Pack a cooler. If you plan to spend a day out in the sun, prepare for hydration by packing a cooler. Bring along healthy hydrating snacks — like cantaloupe or pineapple slices — and cold drinks — like coconut water, fruit juice, and water. If you have the tools to stay hydrated, you’ll be much more like to use them.[8]
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    Use a “water bladder. If you are going hiking, fishing, cycling, or doing any outdoor activity where your hands will be occupied, using a “water bladder” can be an excellent way to stay hydrated. A water bladder is a device that holds water (usually 70–100 ounces) in a carrying case on your back. A long straw rests on your shoulder, and you can pop it in your mouth and drink water with ease.[9]
    • Water bladders and carrying cases can be purchased at most sporting goods and camping supply stores.
    • Ensure you read the instructions on the care and cleaning of these supplies as there are special instructions as well.
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    Wear lightweight, breathable clothes. Excessive sweating can lead to dehydration, so wearing the right clothes can help you stay healthy, hydrated, and cool. Anytime you’ll be in the heat, opt for lightweight, breathable materials, like cotton or synthetic fibers. Choosing light colors can help you stay comfortable and cool as well.[10]

Method 3
Remembering to Hydrate

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    Set a reminder on your phone to drink water every hour. With all the fun of summer, it can be easy to forget to drink water. Remind yourself to take a sip by setting a reminder on your phone. An hourly “ping” can remind you to regularly drink a glass of water, and help keep you hydrated throughout your day.[11]
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    Take a drink after using the restroom. Another trick is to think “one out, one in.” Every time you use the restroom (which your body will naturally remind you to do), replenish what you lost with a big glass of water.[12]
    • This method will only work to maintain hydration. If you are already dehydrated, you will not use the restroom often enough for this method to work.
    • A well-hydrated person should use the restroom every one to one-and-a-half hours.
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    Drink water after each alcoholic beverage. Avoiding alcohol altogether is an effective way to maintain your hydration. If you are going to drink, however, it is crucial to compensate with extra water. Aim to go “one for one,” consuming a glass of water for every alcoholic beverage you put down. This will keep you healthy, keep you awake, and best of all, reduce your chances of hangover.[13]
    • Consuming alcohol in the summer heat can be dangerous or even deadly. Do so only with extreme caution.
    • Be sure to also eat when drinking alcohol. Eating slows the absorption of alcohol, but does not prevent one from becoming drunk. Moderation is the best answer when it comes to alcohol.
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    Monitor your urine. The simplest way to tell if you are hydrated is to take a look at your pee. If it is clear to faintly yellow, then you are on the right track. If your urine is medium to dark yellow, it is evident that you need to increase hydration immediately. You can check your urine throughout the day to tell how you’re doing with hydration. Anytime the color seems dark, grab some water and take a drink.[14]
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    Don’t wait until you feel thirsty. Particularly in the summer, dehydration can happen fast. Don’t wait until you feel physically thirsty — be proactive about your hydration by drinking water, and taking other steps, throughout the day.[15]
    • As we age, our receptors in our brains that tell us we are thirsty decrease in effectiveness, so by the time one feels the thirst urge, it is often after dehydration has set in. Avoid this by being proactive and consuming water throughout the day.


  • Bring ice packs in your cooler rather than ice. They are reusable, plus if they melt, the mess is contained.
  • Don't bring anything fragile, like ceramic mugs.


  • Wear sunscreen and don’t stay too long in direct sunlight — this also helps prevent skin cancer.
  • Signs of dehydration include headache, dizziness, dry mouth, dry skin, minimal urination.[16]
  • Signs of severe dehydration include extreme thirst, irritability, confusion, rapid heart rate and breathing, low blood pressure, and fever.[17]

Article Info

Categories: Heat and Cold Injuries | Urinary Health