As summer continues here in the Mojave, health experts at Weed Army Community Hospital remind everyone of the importance of staying hydrated. But, did you know there are other ways to up your water intake without just guzzling from the water fountain?
Healthcare providers are quick to remind you that human bodies are made up of about 60% water, and every system throughout the body depends on water to function properly and keep you alive.
“Water is vitally important to staying healthy,” said CPT Samantha Rigby, chief of nutrition care at WACH. “You should drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated, but there are also other healthy sources of water you can eat and drink in order to help with your water consumption and maintain a healthy lifestyle.”
Some people may not like the taste of water alone, so Rigby recommends these other hidden sources you could consume:
Fruit is a great source of water. Some types of fruits such as oranges, grapefruit and some melons can be good choices. Did you know that watermelon is made of 90% water? Eat a slice of watermelon as your afternoon snack and you’re not only getting some fruit in your diet, you’re helping keep up your water consumption as well.
Some vegetables also pack a punch when it comes to being made of water. Celery, cucumbers, tomatoes, green peppers and spinach can give you a crunchy boost of cool vegetable goodness, while still upping your water intake.
“Juices and sports drinks can be hydrating, but they also add extra calories and sugar to your day,” Rigby said. “Try diluting them with water so you still get the flavor but lower the sugar content, and save the sports drinks for your workouts.”
Reaching for tea or coffee at one point was cosidered a no-no when it came to hydrating. However, that myth has since been silenced. Caffeine, in consistent amounts, can contribute toward required fluid intake. But be careful when increasing – if you normally drink two cups and then decide to drink the whole pot, the extra caffeine can be detrimental.
And, when it comes to alcohol – be careful. Alcohol is dehydrating. It’s best to stay away from alcohol, especially during these hottest months of the year. If you are going to drink, try to aim for a one-to-one ratio of alcohol with water.
There are a myriad of ways to spice up plain water. For example, add some fruit, cucumbers or mint to your water to help give it a flavor, or drop a tea bag into your water bottle.
Overall, remember the importance of water to your health, and talk to your healthcare provider if you have questions or concerns about how to stay hydrated. For more nutrition advice, you can visit the Nutrition Care Department inside the WACH or visit the Army Wellness Center.