Surviving summer in the South is basically an extreme sport. With 90° days, dehydration is no joke.
So, I got the scoop from Abbigail Hickey, Auburn’s Coordinator of Nutrition Services, to find out what our bodies need to stay properly hydrated. Check out these tips for keeping your water intake where it needs to be.
BYOB: Bring your own (water) bottle.
Find a reusable water bottle you love, and never leave your house without it. Bring it to class, to work, to The Rec. Your water bottle is your new best friend.
Make sure it’s always full before you head to class. You don’t want to leave mid-lecture because you’re suddenly overcome with dry-mouth and dehydration.
Know when to drink water.
According to Hickey, we should drink a glass of water as soon as we wake up in the morning. Why? We need to replace any water we may have lost during the night. I like to keep a glass of water on my bedside table as a reminder.
Another key time to drink water is during a workout. To be exact, you need to take a sip of water every five minutes during your workout to ensure optimal hydration.
Your skin may also be telling you you need to drink more water. Hickey explains, “If you are sweating or getting that salty, gritty feeling on your skin — that’s actually an indication that you’ve lost electrolytes.”
Infuse your water.
It can be boring to drink tasteless liquid all day. If you’re looking for a fun way to keep things #fresh, infuse some fruit or herbs in your water. I recommend mint, basil, lemon, lime, orange, or cucumber.
Another way to switch it up is coconut water. While it’s not a replacement for plain ole’water (nothing is), it can add some electrolytes and potassium to your diet.
Chase your coffee.
Did you know caffeinated drinks can act as diuretics? According to Hickey, “This means that they can slightly increase fluid excretion.” To make up for this lost fluid, we need to drink a little more water to compensate. Hickey recommends drinking one glass of water for every caffeinated beverage.
Track your water intake.
There’s an app for that! Plant Nanny is a free water-tracking app that’s equal parts fun and functional. Plant Nanny determines how much water you should drink every day based on your weight and activity level. As you drink water in real life, you get to water your plant in the app!
Eat foods that will help you hydrate.
The foods you eat can also help increase your water intake. Fruits and vegetables are a key source of hydration. Again, nothing replaces water, but it's always good to be mindful of any additional ways to hydrate.
While our bodies do a pretty good job of letting us know when to treat ourselves to a nice glass of water, it’s always good to know how to do more than the bare minimum. Try some of our hydration hacks, and let us know your favorites on social media @AuburnCampusRec.
Be well, Auburn.
Source: Abbigail Hickey, Coordinator of Nutrition Services, Auburn University Health Promotion and Wellness Services
Photography: Michelle M.