Don’t Be Thirsty: How to Stay Hydrated This Summer

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One important thing to remember during the dog days of summer is to stay well hydrated. Most people may not realize it, but they are actually dehydrated. I recently challenged myself to drink a gallon of water in one day to figure out if I was well hydrated or not.

The results? I’m definitely not drinking enough water.

Realistically, the amount of ounces you need to drink in a day is half of your body weight. An entire gallon is probably a bit too much, but it was a good indicator for me to decipher where my hydration level was. I thought it was going to be so challenging to finish the gallon. Just looking at it made me nervous. But I knew I was probably dehydrated when I was able to drink more than half of it without any problem. It only got difficult towards the last 20 ounces.

Another observation I made is how much less I ate. Your body sends you signals when you’re thirsty. No, the signals don’t stop at having a dry, parched mouth. Your stomach growls when you’re thirsty just like it does when you’re hungry. Most people opt to eat, not realizing they may just need to drink some water. When I did the gallon of water challenge, I started my day trying to drink as much of it as possible. My breakfast ended up being smaller, and I wasn’t as hungry during the morning hours as I waited for lunch time.

Another benefit of drinking a gallon of water in a day is that your body will have enough fluids to fully detox itself. If you’re not consuming enough water, your body will hold on to the little it is receiving to function, but there won’t be enough to flush out all of the bad stuff lingering in your body. Alcohol and other toxins, excess salt and sugar all need to be flushed out of your body. This is why drinking sugary drinks like sodas, juice and  flavored coffees do not help you stay hydrated. They just add more toxins to your body to get rid of.

Here’s my schedule of how to drink at least 70 ounces of water in a day:

Wake up and drink 10 ounces of water before you do anything.

Get dressed and ready for your day and drink another 10 ounces with breakfast.

During the mid morning hours, drink another 10 ounces of water. You can do this while having a snack as well. When you eat lunch, make sure you have another 10 ounces of water.

Do not consume 10 ounces of water until your afternoon snack.

Your sixth 10 ounces of water should be with dinner.

And finally the last 10 ounces of water should be consumed before you go to bed.

Try this schedule to make sure you are getting a good amount of water in your system for the hot summer days ahead of us. You’ll be making more trips to the bathroom, but your body will thank you!

Reneé DuBose is a Chicago media professional who was bitten by the health and fitness bug a few years ago. On her journey to get and stay fit, she started a health and wellness blog to share her tips with friends, family and anyone needing help. Visit The Fit Print and keep up with her on Instagram @theFitPrint.