As I am writing this, we have finished up a week of heat advisory days where when you open the door, you are met with a wall of heat. If you’ve ever lived in the South on the Gulf Coast, you know that combination of heat and humidity is an experience! So it’s prompting me to talk about water and hydration. While it’s easy to get dehydrated at any time of the year, including the winter, now it can’t happen faster than ever. 

How much water?

Normally, we want to drink 1/2 of our body weight in ounces. So if you weigh 160 pounds, you need a minimum of 80 ounces. That number increases if you are an athlete, breastfeeding or pregnant but in weather like this we tend to sweat more, therefore needing more than just the normal amount. Also keep in mind that beverages like coffee and alcohol are dehydrating to begin with. Carbonated beverages strain the kidneys, requiring even more water for the body to stay in balance. So if you consume any of these, you’ll need even more water to stay hydrated. 

For tips on easy ways to track your water and signs of dehydration, check out a previous blog post here. Top 5 Ways to DOUBLE Your Energy and Reduce Stress Now!

What about sports drinks? 

Water is always your best bet. “Sports drinks” are ironically, most commonly consumed not by athletes but by the general population and are typically loaded with sugar, preservatives, artificial food colors and flavors and are seldom necessary or even helpful. If you’re outside working for hours and sweating profusely for an extended period of time, an occasional small glass of electrolyte drink may help, but be sure to look at the label. Drinks like Gatorade and Powerade have high fructose corn syrup at the top of the list and it’s counterproductive to fill your body with sugar and chemicals while trying to balance electrolytes and stay hydrated. Body Armor and even Vitamin Water are better options if you feel you really need an electrolyte drink. 

Well water? Tap-water? Filtered Water?

Well” that all depends on your options. The best choice would be a clean source of well or spring water that still contains vital, naturally occurring minerals but that’s not very common. Personally, I love my Berkey system which filters out an incredible amount of municipal tap water contaminants. While the Berkey doesn’t filter out natural, necessary minerals, we don’t know that our tap water had many beneficial ones left before filtering which is why I add mineral drops to just about every glass I drink. I like Concentrace Trace Mineral Drops; concentrated complex of full spectrum naturally occurring ionic trace minerals. You can find Concentrace at many health food stores or on Amazon. Ideally, we would get enough of these minerals not just from our water but primarily from raw fruits and vegetables grown in mineral rich soil containing boron, magnesium, potassium, etc. Sadly, the soil is often not very rich with any of these and even if it is, we seldom eat a wide enough range of raw fruits and vegetables on a consistent basis anyway. So… supplementing with a natural source like this can help. 

Of course there are multitude of different filtering systems for tap and well water. If you don’t know where to start and also want to see what is in your specific city’s tap water, find out here. Beware, it may not be pretty! Environmental Working Group

Now, go get yourself a big glass of water! Bottoms up!