© 2024 WVIK
Listen at 90.3 FM and 98.3 FM in the Quad Cities, 95.9 FM in Dubuque, or on the WVIK app!
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Summer Hydration Tips, Part 1

Ways To Subscribe

Good morning, this is your Wellness Wake Up Call with Kristin Bogdonas, nutrition and wellness educator with University of Illinois Extension.

Welcome to July, one of our hottest summertime months. This week, we are talking about hydration and how to beat the heat, as well as signs of dehydration. With hot weather and summer activities, dehydration can happen quickly. The simple act of drinking water and eating more fruits and vegetables plays a crucial role in overall health and well-being. Water is needed for survival, the same as food, air and shelter. It’s the most important resource in the world and without it, we would only survive a few days.

Did you know that the human body is composed of approximately sixty percent water? However, the amount of water in your body can vary anywhere from 45-75% depending on many factors, such as your age. Daily water intake is necessary for brain and muscle health, growth and repair, temperature regulation, immune health, and digestion. So, in other words, make water a priority each and every day.

Other benefits of daily water intake include:
· Improved skin health and skin moisture content

· Decreased incidence of urinary tract infection and kidney stones

· Improved bowel health and regularity

· Reduced headaches

· Less stress and more energy

· Increased cognitive focus and memory

Many people wonder, how much water is enough? Most people think it's eight cups or glasses a day. However, research has shown that the amount varies from person to person. Start with this simple calculation for a general guideline: divide your body weight in half. This number is equal to the ounces of water you likely need each day. For example, someone weighing 150lb would need 75 ounces of water; which is equal to 9 1/2 cups of water daily! Keep in mind, some of your needs can be met from eating more water-logged foods like fruits and vegetables. It’s best to speak to your health care provider to review your water needs. Some medications increase your risk for heat-related illness because they may interfere with body temperature regulation, suppress your sense of thirst, or disrupt your fluid balance making you more susceptible to dehydration.

Several classes of drugs associated with heat-related hospitalizations include:

ACE inhibitors

anticholinergic medications


loop diuretics

If you’re concerned about a medication, you may be taking and its effects during extreme heat, please speak with your doctor.

 Many people also wonder how to easily check hydration status. The easiest way to check is to take note of your urine color first thing in the morning. The color you see is an overall indicator of hydration status. Lemonade colored urine (or lighter) is a sign of appropriate hydration. Dark colored urine, like the color of apple juice, indicates dehydration.

 Other signs and symptoms of dehydration include feelings of fatigue, irritability, and dizziness. You may also have difficulty swallowing, extreme thirst, rapid breathing, and even confusion. Dehydration can be very scary, and life threatening.

 Keeping an eye on the older adults in your life is important. They can easily become dehydrated due to a diminished sense of thirst and medication use. It’s estimated that up to 40% of seniors may be chronically under-hydrated. The reduction in thirst that comes with age can keep that already low supply from being replenished. By the time an older adult feels thirsty, that’s an indication of early dehydration. A simple solution is to encourage them to carry a reusable water bottle and take frequent sips throughout the day.

Next week, we will talk about the best drink options for your hydration needs and what you should avoid. Until then, remember to check your hydration status by checking the color of your urine first thing in the morning and reminding others to do the same!

Thank you for listening! I hope you have a happy and healthy day ahead. Content for this episode was provided by Susan Glassman, nutrition and wellness educator with University of Illinois Extension.

Related resources:

· Popkin BM, D'Anci KE, Rosenberg IH. Water, hydration, and health. Nutr Rev. 2010 Aug;68(8):439-58. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2010.00304.x. PMID: 20646222; PMCID: PMC2908954.

· https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908954

· The Water in You; Water and the Hunam Body. Water Science School; May 22, 2019;

· https://www.usgs.gov/special-topics/water-science-school/science/water-you-water-and-human-body

· How Much Water Do You Need Each Day?; Rhaza Amad, MD., May 20, 2015;

· https://www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/health-and-wellness/2015/may/how-much-water-do-you-need-each-day

· From USDA; https://www.ars.usda.gov/ARSUserFiles/80400530/pdf/DBrief/7_water_intakes_0508.pdf

· American Diabetes Association; Why Should You Drink More Water Everyday; Amanda Crowe, MA, MPH

· Mayo Clinic; https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dehydration/symptoms-causes/syc-20354086

· National council on aging; hydration of older adults; how to stay hydrated for better health; august 23, 2021;

· https://www.ncoa.org/article/how-to-stay-hydrated-for-better-health

· Protecting older adults from the effects of natural disasters and extreme weather | National Institute on Aging (nih.gov)

Kristin Bogdonas believes that everyone deserves access to fresh, affordable food and is committed to helping people improve their health literacy. In this digital age it can be difficult to decipher what nutrition information is accurate and what is hype. Connecting people with factual information and evidenced-based programs will help people build the skills and attain the knowledge necessary for positive behavior change. Although nutrition is important for a long and healthy life, one should not overlook the other dimensions of health required for overall wellbeing; physical, mental, emotional, vocational, spiritual, environmental and social. Each dimension impacting the next.
Related Content