As the temperatures skyrocket and we return back to a more normal routine, one thing is certain: you must hydrate to stay cool, healthy and functional. But how much do you really need, and what are some easy ways to get more, especially while wearing a mask? Read on to learn all you need to know about drinking water.
Hot, dry weather is back – seemingly with vengeance. If you find yourself constantly reminding yourself to “hydrate, hydrate, hydrate” as you get into your hot car, exercise and/or run your errands, you’re on the right track.
Staying Hydrated While Wearing a Mask
It might be easy to forget to drink water while we have masks on to protect ourselves and the community from COVID-19 (coronavirus). And with more of us are heading back to work, we may be required to wear a mask for eight hours or more a day. As it heats up outside, it’s even more important to be mindful of how much water you are consuming.
Before removing your mask to quench your thirst, make sure to wash your hands for at least 30 seconds with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer.
Here are some additional tips to staying hydrated in the heat:
- Take regular water breaks and hand hygiene breaks
- Start your morning right by reaching for a glass of water when you wake up
- Drink water before and after eating
- Avoid relying on sodas, alcohol and caffeinated beverages to hydrate you
- Drink water before and after a work out and every 20 minutes during a work out
- Carry a refillable water bottle with you while running errands
- Set a phone reminder to hydrate at least once every hour
How much water is enough?
Through daily activities, research suggests that the average person loses about 3-4 liters (about 10-15 cups) of fluid a day from breathing, skin evaporation, digestion and other body functions. And what is lost must be replaced by what we drink and eat.
Experts agree you should try to drink between half an ounce and an ounce of water for each pound you weigh, every day. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, that would be 75 ounces (about 9.5 8-ounce servings) to 150 ounces of water a day (about 19 8-ounce servings). If you’re living in a hot climate and regularly exercise, you might need to drink even more water.
How can I tell if I’m dehydrated?
Infants, elderly adults and athletes are most susceptible to dehydration. Their thirst sensation can decrease due to age and exercise volume.
The effects of even mild dehydration include:
- Decreased coordination
- Dry skin
- Decreased urine output
- Dry mucous membranes in the mouth and nose
- Blood pressure changes