Many of our patients tell us, “I don’t like the taste of water, but I know I need to drink it!” Then why is it so important to drink water year round, not just during the 115 degree days of summer? Water makes up 60% of your body weight and every system in your body relies on it. When your body does not have enough water, your body struggles to carry out its normal functions.
Is it still true that you need 8 cups of water per day? Actually, the Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake for men is roughly about 13 cups (3 liters) and women’s is about 9 cups (2.2 liters) of total beverages a day. But remember, this is only a general guideline and your recommendations may vary based on your specific needs: exercise intensity, illness, current weather conditions, and pregnancy/breastfeeding. Don’t feel overwhelmed! Start by adding one more 8 ounce cup per week to work your way up to meeting the recommendations.
So how do you stay hydrated when you do not like the taste of water without adding sugar or artificial sweeteners? Start by adding a lemon, cucumber or lime to your water. Wanting to try something a little bolder? Try these additional ideas to flavor your water this summer!
|Raspberry & Basil||Blueberry & Lemon|
|Blackberry & Sage||Cherry & Lime|
|Lemon & Ginger||Watermelon & Mint|
How to: Place your choice of flavorings into a pitcher (for sharing) or a to-go–bottle (for single serving). Muddle or slightly mash your fruit and/or herbs in the bottom of you container to help release the flavors. Next fill your container up with ice and water, stir. You can enjoy right away, or for the best flavor let water sit overnight. Missing the bubbly of soda? Try using sparkling water on occasion!
Jody Drange, RD, CDE, ACSM EP-C