As the temperature keeps rising are you staying hydrated? Would you even know if you weren’t? Common signs of dehydration are dry mouth, excessive thirst, infrequent or dark urination, muscle cramping, headache, dizziness or lightheadedness or tiredness. But the key is to simply plan ahead and prevent any of these symptoms from happening.

How much water do you really need? Is it eight glasses a day like we have been told over the years or something else? Water needs are actually individual and can vary according to your body weight, activity level, health status, the temperature outside, etc. One rule of thumb is 1 cc. per 30 kcal. of calories consumed.

An excellent online tool I recently found is from About.com, the Water Calculator.

So let’s suppose you know how much you should consume. Are you finding it difficult to meet your needs? Here are some useful tips to make it happen:

  1. Drink a glass of water as soon as you wake up.
  2. Keep water next to your bed when you go to sleep at night.
  3. Keep water at your desk at work.
  4. Put a sticky note on your computer to remind you to drink up.
  5. Carry a water bottle with you in your bag.
  6. Drink before, during and after exercise. If exercising for longer than 60 minutes, consider a sports drink.

Don’t love water? No problem:

  1. Fruits and veggies count toward your fluid intake, especially those with very high water content, like cantaloupe, watermelon celery, cucumber, tomato, zucchini.
  2. Unsweetened iced tea or coffee (but watch how many cups consumed, greater than four can cause dehydration).
  3. Low-fat milk & 100 percent fruit juice (also be careful with quantity since it is not calorie free).
  4. Soup (in the summer – gazpacho is great).
  5. Sparkling water, seltzer or club soda – add lemon or lime for extra flavor.

And thanks to my friend Stephanie for her creative concoctions you can use to jazz up water in very interesting ways. If you have a cold beverage jar, fill with water, chop and add the following ingredients, and refrigerate to have available all day long:

  1. Cucumber, mint, lime and ginger root
  2. Strawberries and lemons
  3. Strawberries, lemons and mint
  4. Watermelon and mint
  5. Just mint
  6. Just cucumber
  7. All citrus — lemon, lime and orange
  8. Honeydew

If you have any wonderful tips of your own please share with us. And in the meantime, stay hydrated!!