(NC) Sizzling summer days call for lounging at the cottage, entertaining in the backyard and adventures outdoors. When having fun under the sun, don't forget to drink plenty of cool liquids before you feel thirsty to decrease your risk of dehydration. Here is a breakdown from Health Canada on the differences between popular thirst quenchers.
Water. Water really is the best hydrating liquid. Your need for water will vary depending on your activity level, diet, exposure to heat, perspiration rate and sodium concentration in your sweat. Canada's Food Guide recommends drinking more water in hot weather or when you are very active.
Juices and sports drinks. Considering that you need to be well hydrated in the heat, choosing these popular drinks can be hard on your wallet and could be dangerous for diabetics. If you want to give plain old water a tasty boost, try flavouring it with natural fruit for a more refreshing and budget-friendly alternative.
Caffeinated beverages. Caffeine is a diuretic that increases urination, but regular caffeine drinkers have adjusted to its effects and may continue to drink it during extreme heat. If you don't have a regular latte habit, during the midst of a heat wave isn't the time to start or to increase your consumption.
Fruits and vegetables. Finding it difficult to drink enough liquids with your busy schedule? Fruits and vegetables are a great snack to increase daily water consumption, and their high water content can help improve your hydration. Think fresh watermelon on the patio or orange slices after a soccer match.
Remember that thirst is not a good indicator of dehydration, as many people, especially older adults, may have a reduced ability to feel thirst. Drink before you feel thirsty, and try to leave yourself cheerful reminders, like sticky notes or a colourful glass to drink from.