Summer hydration tips

6 Ways to Stay Hydrated This Summer

Staying hydrated is crucial throughout the year, especially during the hot summer months when dehydration becomes more prevalent. Our bodies are composed of approximately 60% water, highlighting its fundamental importance to daily living. Staying on top of summer hydration is key as water plays a vital role in numerous bodily functions, such as:

  • Temperature regulation
  • Nutrient transportation
  • Saliva production
  • Maintaining healthy skin and joints

How to stay hydrated

Here are some ways you can stay well-hydrated.

  1. Start and end your day with a glass of water. As soon as you wake up and an hour or two before bed, drink a tall glass of water.
  2. Sip water throughout the day. Aim to get at least a cup of water every one to two hours.
  3. Carry a reusable water bottle. This will remind you to sip water throughout the day. You can make your water tastier by adding a few slices of citrus fruit or some fresh herbs.
  4. Avoid dehydrating drinks. Alcoholic and caffeinated beverages (including coffee, tea and soda) can be dehydrating. Drink these in moderation and drink a glass of water alongside them.
  5. Opt for water at restaurants. When dining out, choose water as your go-to beverage. You’ll save money and stay hydrated in the process.
  6. Eat hydrating foods. You can get a good portion of your water intake from the foods you eat, including vegetables, fruit, soup, cottage cheese and yogurt.

The most hydrating fruits and vegetables

The most water-rich fruits and vegetables include:

  • Baby carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Celery
  • Spinach
  • Cucumber
  • Lettuce
  • Bell peppers
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Zucchini
  • Peaches
  • Watermelon
  • Cantaloupe
  • Strawberries
  • Grapefruit
  • Oranges

Incorporate these foods through:

  • Salads
  • Smoothies
  • Veggies and yogurt dip
  • Popsicles made from 100% fruit juice
  • Frozen fruit as a refreshing summer snack
  • Fruit-infused water

Signs of dehydration

You’re at an increased risk of dehydration if you:

  • Are an older adult
  • Are breastfeeding or pregnant
  • Are sick with a fever, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Exercise for a long time or in high temperatures
  • Have kidney stones
  • Have a bladder infection

Signs of mild to moderate dehydration include:

  • Dark yellow urine
  • Little to no urine
  • Headache
  • Thirst
  • Dry, cool skin
  • Muscle cramps
  • Dry mouth

Signs of severe dehydration include:

  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Irritability
  • Fainting
  • Sunken eyes
  • Dry skin
  • Rapid breathing or heartbeat
  • Dark yellow urine
  • Little to no urine

If you have symptoms of severe dehydration, visit urgent care or the emergency department. If you need a provider, visit

Ryane Greene

Ryane Greene, MHS, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian
UNC Health Pardee

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