Staying Hydrated in the Summer
During the summer months, the topic of hydration comes up more often. Many people are looking for ways to stay cool and hydrated, and there’s no better way than with an Ayurvedic approach to health and wellness. We each have our own unique constitutional makeup, and we all have different habits that may lead to dehydration. Understanding your Ayurvedic dosha can help you determine ways that you may be susceptible to dehydration.
In Ayurveda, summer is ruled by pitta, which is the fire/water element. Passionate, wild, and creative energies rule during these months, but that also means we can burn out and overheat easily. When it is hot and dry, it is important to be consuming wet and cooling foods. This is why working with an Ayurvedic practitioner to determine the best foods for your body this summer can help keep you hydrated and healthy.
In this post, we will share Ayurvedic approaches to hydration and talk a little more about just how important proper hydration for children and adults really is.
Plus, at the end, we will share our top all-natural replacement for Gatorade.
Understanding Your Own Unique Hydration Needs
Determining your dosha is a huge step in understanding how to properly hydrate your body. Let’s take a look at the different doshas and how to support optimal hydration.
Pitta: Those who have predominate pitta constitutions tend to run on the warmer side, and sweat more often. You will want to consume cooling foods and room temperature liquids to help support optimal hydration.
Vata: Those of predominate vata constitutions are prone to dehydration. To stay hydrated, enjoy lots of water and herbal tea throughout the day. Sipping on warm liquids and adding oils to the skin can help keep you cool.
Kapha: Those of predominate kapha constitutions are thought to retain water more and digest slowly. Try sipping on warm liquids with some ginger and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper. This will help with digestion and proper hydration by moving water through your body.
Understanding your dosha can help you nourish your body with what it needs to stay hydrated. Now, let’s talk a little more about why exactly kids and adults need to be staying hydrated.
The Importance of Hydration for Children
Children and older adults are at a greater risk of becoming dehydrated. With kids, it is easier for them to forget to drink water, and if there isn’t an adult reminding them, dehydration can set in.
Children may also not recognize the early stages of thirst, so they may not be drinking water when they need to be. Since dehydration can be extremely dangerous and can cause tiredness, headaches, and lack of concentration, we have to be taking the steps needed to make sure our children are getting adequate hydration in each day.
According to The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the average range for how much kids should be drinking per day is:
4-8-year-old girls and boys: 5 cups per day
9-13-year-old girls: 7 cups per day
9-13-year-old boys: 8 cups per day
14-18-year-old girls: 8 cups per day
14-18-year-old boys: 11 cups per day
As a general rule of thumb, they recommend making sure your child or teen is getting at least 6-8 glasses of water in per day.
Here are some easy ways to keep your child’s hydration levels up:
- Start their day with a glass of water with breakfast-This will help to replace the water they may have lost throughout the night.
- Make drinking water fun by adding some freshly squeezed fruit or using a curly straw. You can also purchase a reusable water bottle with a character they may like or a design that makes them want to use their water bottle each day. This will also save on plastic waste. As an added health tip, try to opt for a glass or stainless-steel water bottle to prevent exposing your child to BPA in plastic.
- If your child refuses to drink enough water each day, try encouraging them to enjoy a fresh smoothie made with water as the base and fruits like watermelon or cantaloupe.
There are also some Ayurvedic tips that can help your kids stay hydrated as well. These include spending more time in the water whether it’s a swim or a cool shower. After the shower, you can encourage your kids to apply coconut oil to the skin to help keep their skin moist. This is a great and simple trick to hydrate the body.
The Importance of Hydration for Adults
Hydration is just as important for adults as it is for children, and for very similar reasons. Did you know that water makes up about 60% of the body weight in older children and adults? That’s a huge percentage of our weight, but we are constantly losing water when we sweat, go to the bathroom, and even breathe. This is why we need to replenish the water we lose throughout the day. Most health experts recommend that adults get eight-8 ounce glasses of water per day. Adults who are extremely active or outside in the warmer temperatures during the day will need more water than the average person.
On top of drinking enough water, a great Ayurvedic approach to staying hydrated this summer is to do less. This applies to both you and your kids. Now that school is out for the summer months, enjoy more time relaxing, and less time doing strenuous activities. This can help cool the body and prevent you from overdoing it which can lead to dehydration.
The Symptoms of Dehydration
Did you know that by the time you are feeling thirsty, dehydration has already begun to set in? This is why it is important to stay on top of hydration levels throughout the day, and not let yourself get thirsty. Here are some of the most common symptoms of dehydration.
- Increased thirst
- Dry mouth
- Feeling tired
- Dark yellow urine & a decrease in urine output
- Dry skin
A Perfect Way to Stay Hydrated
Along with water, Gatorade is one of the go-to drink for kids and adults to sip on to help stay hydrated. Many people drink Gatorade as a way to keep their electrolytes up during exercise or athletic events. However, Gatorade is loaded with sugar and artificial ingredients which is certainly not what we want to be giving our kids, or drinking ourselves.
The great news is that there is a perfect all natural alternative to Gatorade, and that’s coconut water. Coconut water is great because not only is it low in calories, but you can find an unsweetened version so you are not adding extra sugar to your diet. It is also rich in potassium, making it great for athletes. Coconut water is also rich in vitamins and minerals making it a much better electrolyte replacer than Gatorade.
You can sip on plain old coconut water, or you can make things fun for your kid’s and make a coconut water smoothie with some fresh fruits, dark leafy greens, and superfoods like chia seeds.
Along with coconut water, there are some other ways to help keep you and your children hydrated such as enjoying food that has a high water content. These foods include:
- Iceberg lettuce
Working with a practitioner who specializes in Ayurvedic Nutrition is another great way to make sure you are getting enough hydration supporting foods in your diet. An Ayurveda practitioner can also suggest wet and cooling foods that are perfect for cooling the body this time of year.
Interested in setting up your custom Ayurvedic nutrition consultation? Take a look at what we offer at the center.
Remember that staying hydrated is essential to overall health, so make it a priority to make sure you and your kids are staying hydrated this summer.
Hydration and Water Facts for Kids. http://www.naturalhydrationcouncil.org.uk/hydration-facts/hydration-and-water-facts-for-kids-2/
Is Coconut Water Good for You? https://draxe.com/is-coconut-water-good-for-you/
How Much Water Should You Drink Per Day? https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-much-water-should-you-drink-per-day
Water: How Much Do Kids Need?