In Qatar, summer temperatures soar, leaving many people avoiding the outdoors throughout the season, avoiding the risk of dehydration, heat strokes and more.

We’re 40 to 70% water, depending on fitness level and age. Even when you’re not active, your body loses almost a litre of water every day through urine, perspiration, sweat and breath, according to the National Institutes of Health. And most days, it’s more than 2.4 litres.

Drink plenty of water, of course!

Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning. You should drink about one full glass before starting any activity. According to experts, men should drink about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day and women should drink 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day. This gets your metabolism running and gives you an energy boost.

Drink before you’re even thirsty. Chances are you’re already dehydrated. Drink water on a consistent basis so you never reach the point of thirst or dehydration.

Observe your urine. Urine is an excellent indicator of how hydrated or dehydrated you are. If your urine is a pale yellow to clear in colour, then it indicates that you are well hydrated. If your urine is dark yellow to brownish in colour it means you are dehydrated. In very rare cases of severe dehydration the urine might burn a little, this might be caused solely due to dehydration or might be the sign of an underlying condition. Make sure to visit the doctor if this happens even after drinking plenty of water.

Eat water-rich fruits and vegetables for hydration

Certain fruits and vegetables are loaded with water, such as watermelon, melon, berries, peaches, papayas, leafy greens, bell peppers, cucumbers, radish, cantaloupe, strawberries, lettuce, celery, kale, zucchini (courgette), oranges, grapefruits, tomatoes, capsicums, grapes, bananas, and more. Always carry fruits and vegetables with you when you’re on the go. Eat at least five different fruits and four servings of vegetables per day to stay hydrated. In addition to being hydrating, greens also contain essential electrolytes. Don’t forget that most fruits and vegetables can be made into juices and smoothies.

Don’t forget about electrolytes!

Electrolytes are minerals in your blood and other body fluids that carry an electric charge. Electrolytes affect how your body functions in many ways, including the amount of water in your body, acidity of your blood (pH), and your nerve and muscle function.

You can get electrolytes from solid food or liquids. Bananas and coconut water also have a lot of electrolytes, these are rich in potassium too. There are also special sports drinks, which have all the electrolytes pre-mixed such as sodium, chlorine and potassium. There are many powders (glucose) available for purchase, which you can carry with you and mix in with water whenever required to make an electrolyte drink. For severe dehydration, there are ORS (Oral Rehydration Formula) solutions available which follow the WHO formula.

If you work out, go for long walks or have a job which involves a lot of physical labour then you must invest in electrolytes.

Enjoy cold beverages!

There are many low sugar cold beverage options. Most fruits and vegetables can be made into smoothies. Not only are they hydrating, but they are also filling and loaded with electrolytes to prevent dehydration. You can always invest in sugarless cold coffee, ice tea, lemonade, cold-pressed fruit juice, buttermilk, fermented milk (laban), sugarcane juice and cold chocolate milk. Incorporate at least five or six of these beverages in your daily routine.

Swap high sugar drinks for sparkling water or seltzer, which will add to your water intake.

Tea is a better option than coffee because it has less concentration of caffeine. How about ice tea and its many variations, There are also fruit and scented teas.

Avoid high sugar drinks, overly processed and sugar-rich food products

When you swap high sugar drinks for sparkling water or seltzer, not only will you cut back on unnecessary sugar, but you’ll be adding to your water intake. Avoid overly processed and sugar-rich food products. Deep-fried and highly processed food contains a lot of sodium and complex carbohydrates, which tend to suck the water out of your body. Whenever you eat deep-fried food, you feel thirsty. This is because they take longer and more water to digest. Even though sodium is an important electrolyte and is important for hydration; too much of it can cause the opposite effect. In addition, one should also avoid a lot of alcohol, smoking and carbonated drinks.

Sources: Henry Ford, Kims Health