Posted by: Sherie Edwards on Jul 1, 2021

Journal Issue Date: July/August 2021

Journal Name: Vol. 57 No. 4

Welcome to summer in Tennessee, when the temps are so warm and the humidity so high, it’s like being wrapped in a damp blanket. One of the most important things you can do for yourself in this weather, besides wearing sunscreen, is to stay hydrated. And, although a soda, beer or glass of rosé may be nice after work, I’m talking about water. Lots and lots of water!

Conventional wisdom holds that a person should drink half their body weight in ounces of water, more if you work out in the heat. Tea counts, as does coffee. What’s that you say? You don’t like water and live on Diet Coke? I was once like you (although back in the day my drink of choice was Tab, with saccharine), but I have grown to love flavored water so much it is my go-to beverage. Infusing water with fruits and herbs is a great, no-calorie way to make water more palatable (and it’s less expensive than the bottled waters sold by Lenny the Lemur). There are several sites for infused water recipes, but this one is one of my favorites: http://www.infusedwaters.com. One trick is to make infused ice cubes and use them in your water, iced tea, etc. This article, “10 Essential Benefits of Drinking Water, Staying Hydrated,” (Natural Society, https://naturalsociety.com/dehydration-making-sick-fat) discusses more of the benefits of staying hydrated.

My favorite combination is blueberry and mint, followed by orange and mint. To make sure I get all my water in for the day, I purchased three 22 oz. thermos bottles (like the Swell bottles, only bigger and less expensive); I fill them up in the morning, drink one before I leave the house, drink the second before lunch, and the third between lunch and going home. Staying hydrated keeps hunger in check, can chase away headaches and, being perfectly vain, makes your skin look 10 years younger. My challenge to you: try drinking the recommended amount of water a day for two weeks and see how you feel. I promise, you won’t regret it! 

— Sherie Edwards