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It's summer time! For many of us, this means more outdoor activities and get-togethers with friends and family. Along with this comes eating, drinking, heat and the dreaded sweat. Most of us place a lot of emphasis on food and fun, but don’t let hydration take a backseat in your planning.

In someone of a healthy weight, 60-80% of total body weight is made up of water. So, there should be no surprise that staying well hydrated is critical to life (and summer!) success. Water is needed for digestion to rid the body of wastes, maintain body temperature and many more functions.

When you are out having fun this summer, keep hydrated and watch out for the side effects of dehydration in yourself and those near you. Dehydration can cause:

  • Dizziness/lightheadedness
  • Blurry vision
  • Change in heart rate and blood pressure
  • Confusion
  • Dark colored and infrequent urination, excessive fatigue, and excessive thirst.

When planning for an outdoor summer event, whether it’s a backyard cookout, a pool party, a beach day or sporting event, you can never over-prepare for beverages. Try these hydration tips to make sure you make the most of your summer fun.

  • Drinking frequently before you get thirsty.
  • Pack your cooler with drinks low in sugar, and free from caffeine and alcohol.
  • Plan hydrating foods to share. Choose juicy fruits, salads (fruit or vegetable), gelatins and sugar free popsicles (perfect for the children).
  • Excessive amounts of sugar can further dehydrate you - avoid sodas, fruit cocktails and sweet teas unless sweetened without sugar.
  • If you will be sweating, consider drinking a sports drink or other electrolyte replacement.
  • Consider making up pitchers to share at an event. You can add a combination of herbs and fruits to your water to give it more appeal.
  • Stay in the shade, have a fan nearby and wear loose, light-colored clothing to minimize sweating.
  • Plan your outdoor events during the late mornings or evenings when possible to avoid the peak heat of the day (1-3 pm).

Make your own popsicles:


  • ½ lb of your favorite berries or watermelon, cut very small
  • 2 cups fruit flavored low sugar sports drink (pediatric or adult)
  • Popsicle molds, ice cube tray with popsicle sticks, or Dixie Cups with popsicle sticks all work well.


  • Fill popsicle mold half way with fruit.
  • Pour sports drink in until full.
  • Insert popsicle stick.
  • Freeze until solid.
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Candi Boucher, MS, RDN, CSO