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Staying hydrated in this heat

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Posted at 5:50 AM, Jul 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-15 05:50:39-04

GRAND RAPIDS — The heat and humidity are back in West Michigan. Staying hydrated is especially important for those who are working and exercising outside.

Our bodies are 60% water, and when we lose or use more fluid than we consume, we start to have problems.

Kristi Veltkamp, outpatient dietitian for Spectrum Health, cleared up a few misconceptions about hydration and provided some important advice.

First, the old adage of eight cups of water a day is a bit outdated. Women should aim for about 11 cups of liquid, and men should get about 15.

But, that includes the water we get from our fruits and veggies, so be sure to stock up items like melons, apples, pineapples, cucumbers, tomatoes, and celery to name a few.

Another misconception she cleared up is that caffeine doesn't dehydrate us as much as we once thought. Aim for 400 milligrams or less a day, depending on your health.

Those who plan to exercise outside should aim for drinking about 10% of their body weight in ounces, two to four hours before the strenuous activity, and make sure to drink four to eight ounces every 15 minutes during activity.

"Afterwards, a great way to make sure that you're rehydrating is actually to weigh yourself before you start exercising, and then right afterwards, ideally with the same dry clothes on," Veltkamp explained.

"For every pound that you go down, three cups of water will help you to rehydrate, so that's a good way to make sure that you're rehydrating afterwards."

For more great tips, click here.