Summertime brings lots of outdoor fun. It also brings hot, scorching days. Before you start spending too much time outside, it’s important to make a plan for how you will stay hydrated.

Your body is made up of nearly 60% water. It is essential to your well-being. When you sweat in the sweltering heat, you lose body fluids.

Here are a few tips to help you stay hydrated this summer:

  1. The easiest way to stay hydrated is to drink lots of water all throughout the day. By adding lemon or lime to your water, you can add flavor without adding sugar. For even more flavor, infuse your water with berries, cucumbers or fresh mint. If you need some flavor, mix 50% juice or lemonade with your water to reduce the sugar content.
  2. Though they’re considered fluids, avoid caffeine, alcohol and sugary drinks. These beverages draw fluids from your body.
  3. Eat foods with a higher content of water, like lettuce, cucumbers, celery, melons, and berries.
  4. Keep your body temperature cooler by wearing light, loose fitting clothes that are light in color. While outside, stay in the shade as much as possible, use a spray bottle to mist yourself, and take breaks by going indoors in an air conditioned space to cool down.
  5. Avoid strenuous activities outdoors during the hottest time of day.

Watch for signs of dehydration. Thirst and dry mouth are the most common. Others include dizziness, rapid heartbeat, confusion, headaches and muscle cramps.

As people age, they may lose their sense of thirst. Certain medications like diuretics cause fluid loss. If you experience incontinence, you may be reluctant to drink too much water.

Remember that you don’t have to be outdoors to become dehydrated. When temperatures are really high, be sure you stay indoors in air conditioning. If your home is not air conditioned, make a plan to go places that are.


During weekdays throughout the summer, the West Philadelphia Senior Community Center will keep its doors open. Come out and enjoy the air conditioned space with friends.