How to Stay Hydrated During the Summer Months


The warmest season of the year occurs between spring and autumn - the much loved summer. And while it is the best time to get a tan, go to the beach with friends and family, take lots of ice cream, and relax in the summer sunshine, you need to stay actively hydrated during the summer months. 

Read on to learn more about the importance of staying hydrated in summer, how to do this, and tips to stay safe in the sun. It's not just about drinking water!

Heat and dehydration: why is it especially important to stay hydrated in the summer

Water takes up 45-75% of the body mass1 and during summer, the body is exposed to a lot of heat. High temperatures can cause your body to sweat and when you sweat, you lose water and electrolytes. 

Extreme heat can lead to dehydration if the body is not properly hydrated. Common symptoms of dehydration include; dry mouth, thirst, headache, and lethargy.2

Additional summer activities like getting a sun tan, sports, and relaxing outdoors can increase sweat production and are also factors that can cause dehydration. Dehydration can cause heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion.3 This is why it is especially important to stay hydrated during the summer months to replenish the lost fluid and electrolytes and prevent an imbalance in body fluids.4

How to stay hydrated

Now that you know the importance of staying hydrated in the summer months, let's talk about ways to ensure this.

Have a water goal

The Australian Dietary Guidelines5 recommend that women drink about 2 liters (8 cups) of fluids a day, and men about 2.6 liters (10 cups). 

Your body weight can also influence your water needs. You can determine  your daily water needs by dividing your weight (in pounds) by 2.2. Then if you're below 30, multiply the number by 40, if you're between 30-55, you multiply it by 35. And if you're above 55, multiply it by 30. Lastly, divide that sum by 28.3.

Your total is how many ounces of water you should drink each day. To determine your required quantity in cups, divide that number by 8.

Setting a goal for your water intake can help you drink more water. You can use the SMART goal method of goal setting. An example of a SMART goal is to drink 2 cups of water before and after every meal, after strenuous physical activity, and before bed.

Buying a reusable water bottle that you can take around and taking flavored cold water can also impact your water intake positively. 

Best drinks to have

Water is not the only fluid that can provide hydration.

Certain fruits that have a high water content like watermelon (93%) orange (86%), mango (82%) grape (82%), and apple (84%) can be used to make fruit juices and they absolutely taste great. 

Coconut water is rich in sodium and potassium and has hydrating effects6 which can help to replenish the amount of water and electrolytes lost from the body through sweating during summer. It also acts as a sports drink.

Natural energy drinks like sugarcane juice, iced tea, lemonade, and buttermilk.

Electrolyte drinks would help to rehydrate quickly in cases of dehydration.

Avoid alcohol, sugary drinks, and caffeine.

Hydrating foods

It is important to adopt healthy living, even in the summer months, the extreme heat and fear of dehydration can make you think of just taking fluid all the time, however, water-rich foods that would not only add extra water to your diet but also provide natural sugars to boost your energy during the hot weather.

Here are some examples with the amount of water they contain.

Hydrating foodsWater content %
Lettuce 95%
Spinach 93%

Source: Researchgate

Salt intake

You don't need to consume more salt even though some salt is lost through sweating. The human body can replenish the salt levels through the salt absorbed from meals. 

Too much salt may result in issues like heart disease and raised blood pressure. On hot days, being adequately hydrated and eating well can help you to maintain a healthy salt-to-water ratio in your body.

Staying safe in the sun

Extreme heat can cause heat-related illnesses, including heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heatstroke, and hyperthermia7, taking precautions to stay safe in the sun can help in keeping your body cool and properly hydrated. 

Covering up from the sun

UV rays can damage skin cells when the skin is excessively exposed to the sun.

With summer comes sunny days, and protecting the skin from the sun is important.

Tips to cover up from the sun:

  • Wear light protective clothing and accessories (long-sleeved T-shirt, hat, sunglasses)
  • Use sunscreen
  • Stay hydrated
  • Apply lightweight moisturizers to keep your skin hydrated

Avoid peak hours

Limit the time you spend in the sun between 10 am and 4 pm. The sun's rays are very strong during these hours.


The goal of staying hydrated in the summer months is to prevent dehydration, and heat-related illnesses and ensure healthy living. Adequate hydration entails a lot more than just drinking water, though water intake is a big contributor. Having a water goal, taking hydrating drinks and foods, watching your salt intake, and limiting your exposure to the sun all impact your health status during summer.

Summer is one of the best seasons to enjoy yourself, stay cool, stay hydrated, and stay healthy.

  1. Acute_Water_Supplementation_Improved_the_Body_Composition_of_Young_Female_Adults_After_Water_Restriction_of_12_h_in_Baoding_China_A_Randomized_Controlled_Trial_RCT. In.
  2. Shaheen NA, Alqahtani AA, Assiri H, Alkhodair R, Hussein MA. Public knowledge of dehydration and fluid intake practices: variation by participants’ characteristics. BMC Public Health [Internet]. 2018 Dec 5 [cited 2022 Sep 1];18:1346.
  3. Heat Stress Related Illness | NIOSH | CDC [Internet]. 2022 [cited 2022 Sep 1].
  4. Bates GP, Miller VS. Sweat rate and sodium loss during work in the heat. Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology [Internet]. 2008 Jan 29 [cited 2022 Sep 1];3(1):4.
  5. Water | Nutrient Reference Values [Internet].
  6. Kalman DS, Feldman S, Krieger DR, Bloomer RJ. Comparison of coconut water and a carbohydrate-electrolyte sport drink on measures of hydration and physical performance in exercise-trained men. J Int Soc Sports Nutr [Internet]. 2012 Jan 18 [cited 2022 Sep 1];9:1.
  7. Heat and health [Internet]. [cited 2022 Sep 1].
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Faridah Ojulari

Bachelor of Pharmacy - BPharm, Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Ilorin

Faridah Ojulari is a Medical Writer and a Bachelor of Pharmacy undergraduate from Nigeria.

She has a burning passion for writing and providing credible medical and health information.

Over the years as a Pharmacy student and medical writer, she has developed strong research, management, and communication skills.

Faridah is an avid learner and has taken various certification courses including research writing in the sciences, content creation, digital marketing, and data analysis.
She strongly believes that the most important skill a person can have is communication.

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