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Sarita’s Sensations: Hydration

August 24, 2009

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With summer in full swing in this area of the hemisphere, the topic of hydration is one of vital importance. Warm weather encourages people to be outside – working, exercising or just enjoying the sunshine. People often blame the heat when they start to get headaches, light-headed or fatigued, however these are often the first signs of dehydration, even if you are not thirsty.

Did you know that over 300 Americans die each year of heat-related illnesses, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)? The trouble is, sometimes thirst is not always an adequate indicator of the level of hydration in the body. In fact, by the time you realize you are thirsty, you are often already in the early stages of dehydration!

Adequate water requirements vary greatly from person to person and are based on various factors including metabolism, environmental conditions and activity levels. On average, adult males require 13 cups (3 liters) of fluid, whereas women require 9 cups (2.2 liters) of fluid daily. Infants, the elderly, and people who live or work in hot environments should get additional amounts. Also, most foods contain water (even foods like nuts!) and on average, most people get about 20% of their daily fluids from eating food. For more tips on how to stay hydrated, visit Sarita’s Sensations on the Latino Nutrition Coalition website, and enjoy this recipe for Watermelon Agua Fresca!

Watermelon Agua Fresca

*makes 8 cups*

Ingredients

  • 5 lb. watermelon cut into cubes
  • 1 cup fresh lime juice
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 packets sugar or sugar substitute

Preparation

  1. Press watermelon cubes through a fine mesh strainer to yield approximately 2 quarts. of watermelon juice.
  2. Add fresh lime juice, water and sugar substitute. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

Recipe courtesy of the CBS Early Show

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