“But doesn’t iced coffee contain water?”

We’ve all been there this time of year in the Phoenix Valley. It’s very easy to become dehydrated in the summertime – not to mention sunburned. While these are issues nearly year round, they are particularly true in the summer months in much of Arizona. 

But how much should you drink per day? According to the Mayo Clinic, about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids for men, and 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women. But that may change in different environments: Hot or more humid monsoon weather can require additional fluid intake, as can high altitudes. 

Why does hydration matter so much? It is critical for several reasons beyond sweating and body temperature stability, as it also helps regulate bowel regularity and reducing kidney stones. 

In that case, here are four tips for hydrating yourself this summer: 

1. Invest in a New Water Bottle

Just like a new workout outfit can help motivate you to show up at the gym on Monday, a gorgeous new refillable water bottle can feel like a real upgrade. And these days they come in just about every design and color imaginable. Get one, and then take it everywhere you go. 

2. Drink Better Tasting Water

May people drink tap water, but most people will prefer the taste (and possible health benefits) of drinking filtered water. This can be accomplished with either a simple water filtered like those made by Brita, or you can by filtered water at the grocery store. Then, through in lemons, cucumber slices, berries, mint, or whatever else seems appealing. 

3. Get More Water Through Food

Luckily, lots of the best tasting summer foods are hydrating. Think of watermelons, cucumbers and stone fruits. All of the have high water content. Also, cherry and grape tomatoes are packed with hydration and easy to pack too.

4. Watch Out for Coffee and Alcohol 

Alcohol and coffee are diuretics. Mimosas and rose all day will not keep you hydrated. Nor will your favorite cold brewed coffee. So, try to fight the temptation to drink those all day in the hot sun. 

5. Reach for Water First

But if fail to heed caution to the above, make sure to reach for water first. Consider drinking 16 ounces of water immediately before you move on to other beverages that may contain caffeine or alcohol. And also intermittently throughout your meal, event, an entire day.