With temperatures heating up this summer, staying hydrated is key! So, how much water do you need?

Water is the primary component of our body fluids; aiding digestion, lubricating joints, protecting organs, maintaining temperature, circulating nutrients and oxygen, and eliminating waste and toxins.

The body loses 6 – 12 cups per day, which must be replaced (water, herbal teas, and unsalted soups/broths) to prevent dehydration. Avoid sweetened juices, sodas and beverageshigh in sugar, artificial sweeteners, sodium, caffeine, additives and preservatives.Some fluid replacement comes from watery foods, like non-starchy fruits and vegetables – a key component of any healthy diet!

Guideline: body weight (pounds) divided by 2 x 75% = number of ounces you require. Divide by 8 to get the number of 8 oz (1 cup/250 ml) servings of water you need daily.

Caffeine acts as a diuretic, so for every caffeinated beverage, add an extra water serving.Likewise, for every 15-30 minutes of vigorous exercise (that makes you sweat), add an extra serving.

While you’re at it…put down the plastic! BPA, a chemical compound in plastic, is a known carcinogen and hormone disruptor that leaches into food and beverages stored in plastic bags, bottles and containers. Opt for glass, ceramic or stainless steel vessels.

Finally, take note that a significant change in your thirst may be an indicator of an underlying health issue such as diabetes. Speak to your ND or MD about your concerns.

This month’s recipe features a watery vegetable: the cucumber!

Cucumber Gazpacho with Cucumber-Mango Salsa (4 servings)

2 English cucumbers

1 cup mango, small dice

1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

175g Greek Yoghurt (fat free)

1/4 cup mint leaves

1 Tbs olive oil

1/3 cup lime juice

1 Tbs shallot, finely diced

Wash and small dice 1/3 of one cucumber. Combine diced cucumber with mango, shallot, ¼ of the cilantro, 2 Tbs lime juice, sea salt and freshly ground pepper, and set aside.

Wash, peel and roughly cut remaining cucumber into chunks. In food processor (or blender on low setting) pulse cucumber, ½ cup yoghurt, and remaining lime juice, mint, cilantro to puree. Season generously with fresh black pepper and sea salt, then set to blend until smooth while drizzling olive oil through top. Serve chilled. Top with salsa, and dollop of yoghurt.

Nutrition (per cup gazpacho + 2 Tbs salsa): 96 Calories, 4.5 g fat, 18 g carbohydrate, 1.5 g fibre, 7.1 g sugar, 3.5 g protein