Whew...don't know what the weather is like where you are, but here in Washington, we're having a heat wave. Today is day two - and afternoon heat indices are expected to max out somewhere near 100 to 105 degrees. In fact, the D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency issued a heat alert for today. So we at Sip & Savor plan to take HSEMA's advice and stay indoors as much as possible.

But for those of you who have to head outdoors today, try to stay in the shade as much as possible. The National Weather Service also advises a few things you can do to help in the heat, including wearing light-colored, lightweight and loose-fitting clothes, applying sunscreen and, of course, staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Hydration is essential at all times, but especially during times of extreme heat. We all need to ensure our bodies are properly hydrated to stay in good health. After all, fluids from the beverages and foods we consume make up our body's primary source of water, and that water is needed to control our body temperature and transport oxygen and other essential nutrients to our cells.

So if you're heading out today, make sure you have some water with you - tap or bottled, whichever you prefer. And if you want to learn more about beverages as important sources of water and hydration, you can read a paper on the topic authored by Dr. Maureen Storey, ABA's senior vice president for science policy, which was recently published in the journal AgroFOOD Industry Hi-tech.

Stay cool - and stay hydrated!