Hydration is essential throughout the year, but especially during the summer months when the temperature is high, and you sweat more than usual. If you are outside in hot and humid weather, you will probably carry a bottle of water, but it is equally important when you are sitting in an air-conditioned office building.
If you feel thirsty - you might already be dehydrated. For that reason, it is essential to drink water throughout the day. Before having a drink, figure out how to best stay hydrated without breaking your day’s calorie reserves.
Know the Signs of Dehydration
Does your skin feel dry, itchy, irritated, inflamed, or sensitive? That is a sign of dehydration. Headache, dizziness, or fatigue are also signs of dehydration. Rapid breathing, fainting, muscle cramps, and no urination (or dark yellow urine) are some other signs. If you experience any of these symptoms, the simple solution is to avoid heat and drink plenty of fluids.
Tips To Stay Hydrated This Summer
The key to staying healthy and safe this summer is to stay well-hydrated. What’s the key to staying hydrated? Follow these simple tips:
Drink Water – Plenty of It & Cool Down!
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for daily fluid intake recommendations vary by gender, age, pregnancy, and breastfeeding. Start by drinking a glass of water every morning when you wake up or before going to bed. Take another cup at each meal. Drink a cup or two after exercise. To prevent dehydration, you should gradually drink fluids throughout the day.
Proper hydration is not just about drinking water; it is also about regulating your body temperature. During summer, when the risk of heatstroke is greatest - wear light and loose clothes of light colors—Plan physical activities and strenuous sports during cooler times of the day. Protect yourself from the sun by using hats and other accessories. Take regular breaks and spray yourself with a spray bottle if it gets too hot.
Avoid Drinking Alcohol, Caffeine, Sugary Drinks, & Eat High Water-Content Foods
Some liquids work against hydration! Drinks such as coffee, sugary soft drinks, wine, beer, brandy, soda, energy drinks, sweet tea, smoothies, and flavored milk are all culprits. They contain sugar, sodium, and other ingredients that can remove water from tissues. Replace some of them daily, or use more water to rehydrate yourself after each dehydrating drink you take.
Nearly 80 percent of our water consumption comes from drinking water. The other 20 percent comes from food. All whole fruits and vegetables contain some water, but snack on these foods to get maximum benefit: cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, radishes, peppers, broccoli, watermelon, strawberries, spinach, broccoli, and grapefruit. All these contain 90% or higher water content.
Replenish When You Sweat
Play sports? Go for hiking? Drinking water is very important during these activities. It is important to pay attention to the humidity, sweat rate, and how long you exercise. Good hydration means drinking enough water before, during, and after a workout. The American Sports Council recommends the following guidelines before, during, and after sports:
- Drink 17-20 ounces. Two to three hours before exercise.
- Drink 8 ounces 20-30 minutes before exercise.
- Drink 7-10 ounces—every 10-20 minutes during a workout.
- Drink 8 ounces. No more than 30 minutes after training.
Staying well-hydrated and following the three tips listed above could help you avoid heat-related illnesses that commonly occur during the summer.
Stay safe, cool, and hydrated this summer. And remember, if you are experiencing any dehydration symptoms or heat stroke, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Have a healthy, happy, and hydrated summer!
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