Most of us enjoy a variety of activities in the warm summer sun! From strenuous pursuits like biking, hiking, and volleyball-playing, to more leisurely enjoyments like sunbathing on a float. No matter how you plan to enjoy the steamy summer months, maintaining summer hydration should be right up there with sunscreen on your list of important hot weather priorities.
Dehydration is a condition that ranges from mild to serious. And, it can happen much quicker than you think. Right Diagnosis defines dehydration as “an abnormal condition in which the body’s cells are deprived of an adequate amount of water.” Sun and heat are the main factors that are to blame when a a person becomes dehydrated.
Most of us think we drink enough water and don’t need to worry about dehydration. However, we are usually wrong! Consider these points:
- The ability to recognize thirst diminishes in individuals in their 30’s and older.
- A person’s body is made up of roughly 70% water.
- When you lose just 2% of the body’s water content, you are considered dehydrated.
Dehydration symptoms range from unpleasant confusion, muscle weakness, and fatigue, to extremely dangerous ones like seizures, kidney failure, and death. The good news is that staying hydrated in the first place is relatively easy. Especially, if you take a few precautions up front.
#1: Drink plenty of water
Make a habit out of carrying water with you for summer hydration. This makes sipping on it throughout the day extremely convenient. Especially if you are planning on outside activities, invest in a couple of BPA-free water bottles for yourself and your family.
Not a big fan of plain water? Try adding lemon, cucumber, and mint sprigs to liven it up! Mix it up in a big pitcher the night before so the flavor has time to penetrate. Another option is flavor packets, which are individual packets of flavors like green tea, watermelon, and peach. Just watch out for ones with too much added sugar.
#2: Eat the right foods
Liquids aren’t the only way your body gets water. Avoid dehydration by eating foods with a high water content. Choices like celery, watermelon, cucumbers, carrots, and citrus fruits all offer exceptional hydrating ability. Pack these as snacks for the pool or beach, or to enjoy before and after an outdoor workout.
#3: Steer clear of certain drinks
Ice cold beer and frosty margaritas can be yummy and refreshing on a hot summer evening. However, alcohol can contribute to dehydration. If you decide to indulge, limit yourself to one or two. Also, drink a large glass of water along with your beverage to counteract the alcohol’s effects.
#4: Avoid overexertion
Exercise is a wonderfully healthy pursuit. However, keep an eye on the temperature. If it is going to be exceptionally hot and humid, choose to exercise either early in the morning or after sunset. Exercise is optimal when temperatures are lower and the sun isn’t beaming down on you.
#5: Wear proper attire
Dress in light, airy clothing, preferably in fabrics that breathe and that are designed for sweat and heat. Protect your head with a cap or hat that shades your face. Avoid black clothing, which tends to absorb the sun and make you hotter.
#6: Be prepared
Extreme heat makes everyday issues like a flat tire or dead battery life-threatening. Visit a mechanic to confirm your vehicle is in good shape to lessen the chances of getting stranded. Carry extra water or sports drinks in your vehicle. Keep your cell phone charged. If your car breaks down, either stay in your car to wait for help, or stand in the grass instead of on the sizzling pavement.
Staying hydrated is essential for good health all the time, and during the summer in particular. Implement these easy tips into your daily routine so you and your family maintain hydration and enjoy hot weather outdoor fun.
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