13 Reasons To Avoid Dehydration
‘Dehydration is the loss of water and salts essential for normal body function’
Staying hydrated is always very important, especially in the summer when the temperature goes up and environment is unbearably hot. During the summer sweating increases to maintain the body’s internal temperature. Our body loses water naturally through the urine, stool, skin and lungs. During physical activities sweating as well as breathing further increases water loss. Therefore, adequate hydration and body fluid level correction is very important to maintain our normal physiology.
13 Reasons To Avoid Dehydration Include:
- Feeling thirsty
- Dry lips and dry mouth
- Concentrated yellowish urine with strong smell
- Increased heart rate
- Low blood pressure
- Heat cramps
- Heat exhaustion
- Heat stroke
The last three symptoms are severe and heat stroke can be a fatal condition.
Ways To Remain Hydrated In The Summer:
1. Drink A Lot Of Water:
Don’t forget to drink water. Ignoring dehydration symptoms may lead to chronic dehydration and increase the risk of developing heat stroke, which requires medical treatment. Frequently taking a break to drink water will help you to stay hydrated.
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends drinking:
- 16 – 20 ounces of water two hours before moderate-intensity summer exercise,
- 8 -12 ounces 10 – 15 minutes before going out in the heat, and
- 3 – 8 ounces every 15 – 20 minutes during activity when active for less than 60 minutes,
- 3 – 8 ounces of a sports beverage every 15 – 20 minutes when exercising greater than 60 minutes.
And the amount should increases during the summer. If you are not an athlete you should also follow the rule.
2. Monitor your fluid balance:
Check your fluid loss by the color of your urine and searching for any previously mentioned dehydration symptoms.
3. Avoid alcohol:
Alcohol may increase your urination frequency and cause you to be dehydrated.
4. Supplement With Electrolytes:
Any time you do activities or exercise in high temperature for more than one hour, supplementation of water with a sports drink or oral re-hydration saline, which contain electrolytes and few amount of carbohydrates which is necessary to prevent low blood sodium level or hyponatremia, a life threatening electrolyte imbalance.
5. Drink Recurrent Fluids:
You can consider all kinds of fluids, including tea, coffee, juices, milk and soups for your rehydration. But exclude alcohol, which is extremely dehydrating and coffee and tea also have slight diuretic effects. So, fruit juice or other beverages maybe a better choice. Water is the best fluid because it does not contain sugar or calories.
6. Eat fruits and vegetables:
Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily. They contain vitamins and minerals as well as various amounts of water. They are also helpful to maintain your electrolyte balance as they are a rich source of potassium. If you are not able to eat vegetables daily, then consider taking a vitamin for the same benefits.
7. Additional Advice To Follow:
- Try to avoid exercising and labored work in the heat or at least avoid being outside during the hottest times of day.
- If you don’t feel well take a break and try to go to a cooler area and drink adequately.
- Wear lightweight clothing cotton and sweat-wicking fabrics will be the most comfortable.
- Use hats and helmets while outside but take them off during times of rest or breaks because they trap heat. It is better to choose helmets and hats with vents which will help heat to escape.
- Always remember that you have to drink more fluids when you are active and during hot weather.