Tips to Staying Hydrated this Summer
Summer is here, and we are all looking forward to fun times spent outdoors. This is the time of year when many of us will be taking our vacation time. No matter the destination, the temperature will be rising and the activity may be non-stop. Now is the time to make a plan to combat summer’s hidden foe; Dehydration.
According to the Mayo clinic, beginning symptoms of dehydration include:
- Dry, sticky mouth
- Sleepiness or tiredness — children are likely to be less active than usual
- Decreased urine output
- No wet diapers for three hours for infants
- Few or no tears when crying
- Dry skin
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
Whereas, more extreme levels of dehydration may show the following symptoms:
- Extreme thirst
- Extreme fussiness or sleepiness in infants and children; irritability and confusion in adults
- Very dry mouth, skin and mucous membranes
- Little or no urination — any urine that is produced will be darker than normal
- Sunken eyes
- Shriveled and dry skin that lacks elasticity and doesn’t “bounce back” when pinched into a fold
- In infants, sunken fontanels — the soft spots on the top of a baby’s head
- Low blood pressure
- Rapid heartbeat
- Rapid breathing
- No tears when crying
- In the most serious cases, delirium or unconsciousness
What a way to ruin a fun vacation!
Here are some tips to prevent getting dehydrated on your vacation this summer.
The most important thing you can do, to prevent dehydration, is drink water! The American College of Sports Medicine, says active people should drink at least 16- 20 ounces of fluid, one to two hours before an outdoor activity. Afterwards, they should consume 6 to 12 ounces of fluid every 10 to 15 minutes they are outside. Once finished with the activity, another 16-24 ounces (2-3 cups) should be consumed to replace what has been lost. Even when not active, you should be drinking enough water, as the effects of higher temperatures on the body (perspiration), will cause you to lose water even if you are sitting still.
Include hydrating fruits and vegetables into your regular diet.
According to the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture, cucumbers and iceberg lettuce have a water content of 96 percent, tomatoes have a water content of 94 percent, green cabbage has 93 percent, watermelon, strawberries, and red cabbage have 92 percent, and grapefruit has 91 percent water content.
When you are traveling, try to make a stop at the local grocery store or farmer’s market, and stock up on some hydrating snacks to keep you going all day long. Remember, by the time you feel thirsty, you are already 3 percent dehydrated, so avoid dehydration’s adverse effects and stay healthy and happy by remembering to drink water, and supplement with hydrating fruits and veggies.