Thursday, August 2, 2012
This morning a good friend came into my office sharing his recent bout with exercise and dehydration. Thankfully all is well!
Since this was the third such discussion on the same day, perhaps it’s timely to refresh (pun intended) our memories about the importance of staying hydrated in hot weather!
Keeping hydrated in hot weather is very important to avoid heat–related illness. Proper hydration becomes even more important when performing strenuous, physical activity in high temperatures. The more your body sweats under such conditions, the more fluid you need to replace.
If you ever suffer from dehydration you put yourself at risk of heat rash, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Here are 10 proven ways to avoid heat related illness:
Eat your water
Try adding more fruits and vegetables that are high in water content to your meals and snacks. Watermelon, grapefruit, spinach, zucchini, celery, coconuts, radishes and cucumbers are a great source of fluids and nutrition.
Track your water intake
Try setting an alarm on your watch or phone to remind yourself it is time for a water break, regular hydration is more healthy short and long term.
Drink cool fluids
According to healthfinder.gov, cool fluids can help encourage you to drink more during activity in hot weather.
Have a sports drink
While doing vigorous exercise, a sports drink might be more useful than water since it can also replenish any nutrients lost in your sweat, plus it is one of the best ways to stay hydrated. Just keep in mind the calories.
Walla Walla will have over 1,200 basketball players on our downtown streets Saturday and Sunday at the Peach Basket Classic. Powerade is a tournament sponsor and a key factor when it comes to keeping players hydrated during the August heat.
Avoid alcoholic beverages
While you might feel more refreshed at first, you likely will feel dehydrated soon afterward due to the effects of alcohol.
Alcohol is a diuretic and will cause you to urinate more frequently, so it’s best to either limit or not drink any at all.
Drink sparkling water
It has all the bubbles and fizz of a soda, minus the calories. You can also opt for sparkling water the next time you are trying to eat healthy at a restaurant.
Use natural flavoring in water
Sometimes people have trouble drinking enough water to stay hydrated because they prefer some flavor.
Adding a little natural flavoring from a slice of fruit like lemon or strawberries, or fresh cucumbers is a great way to add flavor without calories.
Keep a water bottle with you
Even if you don’t plan on doing any strenuous activity outdoors, having a water bottle on hand will allow you to drink your fluids regularly and before feeling thirsty.
Drink water instead of sugary beverages
Since you have to hydrate more frequently under hot weather conditions, you’ll be taking in more calories than you usually do if you look toward sugary beverages for hydration.
Drink before you feel thirsty
According to the CDC, it is important to drink fluids before you even begin to feel thirsty. Your body uses thirst to indicate that you are approaching dehydration.
The above information was sourced from the CDC, Medicinenet, Health Finder and common sense.