Staying Hydrated in the Summer
When playing and working outside it is very important to stay totally hydrated especially when the temperatures are soaring like forecasted this week.
Our bodies made up of 60% water. According to H.H. Mitchell, Journal of Biological Chemistry 158, the brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are watery: 31%. So staying hydrated in this excruciating heat can require the consumption of more water.
Many factors contribute to dehydration including sweating, peeing, vomiting, diarrhea, or other illnesses and medication side effects. It's important because other than losing valuable fluid, we also lose potassium and salt, which could cause our bodies not to function properly.
Even I become so goal-focused when working on a project, that I don't stop to drink as much water as I would normally, so it is important to pay attention and listen to your body.
Below are some signs that you may be dehydrated.
Bad Breath (can be a warning of dehydration)
Flushed or dry
Cravings for sweets
Feeling chilly or cold
Feeling tired or drowsy
How to tell is you are hydrated
Test your skin - Pinch up some skin and let it go, your skin should go back to its original position within a few seconds.
Check your urine - darker color urine or stronger smell can indicate dehydration, ideally you're looking for a light to clear color.
Tips for staying hydrated
Keep a container of water close by at all times.
Add a punch of flavor like lemon or cucumber. By adding fruit and herbs to plain water not only does it lend a little flavor but incorporates additional vitamins and antioxidants. This is particularly helpful with children especially if they get to choose.
Keeping some water in your freezer can be ideal this time of year, and while your working or playing outside it will be melting to stay cool and refreshing. Having cooler water on hand when you need it, can aid you in lowering your core temperature if you become overheated.
Take breaks to cool off and drink fluids.
Keep a cool rag close by especially when working in the high temperatures.
Avoid sweet beverages as these can work against your staying hydrated.
Avoid diuretics, like tea and coffee as these will also dehydrate you.
Keep an eye on your pets and our elderly when exposed to prolonged heat. Some elderly people can become chronically dehydrated due to some medications, or may not be able to care for themselves properly due to mobility issues. Look for confusion, low blood pressure, dizziness, and constipation.
Stay safe this summer.