Hydration: More Than Just Quenching Your Thirst
What used to be coined the lazy, hazy days of summer has become running with the kids from one practice to another! Swim lessons, baseball games and even concerts in the park are all potential times that dehydration can happen. As the heat index rises, it is especially important to drink that water!
Here are some tips on staying ahead of heat related illnesses:
Don’t Wait Until You’re Thirsty
Once you are thirsty, you are well on your way to becoming dehydrated. A good rule of thumb is to consume half of your body weight in ounces each day. While water isn’t the only way to stay hydrated, it is the best place to start. And remember, it isn’t only about how much water you take in, you also have to factor in how much fluid leaves your body, as well. So, while your little ones are running around the bases, make sure that they are drinking even more!
Eat a Healthy Diet Including More Fruits and Vegetables
A regular intake of fruits and vegetables will improve your hydration level. Not all fruits and veggies are created equal. The most hydrating ones include:
- Citrus fruits
- Bell peppers
Not only are they hydrating, but they balance your electrolytes which is important in fighting fatigue during exercise and maintaining proper body temperature.
Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine
Both are diuretics and can play a part in becoming dehydrated. These include coffee, tea, cola, and energy drinks. While sipping on something sweet may be appealing, it is actually setting you back on your goal to stay hydrated. If you are partaking in an adult beverage, keep in mind that one glass of water between drinks helps offset the effects of the alcohol.
Wearing a hat or a cooling neck cloth can help you not only feel cooler, but keep you from sweating as much, which results in fluid loss.
And Finally, Exercise!
While it might seem counter-productive, exercise is actually helpful in staying hydrated. It increases circulation throughout your body, raises your electrolyte levels and gets more nutrients into your cells.
So, whether we find ourselves relaxing by the lake, doing yard work in the heat, or running kids from here to there, remember to keep that water bottle handy! Don’t let your summer fun turn into heat related illness. Take care and DRINK THAT WATER!