Beat the Heat and Prevent Dehydration
Written By: Michelle Burton, Resident Services Health Coordinator
Dehydration. What is dehydration? Mayo Clinics definition states: “Dehydration occurs when you lose more fluid than you take in, and your body doesn’t have enough water and other fluids to carry out its normal function. If you don’t replace lost fluids, you may get dehydrated”. We lose water constantly throughout the day by breathing, sweating, and using the bathroom. First it’s important to recognize the signs of dehydration. Common symptoms are: light headedness, dizziness, fatigue, flushing of the skin, headache, thirst, rapid heart rate, dry sticky mouth, low blood pressure, decreased urination, dark colored urine, and confusion.
Although dehydration can occur anytime of the year, and for different reasons, it is frequently common during the warmer times of the year. Yep, “the good ole summer time” when we find ourselves outside more exercising, going to ball games, gardening, and other events. So the key to enjoying the summertime an steering clear of dehydration is prevention. Here are some tips to help do this:
- Plan ahead and take extra water with you to events.
- Drink plenty of water. You might try to sip on water throughout an outdoor event. Remember to drink fluids before and after going out to keep the balance of water intact.
- If you can’t bring yourself to drink plain water, you may choose carbohydrate/electrolyte containing drinks such as Gatorade.
- Avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages as they have dehydrating properties.
- Dress also plays a role. To help keep body temperatures down, wear light colored and loose fitting clothing if possible.
- Break up the amount of time you’re in hot temperatures by going into air conditioned or shady area’s to cool off.
- Eating fruits and vegetables can also help restore some of the fluids that can be lost during the course of the day.
Dehydration can quickly become a medical emergency. Safeguard yourselves and those you love by taking precautions when out in the heat and have a safe and healthy summer.