With summer in full swing and the heat index rising, it is important to stay hydrated throughout these hot months. Every year about 318 Americans die due to dehydration or other heat related illness, according the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Unfortunately, most of those deaths could have been prevented if they had the proper knowledge about heat and dehydration.
Dehydration can occur in mild and severe forms. Learning the signs of dehydration can help avoid medical emergencies. Dehydration occurs when there is not enough water in your system to replace what was lost throughout the day (Source: Mayo Clinic). Dryness in the mouth, chapped lips, thirst, dry skin, headaches, and dizziness are all signs of acute dehydration. Following a few simple tips can help avoid dehydration early or prevent it from ever happening:
Hot and humid temperatures increase our body temperature causing water to disappear. The best time to drink water is even before you are thirsty. Thirst is a direct correlation of dehydration. Replenishing your system with water is a simple and easy fix. Also, eating fruits and vegetables that are filled with water can help keep dehydration at bay. Watermelon, grapes, lettuce, cucumbers, and carrots are just a few that are full of water. Avoid beverages with alcohol and caffeine.
Schedule outdoor activities around the peak heat hours of the day. Planning activities in the morning or late afternoon hours are the best to avoid the hot heat that may cause dehydration. If outside on hot humid days, water activities or taking a break in the shade can help keep body temperatures low. If dehydration becomes severe (ex: extreme thirst, low blood pressure, sunken eyes, little sweating) please seek medical attention.
The recommened amount of water a person should consumer is eight 8 ounce glasses of water each day. Even more if you are in the heat and feeling the effects of the hot summer weather.
Wishing everyone a happy and hydrated summer!