How to Stay Hydrated in the Summer Heat

Summer is here and that means the temperatures are rising and it is important that you focus on staying hydrated.

Every year thousands of people will visit the emergency room due to dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke, and many will even lose their lives.

In this blog, you’ll discover…

  • Ways to stay hydrated in the summer heat
  • Top things you should avoid when it is hot out
  • Signs to look for so you know if you are overheating or becoming dehydrated
  • If you are more at risk for heatstroke

As it gets hotter out it is important that you stay properly hydrated as this will help your body’s ability to stay cool. As your body heats up it keeps itself cool by allowing heat to escape through the skip and sweating. If you are not properly hydrated your body will not be able to cool itself down and this leads to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Because heat can take such a toll on the body, it is also important to know your limitations and not overexert yourself on particularly hot days. It is also important to keep your health in check with proper nutrition and consistent exercise to decrease your risk to a heat-related illness.

HOW TO STAY COOL AND HYDRATED IN THE HEAT

The ability to keep your body as cool as possible while outdoors is key to staying hydrated and cool during the hot summer months.

  • Drink Plenty of Water – When it is particularly hot out, your body requires more water as it loses more trying to stay cool. If you are outdoors, and especially staying active, you are going to want to drink more fluids, ideally water, than normal. It is a good idea to carry a few water bottles with you if you are expecting to be outdoors. 
  • Dress Appropriately – Dressing according to the weather is more than just leaving your jacket at home. Be sure to wear lightweight clothing that is breathable. Go for lighter colors that will reflect light, rather dark colors that will absorb light and increase your temperature. 
  • Take Breaks Throughout the Day – As it gets hotter outside it is important not to overexert yourself, so if you are being active or working outdoors you should take breaks often to give your body a chance to rest and cool down. If you are going to be active during the day, or plan on doing some work outside, it is best to time it according to the coolest times of the day, such as morning and evening.

WHAT YOU SHOULD AVOID

  • Caffeinated Drinks –  When it is hot out you should avoid caffeinated drinks such as soda, tea, and coffee. This is because caffeine is a diuretic and can cause you to lose more fluid through urination that you are consuming. Caffeine also raises your metabolism to burn more fat, which is a good thing unless you are already dehydrated and overheated. At this point, it raises your body temperature and passes any water you do consume through your system faster than it would otherwise. 
  • Alcohol – The use of alcohol also causes the body to lose more water than it takes in and can make a person susceptible to dehydration.

HOW DO I KNOW IF I’M OVERHEATING AND DEHYDRATED?

There are many different symptoms of dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke, each more serious than the other. It can start with overheating and simple dehydration, followed by heat exhaustion, and then heat stroke, which can be life-threatening.

 

Here are the following symptoms to be aware of:

  • Thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness and/or weakness
  • Nausea
  • Not sweating
  • Skin feels hot
  • Confusion
  • Slow pulse

WHO IS AT RISK?

Everyone is at risk for becoming dehydrated and developing heat exhaustion or heat stroke, but some people are more at risk than others. The very young and the elderly are especially at risk, so are those who are already unhealthy or overweight.

While you can’t do anything about how old you are, you can do your best to stay as healthy as possible so that you are less affected by the heat waves that are sure to pass over the summer.

Getting on a Custom Meal Plan and working out regularly can help keep you in shape and get you to a healthy weight, which can greatly decrease your risk for succumbing to heat exhaustion and stroke. When you are healthy, you are then able to participate in more outdoor activities, whether it be workouts, family BBQs, and hiking, to name a few.

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