Summertime means fun, sun and no school! Summertime also means rising temperatures, and certain areas such as Texas and the south bring a whole new meaning to the term “HOT.” During these hot summer days it is very easy to become dehydrated. Probably easier than you even realize. Dehydration can lead to many unpleasant health conditions, not to mention leaves you lethargic and often unproductive. Below are a few tips of how to properly stay hydrated and beat the summer heat!
Many people don’t realize that nutrients not only come in the form of foods but also in the form of water. In fact, water might be the most important nutrient of all. You can live quite sometime without food; however, only a few days without water.
Tips to stay hydrated & beat the summer heat:
- Drink enough water to prevent thirst. If you are thirsty you are already dehydrated. Small, frequent sips of water throughout the day is the best way to prevent thirst.
- Monitor fluid loss by checking the color of your urine. It should be pale yellow not dark yellow or cloudy.
- For short duration (less than 60 minutes) low-to-moderate-intensity activity, water is the choice to drink before, during and after exercise.
- Any time you exercise or have activities in extreme heat or for more than 1 hour, supplement water with a sports drink that contains electrolytes and 6% – 8% carbohydrates. This prevents “hypoatremia” (low blood sodium), which dilutes your blood and could also lead to serious impairment and even death via heat stroke.
- Begin exercise and activities well-hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids the day before and within the hour before, during and after your exercise or activity session.
- Avoid alcohol the day before or the day of a long exercise or activity bout in the heat.
- Eat copious amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables per day not only for optimum health, but they also contain various levels of water and the all-important component to avoid dehydration besides water – potassium.
How much water should I drink on a daily basis? A good rule of thumb is a minimum of 1/2 your body weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 150 lbs. you should be drinking a minimum of 75 ounces of water daily. Any exercise, activity, sun exposure. caffeine or alcohol intake will drastically increase this number to adequately stay hydrated.
While health is the #1 reason to stay hydrated, studies indicate well-hydrated individuals often have higher performance levels in exercise and everyday work and task environments. Can you think of a reason to NOT stay hydrated? Dr. Hume realizes the importance of hydration for healthy patients, and challenges you to maintain optimum hydration this summer! Contact our office today to schedule your dental appointment this summer.