Summer Safety Tip: Stay Hydrated
It’s hot out… boiling hot. Sometimes, it’s hotter than we can handle. For this reason, it is critical that you stay hydrated at all times.
After all, a tall glass of water can be all that stands between you and a potential tragedy. In today’s blog, let’s explore the dangers of dehydration during these summer months.
Dangers of Dehydration
First, dehydration occurs when you lose more water than you’ve taken in. In many cases, one loses water through a combination of sweat and urine. A person suffering from dehydration may face a variety of health issues, including:
- Greater risk for falling
- Low blood pressure
- Irregular heart rate
How Can I Tell if I’m Dehydrated?
There are many causes for dehydration, including reactions to medications, certain health conditions like diabetes, and more. That said, today we’ll focus on one major culprit: not drinking enough liquid.
If you’ve failed to stay hydrated, there are a number of ways to detect a potential problem. The classic signs include:
- Dry mouth
- Tight, less supple skin
Additionally, you can gauge your level of hydration by examining the color of your urine. Most of the time, healthy urine is a pale yellow color. When it darkens, this can be an indication that you are not drinking enough liquids. With that in mind, certain foods and medications can also affect the color of your urine.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is recommended that you stay hydrated. To do so, try drinking two to three full glasses of water within an hour or two.
In the event that your symptoms remain unchanged within four hours, you should contact a medical professional.
Tips for Staying Hydrated
To stay hydrated, you’ll want to listen to your body. Your body type and rate of activity can affect how much liquid your body requires. Obviously, being out in the scorching sun can also affect the amount of liquid you need. In the blazing heat of summer, you tend to sweat more. As a response, you should consume more liquids. Read on for some tips about staying hydrated.
Drink Before You Are Thirsty
First things first, don’t put too much stock in “drinking eight glasses of water a day.” The truth is, that’s kind of an urban legend. Sure, drinking that much water won’t hurt you, but there’s also not a magic number of glasses that works for everyone.
A great way to stay hydrated is to simply drink before you become thirsty. That sense of thirst is a warning sign. Just like our car, it is a smart idea to fill up your tank before you’re running on fumes. If you wait too long, you risk becoming dehydrated.
To help you keep drinking consistently, try not to focus on drinking tall glasses of water in short intervals. Instead, take small drinks regularly during the day. Carrying a water bottle with you can make this process a little bit easier.
Alcohol Won’t Stop Dehydration
Of course, you can drink beverages beyond water. Water is best, but plenty of other beverages will help you to improve your liquid intake. That said, stay away from alcohol. Booze will actually dehydrate your body even more. All in all, to stay hydrated, it is best to avoid adult beverages during long periods of time out in the hot sun.
Keep Track of Your Health
As always, a medical professional’s advice is always best. Before engaging in hot and steamy summertime fun, consult your doctor. She may have some additional tips about how you can stay hydrated. Additionally, a full checkup can warn you of any potential problems with medication or health conditions that could lead to dehydration or heatstroke.
Take a Break!
Finally, the easiest way to avoid dehydration is to take periodic breaks. Go inside to a cool, air-conditioned room whenever possible. While there, consider taking a cool shower and just relaxing. A summer heat wave can be a lot of fun, but only if you remember to stay hydrated.