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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Tips to Avoid Dehydration

Our bodies are composed of 60 percent water. We lose that water continuously through sweat, tears, and urination. So it is essential to be forever replenishing those fluids. Too little water in our systems can lead to dehydration, which is a scary condition, especially during the summertime.

Signs of dehydration include:
  • extreme thirst
  • infrequent urination
  • dry skin
  • tiredness or faint dizzy feeling
Another sign of dehydration is dark-colored urine. If you are sufficiently hydrated, urine should be clear, light, and straw-colored.

The average adult needs about 3 quarts of water daily, or about 8 to 12 glasses. And if you are spending time outdoors in the heat, you should consume even more.

Just as wearing sunscreen protects your skin from the sun in the summer, it is important to protect your body from dehydration. Tips to help prevent dehydration are: 
  • Drink plenty of water before, dug, and after physical activity.
  • Take water breaks at least every 15 to 20 minutes when outside.
  • Have a sports drink, or vitamin-fortified water, if exercising or being active for more than one hour. 
  • Swap out water for frozen fruit (like grapes and sliced peaches) or sugar-free popsicles for an icy treat. 
  • Limit alcohol consumption as it can increase risk of dehydration and impair your ability to make smart/safe decisions while outdoors or in the sun. 
  • Monitor salt intake as it can increase risk of dehydration as well. 
  • Head indoors or seek shade if you experience a dizzy or lightheaded feeling.
  • Wear a single layer of lightweight, breathable, light-colored clothing when working or exercising outdoors, and consider also wearing a hat with a wide brim.
If you experience dehydration-like symptoms, start by drinking small amounts of water over a long period of time to rehydrate yourself. If you are still not feeling well after that, it may be necessary to seek medical attention and receive fluids intravenously.

(Courtesy of WebMD)

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