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Summer is here, July 4th weekend is beginning, and its HOT outside! Here are some tricks to stay hydrated this summer and beat the heat!
Not only does water keep you hydrated, it serves even more beneficial purposes too. Water is the solvent for important biochemical reactions in the body like supplying nutrients and removing waste from the body. Water maintains blood circulation, which carries heat away from internal organs, that heat travels through the bloodstream to your skin, otherwise known as sweating. Sweating allows your body to regulate and maintain a safe body temperature.
If you do not get your daily intake of water, the balance within your body is thrown off. Once you start feeling thirsty, you are already dehydrated, and have lost about 1% of your body water. If the body reaches a 2% body water loss, you can experience serious fatigue, cardiovascular impairments, reduced appetite, dark urine, dry mouth, mild headache, chills and dizziness. When fluid loss reaches 5%, this is a level of serious dehydration. You can suffer from decreased sweating and urination, increased heart rate, respiration and body temperature, muscle cramps, extreme fatigue, severe headaches, constipation, tingling and numbness. Fluid loss above this level needs immediate medical attention as fatality or serious loss of organ function is eminent.
So… lets all avoid these horrific symptoms and stay hydrated this summer by using these tips:
1. Drink enough water to prevent thirst. So how much fluid does the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate need? The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly about 13 cups (3 liters) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is about 9 cups (2.2 liters) of total beverages a day.
2. Watch the color of your urine, It should be a pale yellow and not a dark yellow or smelly or cloudy.
3. Drink water before, during and after exercise or exertion.
4. Avoid alcohol
5. Eat your fruits and vegetables! They all contain vital nutrients (like potassium) and water. You can also replace fluids and sodium losses with watery foods like soup and vegetable juices.
6. If you are a hiker, you will need food such as dried fruits and nut mixes that contain high amounts of potassium, sodium, protein, calories and carbs.
To determine your need for fluid replacement, weight yourself immediately before heavy exercise, and right after. If you see an immediate weight loss, you have lost substantial body water. It is recommended to drink 3 cups of fluid for every pound lost, and that same amount should be consumed before your next workout.
Stay cool by wearing loose, light clothes, a hat, sunscreen and limit the amount of time you are in the direct sun. Drink water, stay cool and enjoy your summer. Try this fun, hydrating beverage to keep your fluid levels balanced:
Cucumber Lime Refresher
Serve this thirst-quenching drink at your next gathering!
1 pitcher of water
1 cucumber, sliced thinly
The juice of 4-5 limes
Add lime juice and cucumber slices to the pitcher of water. Stir to mix well. Refrigerate to chill or serve