As the temperature continues to rise this summer, the occurrences of dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke in adults and children will also be on the rise. That’s why it is critical to always keep your body properly hydrated.
The state of dehydration is basically when the body has lost too many fluids. It is recommended that adults drink 8 to 10 glasses of water each day. However when you are calculating the amount needed, additional factors have to be considered like amount of exercise, climate, and health conditions. Depending on these factors, you may need to increase the amount. Another way to calculate is to divide your total body weight by 2 and the result in ounces is what your body requires. Again you have to consider the above additional factors.
Tips to Avoid Dehydration
- Before, during, and after any physical activity. Drink plenty of fluids like juice, sports drinks or plain water. Drinks with caffeine like coffee, tea, or cola do not count here because they help in the dehydration process as they are diuretics–substances that tend to increase the discharge of liquid from the body.
- Even if you do not feel thirsty, drink fluids on schedule. You should drink them every 20 to 30 minutes, or every hour, depending on the size of the drink you take and the activity you are doing. Thirst is a sign of dehydration, so you need to drink fluids before you feel the sign.
- Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of dehydration. They include flushed skin, fatigue, increased body temperature, and increased breathing and pulse rate, followed by dizziness, increased weakness, and labored breathing. If you feel any one of these symptoms, you are on your way to dehydration and must rehydrate by taking in as much needed fluid as possible.
- Pay attention to what you wear. Light apparel is advisable during warm, humid days. Heavy fabric will not allow sweat to evaporate easily, which is bad because it can lead to hyperthermia.
- Watch the color of your urine. It can signal if you are dehydrated. If your urine is darker after an activity, drink more water to make it clear again.
Coming up with a routine each day will help form a habit of drinking enough water and put you on your way to a healthier and hydrated you.