This is the hottest time of the year and everyone is out doors working in the yard, going to the beach or ballgames, or just trying to beat the heat. It is a challenge to stay hydrated under normal circumstances much less when the temperatures are above 90 degree! Here are some quick facts about dehydration that you may need to pay attention to when going about your day. Did you know these symptoms of dehydration?
- Dry Mouth – Tongue and mucous membranes will look dry or coated. The mouth may feel sticky. By the time you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated!
- Fatigue – Low energy, loss of muscle strength and endurance and feeling tired are symptoms of dehydration. “I slept 8 hours and I am still tired”.
- Hunger – A sense of hunger or a craving is a side effect of dehydration. Your body signals it needs fluids which can be obtained through soups and fruit or vegetables. Choose Healthy!
- Headaches – Mild to moderate dehydration will cause a headache. Often headaches can be relieved with a few ounces of water.
- Weight gain, water retention, bloating – when you are dehydrated your body thinks you are in a drought and will store fluids.
- Low Blood Pressure and Tachycardia – low fluid intake can cause a decrease in circulating blood volume and cause low blood pressure. Symptoms may include dizziness when you stand up. The heart rate will increase in an attempt to maintain the blood pressure.
- Altered Mental Status – severe dehydration can cause confusion and/or unconsciousness. On a daily basis, water gives the brain the electrical energy for all functions, including thought and memory. A well hydrated brain will not only help with better thinking, it can help prevent ADD in adults and children. Brainadvance.org
- A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page.
Some quick tips: combat dehydration by drinking half of your body weight in ounce with water every day. So if you weigh 150 pounds you may try drinking 70.5 ounces of water. Another quick tip is to drink a full glass of water every time you brush your teeth, this will give you at least an extra 16 ounces per day (more if you are more diligent with your dental hygiene).
Don’t forget that kids need more fluids than adults and need to be reminded to drink more. Children also like homemade ice bars in the summer. Use some watermelon and fresh fruit to make a delightful treat for your summer warriors.
For picnics and outdoor activities you can freeze water bottles and place in the cooler. Also try and cut back on alcoholic drinks while in the sun.
Drink up and keep yourself safe this summer in all of the heat!