Staying hydrated is one of the most important steps to prevent heat related illness. Water makes up about -70 60% of the adult human body and it’s an essential part body temperature. The extremely high temperatures of summer require that we take extra care to stay healthy and avoid heat exhaustion and, more extremely, heat stroke. We offer the following reminders and tips:

  • Healthy hydration levels are usually sufficient IF you are hydrated at the beginning of your day. Once you begin your day it may not be possible to catch up.
  • Drink before you feel thirsty. Thirst is a sign that your body is already behind in fluid replacement and the early symptoms of heat exhaustion are easy to miss. Signs of dehydration are subtle so in the heat be mindful of headache, dizziness, muscle cramping and rapid breathing
  • When working in the heat the optimum amount and frequency of fluid intake is about 8 ounces ever 20 minutes. Drinking at shorter intervals is more effective than drinking large amounts infrequently. Drinking more than 48 ounces per hour, water or any other fluid can deplete your blood of the necessary chemistry.
  • In extreme heat energy drinks with extra caffeine put extra strain on your heart and they frequently also contain extra sugar which adds extra calories to your diet. In general, eating regular meals will keep your electrolytes in healthy balance so consider limiting electrolyte sports drinks to activities involving extreme sweating.
  • About 20% of the water you ingest comes from food and the foods with the highest water concentration are cucumbers, celery, tomatoes, peppers, watermelon, strawberries broccoli and grapefruit so they make great summer snacks. 
  • When vacationing, consider how the travel and destination will affect your hydration needs. A useful tip for airplane travelers is to have an empty reusable water bottle with you that you can fill with water at the fountains and on the plane.
  • In higher altitudes and higher humidity your body has to work harder to maintain its healthy body core temperature so you will need to drink more water than usual.
  • Infusing your water with fresh ingredients can add flavor that will increase your desire to drink.
  • Having a portable water filtration system can help you stay hydrated in the event you find yourself in unanticipated conditions in which only naturally occurring, possibly harmful water is available.

With the right preparation you can maintain your health, engage in all the joys of summer activities and …


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