Your body uses water in all its cells, organs and tissues to help regulate temperature and maintain all other bodily functions. When you spend time outdoors doing any sort of activity, you can lose this precious life force through perspiration, food digestion and even through the simple act of breathing.
It’s important to hydrate regularly with fluids like water, sugar-free beverages and foods with high water content (e.g., watermelon, strawberries and peaches). Being well hydrated not only helps prevent infections, but it also keeps your body functioning well and improves sleep, mental acuity and your general frame of mind.
Six summer health tips
Here are a few summer health tips that will help you stay healthy and hydrated this summer:
- Stay hydrated
You may have been told to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day in the past, but that’s not always the case. In fact, there is no one-size-fits-all formula because some people need less water each day while others need more. It depends on your health, how active you are and where you live. The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake for the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate is about 15.5 cups of fluids per day for men and about 11.5 cups of fluids per day for women. *These recommendations include fluids from water, other beverages and food.
- Know the signs of dehydration
If you are experiencing one or more of the following symptoms, you are dehydrated. The best thing to do is to get out of the heat and drink plenty of liquids. If your dehydration is severe, please visit Coastal Urgent Care of Gonzalez and talk to one of our skilled specialists about IV fluid hydration. Here are symptoms of dehydration:
- Fatigue, dizziness or headache
- Muscle cramps
- Rapid breathing
- Not urinating or having very dark yellow urine
- Check your urine
The color of your urine is a good measurement of hydration. When you are properly hydrated, your urine will be pale yellow. A darker yellow hue is a sign that you need more water. If your urine is a very dark yellow or amber in color, you may have mild to severe dehydration and should take corrective steps immediately to avoid further complications like vomiting, diarrhea or fever. *Certain medications and health conditions may affect the color of your urine as well, so be sure to talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about the color of your urine.
- Avoid alcohol, sugary drinks and caffeine
Drinks that contain sugar or sodium promote water loss throughout your body. If you do consume these types of beverages, especially in the summer heat, it’s important to replenish and rehydrate. For every 1 dehydrating beverage you consume, make it a habit to consume 1 glass of water.
- Stay cool
It’s important to regulate your body temperature as much as possible to limit your risk of dehydration and heatstroke during the hot summer months. Wear loose-fitting clothing in light colors, protect yourself from the sun with hats and other share accessories, take plenty of drink breaks, schedule strenuous outdoor activities for later in the day and mist yourself with a spray bottle if you feel like you’re overheating.
- Replenish your body before, during and after outdoor activities
Whether you’re hiking, cycling, running or walking, it’s important to drink plenty of fluids throughout these activities. A few hours before you begin your activity, drink a glass or two of water, and then have another glass about 30 minutes before you begin. This will ensure that you are beginning your activity while well-hydrated. As you exercise, it’s important to replenish what you’ve lost through perspiration and breathing. Have about a glass of water approximately every 20 minutes during exertion. When you’re finished exercising, it’s important to drink another glass of water within 30 minutes to help your body restore any post-exercise water loss.
It’s important to follow these summer health tips to stay hydrated during the hot summer months when the risk of dehydration and heatstroke is highest. If you or a loved one becomes moderately to severely dehydrated, please visit Coastal Urgent Care of Gonzales and ask for IV fluid hydration. This fast-acting medical technique delivers fluids, medications and nutrition directly into a person’s vein, which allows the body to absorb nutrients and fluids without relying on the digestive system.
Coastal Urgent Care of Gonzalez welcomes walk-in appointments 7 days a week from 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.