Staying Hydrated in Intense Heat

Every single part of your body needs water to work correctly. iStock_77913013_LARGE-500x333Water helps regulate body temperature, remove waste, and lubricate our joints.  You lose water faster when the weather is really hot, when you are physically active or when you are sick with a fever, diarrhea or vomiting. Remember that by the time you feel thirsty you actually are dehydrated and certain groups of people, including the elderly and young children, tend to dehydrate faster than others.

So given the current heat, here are some helpful tips on staying hydrated:

How Much Water Do You Need?

The old rule of drinking six to eight glasses of water a day is still a good recommendation. However, everyone has different needs. Some people may need more, while others can stay hydrated on less. The best way to know if you are getting enough water is to evaluate the color of your urine. The darker your urine, the more dehydrated you are. Aim for pale yellow to clear colored urine.

How Much of My Fluid Intake Should Be Water?

Water is the best option for staying hydrated. Other drinks can provide hydration, but can also add sugar, sodium and artificial ingredients. And alcohol actually dehydrates your body. Make water your main beverage throughout the day and limit other beverages.

Tips for Staying Hydrated

– Carry a bottle of water with you throughout the day. If water is within reach, you are more likely to drink it.

– If it’s flavor you crave, try adding fruits, cucumber or mint to your water.

– Put a fresh glass of water next to your bathroom sink each night before bed. It will serve as a reminder for you to hydrate first thing in the morning after going hours without fluids. That way you get water in before you reach for the coffee.

Source: UCF College of Medicine

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