With summer in full swing, everyone is soaking up the sun every opportunity. Unfortunately, not everyone can safely enjoy the warm weather. The Northwest, Canada, and parts of the Northeast are seeing heat waves like never before. Within seven days, heat-related deaths in Washington State and Oregon were increasing into the triple digits. Heatwave or not, there are heat-related deaths each year. Although some circumstances are hard to prevent, most of these situations are preventable. Check out this list of dos and don’ts to ensure healthy hydration levels during even the warmer months.
DO: Eat Water-Packed Fruits and Vegetables
While water may be our primary source of hydration, most of the fruits and vegetables we eat every day are not just packed with nutrients but also water. According to the Institute of Medicine, “About one-fifth of our water consumption comes from foods (namely fruits and veggies).” While many dislike the taste of regular water and therefore don't drink enough, these water-packed foods are guaranteed to help rehydrate the body: cucumber, zucchini, watermelon, carrots, apples, peaches, broccoli, jicama, tomatoes, strawberry, and pineapple.
DO: Hydrating Extra When Out In The Sun
Whether in the hot sun for five minutes or five hours, it’s crucial to maintain hydration on all levels. When the temperature rises outside, it raises our body temperature, sending a signal to our brain that we need to cool down by producing sweat. However, any sweat one produces also decreases hydration levels, dehydrating us further. To stay hydrated in hot temperatures, we need to consume more hydrating liquids than we’re expelling. Although this is not necessarily hydrating, another easy way to stay safe in the sun by using sunscreen. Sunscreen prevents harmful rays caused by the sun from burning the skin. As a result, this can help prevent dehydration and aging of the skin over time. Always prep the skin with a good moisturizer before putting on sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to prevent dehydrated skin, sunburns, or even skin cancer.
Don’t: Drink Alcohol and Sugary Beverages
There’s nothing better than enjoying a few cocktails or a cold beer on a hot summer day, but it comes with a price. We are told to drink water when consuming alcohol to prevent dehydration, but combining sugar and alcohol increases the level of dehydration. When consuming too much sugar, our body is forced to dilute it to stop it from harming the body. Sugary and alcoholic beverages in our body take water from other parts of the body, including the brain—to process and break down the toxins. Alcohol and sugar expert Chris Beatty states, “When taken in large amounts, both sugar and alcohol can dehydrate you because they’re diuretics.” Such a large amount of water is needed to keep our bodies functioning. Therefore, it’s vital to consume sugary and alcoholic drinks in moderation but also drink plenty of water, especially those being consumed in the hot weather.
Don’t: Wait Until You’re Thirsty to Drink
With 75% of Americans dehydrated, our society struggles with this ongoing problem daily. Some dislike the taste, while others simply forget to stop and hydrate throughout the day. Many don’t even realize that they are dehydrated until it's too late. The most obvious symptom of dehydration to keep in mind is thirst. Other less obvious symptoms can include tiredness, dryness of mouth, light-headedness, headaches, and even lack of sweating. With the heat outside, we can experience all of these symptoms multiplying, making it very dangerous very quickly. To keep these symptoms from happening, drink water continuously throughout the day, and make sure to get some time in the shade since your body needs heat breaks.
The summer sun can be brutal, but there are ways to prevent heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Make time to regularly stop to drink water, consume hydrating foods with lots of fruits and veggies, and try to avoid excessive alcohol consumption in the sun. Those who struggle to maintain a healthy level of hydration might try a hydration booster to combat symptoms. Drinklyte is an Oral Rehydration Solution that is the perfect hydration product. Although typically used for post-alcohol rehydration, it is still extremely effective for general rehydration. The product contains electrolytes that are I.V. effective and are safe for anyone to use anytime.
Author : Jennifer Dutton, Blog Writer, DrinkLyte Co. "Helping Grow CPG Brands Beyond Their Potential"