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As some of you might have noticed, summer has arrived! While kids are running outside for time in the pool, backyard BBQ parties, and going to the beach, everyone can easily forget the importance of hydration.
Being well-hydrated, especially in the summer, is most essential for the body to keep functioning properly. It is important to increase water and fluid intake during the summer months to counteract the effects of the heat and humidity. Water makes up around 60% of our body, and as heat and humidity increases, we begin to lose that water while spending more time outside and by sweating.
In order to maintain the balance of water in our body, it is necessary to drink plenty of water to replace the water that we lose.
The average temperature of the human body is 98.6°F. The way that this average is maintained in the summer is by sweating. But it’s not just water that is being lost when we sweat. Sweat contains electrolyte minerals such as chlorine, calcium, potassium, sodium, and magnesium which are essential ingredients for the efficient physical and intellectual operation of the human body.
If these are not replaced, deficiencies can lead to heat stroke, dehydration, and circulatory collapse. By not taking your regular intake of water or fluids, it could eventually lead to dehydration which would then lead to muscle cramps, lack of concentration, headaches, and confuse your brain with hunger signals. It can also strain your kidneys and livers and make your heart and lungs work harder, which degrades your organs faster.
Staying hydrated is important to keep all your body functions running smoothly and efficiently. As you exert physically outdoors, you’ll need to take extra precautions so here are a few guidelines to keep you hydrated in the summer.
Drink, Drink and Drink Some More
Drink up plenty of water and juices, and never let your mouth dry up. Make sure that you drink fluids at every meal and snack throughout the day and during physical activity. A general guideline is to give 5 ounces of cold water to young kids and 9 ounces for teenagers every 20 minutes when outdoors. If you or young ones feel thirsty, your body is already becoming dehydrated. It’s important to replenish before that happens.
Avoid Alcohol and Sugary Beverages
Cold water is absorbed faster compared to sweet drinks, which are absorbed more slowly. Alcohol and sugary beverages cause the body to lose liquid much faster. Instead of drinking sugary soda or juice, go for water to stay hydrated.
Cut Down on Caffeine
People are fond of their morning coffee, but keep in mind that it is a diuretic and causes water loss from the body, so it can aid dehydration. Be sure to follow a cup of coffee with an extra cup of water each day.
Eat Your Water
If you get tired of drinking exclusively water, you can always go for fruits and vegetables that have the highest percentage of water in them. You can try watermelon, broccoli, carrots, apples, grapefruit or lettuce. You can even make juices from them to sweeten the deal.
As the warm temperatures kick in, keep yourself safe, hydrated, and stay in the shade with light and loose-fitting clothing. Remember to drink lots of water and enjoy the summer!