Monday, July 16, 2012

Stay Hydrated This Summer!

Summer is a wonderful time of the year - swimming pools, 4th of July fireworks, cookouts, there are tons of fun things to do outside! However, it's also one of the times of year during which we should be the most concerned about staying hydrated. Whether you're sitting in the shade or playing in the heat, you need to be sure that your body is getting enough fluids to keep you healthy. Up to 60% of the human body is water with the percentage rising in young children and babies. The water in our bodies is what allows cells, tissues, and organs to work properly, and it's what moderates our temperature. While we lose water through a variety of ways each day, during the summer, as we all know, we often sweat much more than usual, causing body water loss to rise.  Losing too much water can cause dehydration, a situation that can have serious consequences, such as the need for hospitalization, organ failure, and even death. outlines the symptoms of dehydration as:
It is important not to let dehydration sneak up on you and to be sure that you are drinking enough water. Most of us have heard that 8 glasses (eight 8 oz. glasses) of water per day are what is required to keep us hydrated. However, everyone is different, so this number may be lower or higher. 

While water is the best and most effective way to help yourself stay hydrated, there are other things that you can add to your diet that will help. Fresh fruits and vegetables, along with their juices contain water in a way that is easy for your body to access. Other drinks, such as coffee, tea, and soda, can help you add water to your body, but they often have other ingredients, such as caffeine and sugar, that can be counterproductive. Sports drinks can be helpful if you are sweating excessively, for example when you are exercising at a high intensity for a length of time, and they can help provide electrolytes, which will help balance out your body's nutritional needs.  

For more tips on how to stay hydrated, check out these sites:
Do you have any tips to share on how you stay hydrated during these hot summer months? We would love to hear your ideas!

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