June 17, 2021 at 9:04am | Ann Nguyen


With the global pandemic slowly receding and warm weather descending all across the nation, Americans are resuming activity in droves—and that’s a good thing. But it’s easy to forget how important it is to stay hydrated in summer’s heat.

 

Whether you’re out in the sunshine hiking and biking or back to working out at the gym, medical professionals offer tips for preventing dehydration.

 

Know the Signs – Dehydration can take many forms, from dry, itchy skin to muscle cramps, headaches, fatigue or dizziness. Other signs are infrequent urination or having dark yellow urine. If you experience these symptoms, get out of the heat and drink plenty of liquids. Over-the-counter options like Pedialyte can help balance out the electrolytes and sodium associated with dehydration. 

Drink Enough Water – Daily fluid intake recommendations vary by age and sex. Start by drinking a cup of water each morning and another before bed. Have a glass with every meal and drink one or two cups after working out. To help ward off dehydration, drink fluids gradually throughout the day.

Avoid Alcohol, Sugary Drinks, and Caffeine – Drinks like coffee, sodas, beer, wine and hard liquor, lemonade, sweet tea, energy drinks, smoothies, and flavored milk work against hydration. Swap them out for more water.

Dress Up Your Water – If plain water bores you, try dressing it up with limes, lemons, mint, oranges, berries, or cucumber to improve the taste without artificial sweeteners or preservatives. Or, give coconut water a try. The mineral-rich liquid is packed with potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium to replenish lost fluids and electrolytes from exercise and hot climates.

Eat Foods With High Water Content – About 80% of our water intake comes from drinking water. The other 20% comes from food. Whole fruits and vegetables contain some water, but for maximum benefit, snack on cucumbers, celery, tomatoes, radishes, peppers, cauliflower, watermelon, spinach, strawberries, broccoli and grapefruit.

Try Probiotics – Probiotics are the living microorganisms found in yogurt and other cultured foods and supplements that can help improve your body’s bacteria. Taking a probiotic can help improve your immune system, protect against infection and improve your digestion and absorption of food and nutrients—including water. They also help with several conditions associated with dehydration.

 

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