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Avoid Summer Time Dehydration

Summer is around the corner which equals heat and humidity in Georgia! There will be a lot of picnics, trips to the pool, lake, and/or ocean, amusement parks, yard work, hiking, and biking. Georgians love to be outside which is a wonderful way to enjoy our beautiful weather.

Many of the outdoor activities Georgians will enjoy during the warm weather center around a variety of water sources. Water is not only an important natural resource that offers a source of entertainment but it is also vital for our bodily functions. Water keeps our bodies from overheating and plays an important role in cellular function.

Hydration is important during the summer season for all ages. According to the Cleveland Clinic, dehydration is defined as the absence of a sufficient amount of water in the body and losing even a small amount (1.5%) of your body’s water can cause symptoms of dehydration.

Symptoms of Dehydration include:

  • Headache

  • Less frequent urination

  • Dark colored urine

  • Irritability

  • Fatigue

  • Extreme thirst

  • Confusion

Avoiding dehydration can be accomplished by drinking water or electrolyte drinks (preferably low or no sugar drinks) throughout the day while in the sun. Hydrating the night before is also another good option to combat dehydration. Snacking on fresh fruit such as watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, oranges, apples, and pears are also excellent ways to hydrate during outdoor activities. Vegetables such as lettuce, cucumber, celery, tomato, and zucchini are other food sources that have high water content.

How much water do we need?

According to an online Mayo Clinic resource:

The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is:

  • About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men

  • About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women

These recommendations cover fluids from water, other beverages and food. About 20% of daily fluid intake usually comes from food and the rest from drinks.

One of the most frequent recommendations for hydration is 6-8 glasses of water a day. These recommendations can change based on activity level, environment (hot/humid), and health status. Exercise and hot weather are reasons to increase hydration.

**If you have a cardiac or renal (kidney) problem your fluid intake might be different than the aforementioned recommendations. Always check with your physician about your proper hydration level if you have medical issues that require fluid restrictions.


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