Today is National Hydration Day and with the crazy heat waves going on, it seems like we need to be chugging La Croix to stay alive. I think we all know we need to drink water to stay hydrated, but what exactly is hydration? If, we decided to pass on water, what consequences does it have on our bodies?
The Thirst is Real
Dehydration is a serious health concern; it is the leading cause of death around the world. The crazy thing about hydration is we lose about ½ of what we consume from breathing a sweating. That is why in summer time with its higher temperatures it is more likely to be dehydrated. How can we tell if our body needs water? Our brains notify us when it is time to take a sip. It’s important we don’t blow off our brain’s cues. Not only can we lose water through breathing and sweating, but also through our urine. Diuretics like alcohol and caffeine can increase fluid loss. We don’t have to avoid them this summer just limit them. I usually have a skinny girl margarita, and wash it down with a glass of water. Have some before you lose some.
Dehydration has some negative health effects. Heat Cramps occur when there is an electrolyte imbalance. Water helps stabilize your electrolytes and can prevent heat cramps. If you are experiencing extreme muscle soreness this could be heat cramps. Heat Exhaustion is the next level of extreme dehydration. It includes vomiting and dizziness. The most severe dehydration is Heat Stroke. This can be potentially fatal and the body can’t regulate temperature. Think of it like your iPhone. When it’s hot out, and that screen comes on saying it needs time to cool off before using it. If you’re going to be outside a lot this summer remember to drink before, during and after to prevent any forms of dehydration. It might be wise to keep workouts indoors until fall. I trade in the track for the treadmill during the summer.
Tips on Beating the Summer Heat
- Carry a water bottle
- Add fruit or mint to water for more flavor
- Try sparkling water (La Croix is my fave)
- My Water App (tells you how much you should drink depending on your body)
- Eat food with a high water concentration (lettuce is 96% water)
- Avoid salty food
- Limit diuretics
Summer is about enjoying the sun; dehydration shouldn’t get in the way of that. Remember being thirsty is not cute. If you find yourself midday and your urine is gold, it’s time to chug some water. The clearer your urine is the more hydrated you are. Nothing is more fun in the summer than being hydrated.