Instead, you’re an athlete, nature lover, or just an average joe, summertime means more time spent outside. The warm weather and bright sunshine are inviting, but it also creates a severe danger to those enjoying it. Dehydration affects a staggeringly high number of people each year. Thankfully, staying hydrated is easier than you realize!
How Much Water is Enough?
There’s not a straightforward answer to this question. How much water you need will vary depending on the weather, what you’re doing, and what you’re wearing. The more water you’re losing through sweat, the more water you need to drink. You should drink water until your urine runs a pale-yellow color. If it has a dark tint to it, you’re dehydrated.
Signs of Dehydration
Dehydration comes with many warning signs. If you’re outdoors and should be sweating, but you aren’t, that’s a sign of significant dehydration. Fatigue, dizziness, and thirst are all signs that dehydration is beginning. Many people use desire as an indicator of when they should drink water, but if you feel thirsty, it actually means you’re already dehydrated.
Stick to Water
Most people should replenish their body with regular water. Some athletes benefit more from sports drinks, but they aren’t necessary for the average individual. Drink water consistently throughout your day, especially when you’re outside. You should avoid caffeinated and sugary drinks during the summer months. Those drinks can actually act as a diuretic, causing you to lose more fluid.
Dangers of Dehydration
Dehydration is something that should be taken very seriously. When the body isn’t getting enough water, it puts a strain on your heart. Your heart has to work harder to pump blood throughout your body, and you’ll notice the strain as your muscles begin to cramp. Dehydration can become so severe that you require hospitalization and IV fluids to rehydrate. Headache and swollen feet are more mild symptoms associated with dehydration, but they’re the first warning sign for a much more dangerous condition soon to come.
We recommend finding a reusable water bottle that you love and taking it with you everywhere this summer! Drink it throughout your day, refill when you need to, and stay hydrated without even trying. Drinking more water is a challenge at first, but it will quickly become a habit that’s second nature! Ask your doctor for more information about exactly how much water you need to fit your lifestyle.