Dehydration is mostly caused by not adequately replenishing the fluid that has exited your body. Your body naturally loses fluid every day from breathing, sweating and other bodily functions. However, as mentioned in a previous article, fluid loss is increased during sickness, physical activity, and warmer climates. As your body is made up of roughly 60% water, it is important to replenish these lost fluids to avoid becoming dehydrated. In this article, we’ll give you some tips on how to avoid dehydration in hot weather. First, we’ll review different levels of dehydration and common symptoms.
Dehydration Symptoms In Hot Weather
According to a WebMD article, dehydration can be categorized as mild and severe.
- Mild dehydration is more common and includes symptoms that are typical with other moderate illnesses. Symptoms can include muscle cramps, thirst, dry mouth, headaches, and dark pee.
- In addition to the mild symptoms, severe dehydration can include fainting, rapid breathing and heartbeat, as well as feeling dizzy. Be sure to consult a medical professional if you are unsure of your symptoms. If you believe you are experiencing severe dehydration, it needs to be treated immediately.
How To Avoid Dehydration In Hot Weather
Hot weather can substantially increase fluid loss from your body. As your body heats up, it releases sweat as a method to decrease your body temperature.
If not replenished, fluid loss from sweat can lead to dehydration. Below we have a list of 6 tips on how to avoid dehydration in hot weather.
1. If Possible, Avoid Being In The Sun Mid Day
- If you can be selective about your time out in the sun, save it for early morning or evening. For instance, if you exercise outdoors, avoid doing it during the heat of the day (10am to 4pm). Exercising in the morning, before it is too hot, or in the evening, as the temperature begins to drop again, is best.
2. Purchase A Reusable Water Bottle To Avoid Dehydration
- Firstly they are great for the environment.
- Secondly, they make tracking water intake a lot easier. If you have a 1L water bottle, you can set daily goals of when you need to finish the water. For instance, it should be roughly half empty by lunchtime, or empty by the end of the day. These values will vary greatly depending on how much water your body requires.
- Thirdly, insulated water bottles keep your water fresh and cold for extended periods of time. You don’t want to be drinking warm water when you are outside in the hot sun. Modern water bottles are designed with vacuum insulated, stainless steel walls. This helps to keep your water cold all day.
3. Set Reminders For You To Drink Water
- With the amount of technology available, it is easy to download a smartphone or smartwatch app that will provide you with reminder alarms. You can start by setting hourly reminders. If this is too frequent, have one reminder mid-morning and a second one mid-afternoon.
- If setting reminders on your smartphone or watch aren’t enough, you can purchase a water bottle with a reminder alarm built-in. These smart water bottles can be programmed to remind you to drink water at desired intervals. Furthermore, some water bottles have lights that flicker, make sounds, or have a combination of both.
4. Wear Sunscreen
- It is important to wear sunscreen to block the ultraviolet (UV) light rays given off by the sun. UVA and UVB rays are the ones that cause skin damage. The most visual and common form of skin damage is a sunburn. A sunburn will increase your body temperature. This can lead to dehydration as your body tries to cool down the impacted area. Therefore, it is important to apply sunscreen to all exposed body parts, and reapply every two hours while in the sun.
5. Find Shaded Areas In Hot Weather
- Whenever possible, seek shaded areas when outdoors for extended periods of time. As UV rays reflect off surrounding objects, you can still get burnt in the shade. However, depending on the type of material or object shading you, it is better than being fully exposed to the sun.
6. Avoid Alcoholic Or Caffeinated Drinks
- While alcoholic and caffeinated drinks increase your fluid intake, they are not as hydrating as water. Alcohol and caffeine can lead to you urinating more frequently due to their diuretic impacts. In other words, the more times you go to the bathroom, the more fluid your body is losing. Avoid alcoholic and caffeinated drinks when you are thirsty in hot weather as these can lead to dehydration. Instead, enjoy a cold, refreshing glass of water.
In this article, we reviewed the symptoms of mild and severe dehydration. Additionally, we discussed 6 tips on how to avoid dehydration in hot weather.
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Facts for this article are referenced from credible sources. For further information, please read these referenced articles from the following organizations:
Be sure to consult your health care professional with any medical questions. Similarly, the information found in this article should not be considered medical advice.