Drinking water is always essential to staying healthy, but you need to increase your fluid intake even more during the summer. Dehydration and heatstroke come much more easily when you’re outside in the hot sun, even if you think you’re getting enough water. While you should spend more time outdoors and be physically active in the summer, you should also consider these helpful tips if you want to avoid dehydration.
Keep Drinking, Even When You’re Not Thirsty
The best way to avoid dehydration during the summer is to keep drinking water even when you’re not thirsty. By the time you start to actually feel thirsty, dehydration is probably setting in, especially if you’re doing any kind of exercise outdoors on a hot day. Instead of gulping down glasses of water when you’re feeling parched, take tiny sips of water throughout the day. It may not seem like much, but it will make a difference.
Filter Your Water
We’ve all been places where water directly from the tap just doesn’t taste right. If this is the case in your home, a water filter might be in order. There is a great selection of Berkey water filters available, so take a look and see if one is right for your home.
Flavor Your Water
Pure filtered water doesn’t taste like anything. If that turns you off, you can try flavoring your water. Fresh fruit and fruit juice both work well if you want to add a little flavor, but you can also buy water flavoring if you don’t want to take the time to cut up a lemon or lime. These contain artificial sweeteners that won’t add any calories to your drink, and it could be what keeps you drinking enough water throughout the day.
Eat Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables
Eating water-rich fruits and vegetables such as strawberries and watermelon may not quench your thirst as effectively as an actual glass of water, but they do help combat dehydration. Keep some on hand on a hot day for a quick snack. They’re also healthier for you if you’re trying to avoid eating junk food.
Dress for Warm Weather
When you go outside on a hot day, wear loose-fitting clothing that allows your skin to breathe. Dark colors also absorb heat, so stick to lighter colors. Be sure to wear plenty of sunscreen if what you’re wearing shows any amount of skin.
Know the Signs of Dehydration
If you’re going to spend any amount of time outdoors in the summer, you need to be aware of the symptoms of dehydration. These include:
- Feeling thirsty
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
- Having dark yellow urine
- Feeling tired, especially after you’ve been in the sun
- Stomach cramps
You’ll be more likely to experience these symptoms if you’ve been exercising and working out, drinking alcohol or coffee, sweating excessively, or spending too much time in the sun. If you do feel dehydrated, go someplace cool and shady and start drinking water. You don’t need to gulp it down, either; you’re probably better off drinking water in small sips, especially if you’re feeling physically ill.
We know it feels great to be out in the sun on a hot summer day, but you need to know when to play it safe and stay indoors. You can stay in your own home if you have functional air conditioning, but don’t hesitate to go to an indoor shopping center or another public place if you don’t. If you must go out on a particularly hot day, try to make your plans in the early morning or evening. The sun’s rays will be at their strongest between 10 AM and 2 PM, so don’t go out during these times if you can avoid it. Also, don’t assume that you’re safe from dehydration if you’re swimming or engaged in other water sports. You’re still out in the sun being physically active, and you can still become dehydrated or experience heatstroke.
Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine
Remember that it’s easier to become dehydrated if you’ve been drinking alcohol or caffeine. While you don’t need to avoid these substances completely, you need to be mindful of how they can affect your body. If you’re afraid of getting dehydrated or you start to experience any signs of dehydration, stop drinking. Reach for a glass of water instead. If you want to keep drinking coffee or alcohol, try to have a glass of water for every caffeinated or alcoholic beverage you consume.