Keep Hydrated This Summer

Posted: June 27, 2016

When the weather heats up, it is critical to keep hydrated. Drinking plenty of fluids to stay hydrated isn’t only necessary during physical activity, but also while sitting in the sun on a hot day or even skiing on a winter day.

For most people, water is the best thing to drink to stay hydrated. Sources of water also include foods, such as fruits and vegetables like watermelon and tomatoes which contain a high percentage of water. Sports drinks with electrolytes, may be useful for people doing high intensity, vigorous exercise in very hot weather, though they tend to be high in added sugars and calories. According to the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability, research indicates that juice and sodas may not be the best way to maintain hydration. For optimal absorption, a beverage should contain only 4-8% carbohydrates. Fruit juices and soda have around 10% carbohydrates so they take longer to be absorbed by the body.

How much do we need to drink to stay hydrated? A person who perspires heavily will need to drink more than someone who doesn’t. Also those with medical conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease, may also require more water. People with cystic fibrosis have high concentrations of sodium in their sweat and also need to use caution to avoid dehydration. In addition, some medications can act as diuretics, causing the body to lose more fluid.

If you notice the signs of dehydration and treat it quickly, you should recover completely. Early signs include:

  • Thirst
  • Flushed skin
  • Premature fatigue
  • Increased body temperature
  • Faster breathing and pulse rate

Later signs of dehydration include:

  • Dizziness
  • Increased weakness
  • Labored breathing with exercise

To stay hydrated this summer:

  • Keep a refillable water bottle with you throughout the day.
  • If you don’t care for plain water, try adding slices of lemon or lime to your drink.
  • Order water as your beverage when eating out.
  • If you plan on working outside or exercising, be sure to drink water before, during and after the activity.

Contact Information

Karen Thomas
  • Extension Educator, Food, Families & Health
Phone: 570-963-6842