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How to Avoid Dehydration this Summer

Summer is a time for days out in the sun, grilling barbecue, and relaxing by the pool. However, it is important to remember how to stay safe outside in the heat. Spending time in the sun runs the risk of becoming dehydrated, which can lead to further health issues.

According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), dehydration is a condition that can cause unclear thinking, result in mood change, cause your body to overheat, constipation, and kidney stones. Some early signs of dehydration include dry mouth, lethargy, and dizziness. Dehydration is more common than you may think, especially in the summer. Follow some of these tips to avoid the risk of dehydration and heatstroke.  


1. Drink Water:

The number one way to prevent dehydration is simply to drink water. It is important to drink fluids especially if you are exercising or in a hot climate since your body can lose fluids from sweat. Drink plenty of water as directed by your doctor.


2. Don’t Wait:

Remember to stay hydrated throughout the day. Do not just drink water or other fluids when you feel thirsty. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, active people should drink at least 16-20 fluid ounces 1 to 2 hours before an outdoor activity. Then, you should drink an additional 16-20 ounces every 10 to 15 minutes you are outside. Fun tip: carry around a fun, reusable water bottle so you can continually hydrate!


3. Eat Foods With High Amounts of Water:

Try to consume fruits and vegetables that contain a high volume of water. As a bonus, fruits and vegetables are often very healthy and part of a balanced diet! There are plenty of delicious seasonal fruits and vegetables you can try during the summer like watermelon and zucchini.  


4. Avoid or Limit Certain Types of Drinks:

Some drinks to avoid or limit include coffee, teas, and soft drinks (which contain caffeine). You should also try to limit or avoid alcoholic beverages which can also contribute to dehydration. Fun tip: add fresh lemons, limes, or cucumbers to brighten up your normal pitcher of water.


Treating Dehydration

Treating dehydration involves drinking fluids such as water, sports drinks (which can help replace electrolytes), clear broths, or ice pops. In serious cases, a patient may require intravenous fluids, which then necessitates the intervention of a healthcare professional. If you get a fever or chills, you can apply a cold compress to your face or take an ice bath. If your temperature does not improve and/or it reaches above 103 degrees fahrenheit, seek medical help.