5 Ways to Stay Hydrated in the HeatArticle posted in: Diet & Nutrition
Thirst, fatigue, cramps, dizziness and an increased heart rate are all symptoms of dehydration, while confusion or disorientation could be a sign of heat stroke, according to Hopkins Medicine. In the dog days of summer, when heat and humidity are oppressive, it’s easy to forget just how important it is to stay hydrated until we experience one or more of these scary symptoms. Luckily, it’s not too difficult to avoid dehydration or heat stroke with a little foresight and we’ve got that foresight right here. Ready to drink it in?
Check out these five simple ways to stay hydrated in the heat:
1. Get Acclimated.
During the first 10 to 14 days of heat exposure, gradually increase the time you spend outside. If you’re exercising outside, increase both the time spent outside as well as the intensity of the workout. Let’s say you’re walking outside, for example. Stick to a 10-minute walk the first day, 15 minutes the next day and 20 minutes on day three. If you’re adjusting well, try running for a short distance on day four and increase the time and frequency of your “bursts” as time progresses.
2. Drink Extra Water.
If you’re spending the day outside when it’s hot, you have to drink extra water. But it’s also important to hydrate before, during and after outdoor activity to prevent heat stroke. Whether you’re going out to exercise or do a little yard work, bring a bottle (or two) of water with you and keep it close by. Consider setting a timer on your phone for mandatory water breaks. How do you know if you’re drinking enough? Your urine. It should be a normal pale-yellow color. Dark-colored urine is a telltale sign of dehydration.
3. Eat Good Stuff.
You’re already doing this if you’re on the South Beach Diet, but there are even more reasons why you should eat well when it’s hot:
- In addition to all the fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, fruits and veggies are virtually all water according to Health. Cucumbers are 96.7 percent water; tomatoes are 94.5 percent water; grapefruit and cantaloupe are both 90 percent water. When you eat fruits and veggies, you’re hydrating.
- Do spicy foods make you sweat? Good. Sweating is one of the best ways the can cool itself. If you like spicy food, summer’s the perfect time to pile on the peppers or spice.
- To replenish the salt you lose through sweat or by drinking extra water, be sure to have some beef jerky, low-fat deli meat or salted nuts handy. Your body will also thank you for the protein boost!
4. Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol in the Heat.
Caffeine and alcohol are both diuretics. Instead of an ice-cold beer or iced coffee, drink fruit- or mint-infused water and load your glass up with ice. If you’re offered an alcoholic drink at a summer barbecue, have one if you’d like. But make sure you switch to water afterwards or try to drink water in-between sips of beer to stay hydrated.
5. Freeze Your Water.
Have 10 minutes to spare? Why not stock your freezer with some homemade popsicles? Simply puree fruit with water and freeze in a Popsicle mold or in ice cube trays. Liquid stevia can provide a hint of guilt-free sweetness. If you prefer creamy frozen treats, grab your blender and mix the berries with water and some Greek yogurt. Again, liquid stevia will sweeten your concoction nicely and keep you hydrated with a delicious treat.