Centsable Health: Staying hydrated in the summer heat
318 Americans die every year due to heat-related illnesses according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most of these deaths are preventable.
Being exposed to high heat for a prolonged time can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Most at risk for heat-related problems:
2. Athletes and exercisers
3. Outdoor workers
Signs of dehydration
Thirst Flushed skin
Increased body temperature
Faster breathing and heart rate
Urine color: first morning urine is best indicator of hydration status. Dark colored urine (apple juice, ice tea) is sign of dehydration. Urine may change colors after taking vitamin supplement - not an indicator of hydration status.
Body weight: monitoring weight after first urine is best time to monitor weight. May be less effective in females due to menstrual cycle.
Sweat loss: measure body weight before and after exercise
Fluid losses are increased by
Exercise intensity and duration
Body size and gender (men)
Fitness level - well-trained athletes perspire more
Only need if you are engaged in intense physical activity for more than 1 hour without stopping
However, if you are more likely to drink more fluids due to taste of sports drink, that is better than nothing
Drink before you're thirsty and drink on a schedule if outside for a long time
Avoid caffeine and alcohol - both increase urine production, therefore affecting hydration. Can lose 11 cups of fluid during exercise
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