* 318 Americans die every year due to heat-related illnesses (CDC) 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 include
2. Athletes and exercisers
3. Outdoor workers
* Signs of dehydration
o Flushed skin
o Increased body temperature
o Faster breathing and heart rate
o Labored breathing
* Monitor hydration
o 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.
o Body weight: monitoring weight after first urine is best time to monitor weight. May be less effective in females due to menstrual cycle.
o Sweat loss: measure body weight before and after exercise
* Fluid losses are increased by
o Air temperature
o Exercise intensity and duration
o Body size and gender (men)
o Fitness level - well-trained athletes perspire more
* Sports drinks
o Only need if you are engaged in intense physical activity for more than 1 hour without stopping
o 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