Do you know how much water you need to drink to stay hydrated in hot weather? It’s easier than you think to become dehydrated in summer if you’re not careful. Read our tips on getting enough water and avoiding dehydration while you’re enjoying summertime activities.
What Causes Dehydration?
Dehydration happens when you are not taking in enough water to replace the water your body is losing. This sometimes occurs during bouts of illness that cause high fever or excessive vomiting. However, it happens often when people simply don’t drink enough water.
In hot summer weather, it’s important to drink more water than usual. However, people often forget or don’t realize how much more water they need, particularly when they are engaged in physical activity outdoors.
Steps to Keep Yourself Hydrated
- Don’t wait until you’re thirsty. Start drinking water early and keep drinking it throughout the day. It’s important to build up a kind of “foundation” of hydration to have on reserve for when you’re particularly active or have to be outside. Your goal should be to not feel thirsty—once you’ve developed a thirst, you are already dehydrated or well on your way. When you’re done with an outdoor activity or workout, drink more water to rehydrate.
- Make water your first choice. While it’s true that lemonade, iced tea, and juice all have plenty of water and will help keep you hydrated, water is the healthiest choice. Add fruit to your water or try a juice with no added sugar if you want some flavor. Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic drinks in the heat. Both alcohol and caffeine will dehydrate you. If you know you’ll be indulging in beer, wine, or cocktails, make sure you drink water in between each serving.
- Choose snacks high in water content. Fruits—especially summer favorites like watermelon and peaches—are a smart choice in hot weather because their high water content will add to your hydration reserves.
- Keep water with you at all times. With all the fancy and functional water bottles on the market today, there’s no excuse for not having water with you no matter where you are.
Symptoms of Dehydration
Besides feeling excessively thirsty, you may experience any of the following when you become dehydrated:
- Dark-colored urine
- Dry cough
- Excessive fatigue
- Feelings of lightheadedness
- Flushed skin
- Increased heat intolerance
- Loss of appetite
If you experience any of these symptoms, stop what you are doing, rest, and drink plenty of clear fluids. If your symptoms are extreme and you’re not getting any relief, visit a Fast Track Urgent Care clinic location. Severe dehydration may require the replenishment of fluids via IV.
Urgent Care for Dehydration and Other Summer Ailments
Fast Track Urgent Care can treat dehydration and other summertime health issues including:
Call Fast Track at 800-417-1164 to learn more.