Keeping Up With Proper Hydration During the Upcoming Spring and Summer Months
As the warmer spring and summer months approach the anticipation to enjoy that hot weather grows ever stronger. However, it is ever so very important to always remember about the importance of proper hydration during those long summer days and nights. Not properly staying hydrated can lead to severe medical conditions that may have possible long term effects as well as even cause heat stroke and death. Luckily, by taking the extra precautions and understanding what beverages should be consumed and what beverages shouldn’t be consumed as well as learning how to identify the symptoms of dehydration, a fun fulfilled summer can be enjoyed without risk or worry.
Symptoms of dehydration begin with irritability and grogginess then will lead to other symptoms such as headaches, nausea, cotton mouth, vomiting, exhaustion and light headedness. Allowing dehydration to go on will lead to worsened conditions and even more complicated symptoms such as a rise in body temperature, increased heart rate and breathing, heat stroke and even death. If extreme symptoms of over dehydration or not corrected in time than this can lead to loss of brain cells and permanent brain damage. It is also recommended to immediately begin drinking water if the earliest sign of dehydration is noticed which is dark yellow urine.
In order to properly prevent any of these symptoms than be sure to have on hand lots of water regardless if the family may be camping or at the beach. Water is the first best beverage to choose when fighting against dehydration as it helps carry nutrients to the muscles, cushions the joints, regulates body temperature, aids digestion and also helps remove harmful toxins from the body. Bottled water is especially convenient to have on hand in case symptoms such as cotton mouth or irritability begin to occur. Beverages such as coffee, carbonated drinks, alcohol and most juices should be avoided during the hot summer months as the sugar and caffeine will increase dehydration. However, juices such as Gatorade are appropriate for the aiding against dehydration. This is because Gatorade has roughly 100 mg of sodium and 28 mg of potassium for every 8 ounces which is what the body needs in order to prevent dehydration.
During summer activities it is advised to stay hydrated as often as possible. Children should consume anywhere between 4 to 8 ounces of water before participating in any activities that may cause dehydration as well as during the activity children should consume roughly 5 to 10 ounces of water every 20 minutes so that the body can replace the nutrients immediately after perspiration. Also, carry a spray bottle filled with water to help regulate body temperature by misting while in the shade.
“The Great Dehydration Scare.” By Heather Stephenson
“Hydration Tips for Youth Sports.” By Rachel Nelson