Summer is just around the corner and with it comes those long, hot days of high temperatures.
With the heat comes a heightened risk of losing too much of our bodies fluids, a condition known as dehydration. Our bodies are normally about two-thirds water. When levels dip below that amount, the result can be dehydration – which means our bodies lack the proper amount of water and fluids. Though dehydration can be a serious and even a life-threatening condition, it can be avoided and treated easily with common sense measures in most instances.
In the summertime, the main cause of dehydration is sweating from heat. Likewise, exercise and heavy physical activity can cause dehydration due to sweating, and the likelihood becomes even greater when physical activity is combined with heat.
Typical symptoms of dehydration include:
- dry or sticky mouth
- low or no urine output
- concentrated sticky yellow urine
- lack of sweating when exposed to heat or during physical activity
- not producing tears
- sunken eyes
- muscle weakness
The best way to prevent dehydration is to drink plenty of water and fluids and to avoid excessive heat and physical activity which leads to heavy sweating.
In the heat of the summer, it is especially good to avoid overdoing it and get out of the heat when needed. Most health experts advise us to drink at least 6-8 large glasses of water every day to keep our bodies hydrated. During summertime heat and heavy activities, the amount of water and fluids required can be much larger – twice as much or more. Thus, it is essential to drink plenty of water before, during and after exposure to the heat or heavy physical activity.