The warm weather of summer can easily leave us dehydrated. That’s more than just being thirsty.
Dehydration can lead to dangerous medical conditions such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heatstroke.
Heat cramps and heat exhaustion are less severe than heatstroke, but they can all be avoided if you take time to rest, spend time in cool areas and stay hydrated.
Here are some warm-weather hydration tips:
- Whenever warmer than 70 degrees, you need to work a little harder to stay hydrated.
- How much water you need depends on things like your weight and height, and whether you’re exerting yourself in the heat.
- The best way to gauge your hydration level is to look at the color of your urine. You want it to be pale in color.
How to stay hydrated:
- Keep a large water bottle with you at all times and sip it regularly.
- Drink a glass of water before every meal.
- After each trip to the bathroom, drink a glass of water to replenish fluids.
- Set reminders on your phone to drink water every hour.
Here are extra warm weather precautions for people of all ages, including the elderly and young:
- Those with heart conditions and those who are overweight may have problems regulating their body temperatures. When water is not replaced, blood thickens and it forces the heart to work harder, increasing the risk of a heart attack.
- Remove excess clothing if you feel you’re starting to overheat.
- Drink more water than usual. If you feel thirsty, dehydration is already starting.
- Avoid alcohol as its side effects can make you miss your body’s early dehydration cues.
Learn more about staying hydrated in this special report from Dr. Amar Ambardekar, an internal medicine physician with Aurora Health Care.
More about heat cramps and heat exhaustion.
The information presented in this site is intended for general information and educational purposes. It is not intended to replace the advice of your own physician. Contact your physician if you believe you have a health problem.