This summer promises to be a hot and humid one. Here are some tips to keep you healthy and hydrated while you beat the heat.
Drink up. Drinking regularly is key to staying well hydrated. Aim for a minimum of 8 glasses of fluids each day, even more if spending time outside.
Make drinks count. Water should always be your drink of choice. Milk, 100% fruit juice, homemade lemonade, club soda, unsweetened iced tea are also good choices to keep the body hydrated. Sports drinks like Gatorade are good if you plan on exercising or playing sports in the intense heat. Remember that caffeine and alcohol can cause dehydration, so limit these if you can.
Make snacks count. Fresh fruits and vegetables like watermelon and berries or cucumbers are full of water. Homemade popsicles made from fresh berries, pureed fruits and even yogurts are also great and very refreshing.
Be prepared. Prevention is key. Drink plenty of fluids even if not spending time in the heat so you have a good baseline. Always carry a full bottle of water when leaving the house, and pack extra if you plan on being out for a while, especially if playing sports. Remember water fountains, even in parks, may be off limits for hygiene reasons.
Know the signs. Severe dehydration can be life threatening. Headaches, feeling sluggish, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, feeling disoriented are all signs of dehydration that should be addressed right away. Cool down by going inside or get some ice to place on your body. Rehydrate with an electrolyte solution or sports drink. If someone is losing consciousness, call 9-1-1.
So drink up! And have a healthy safe summer!
Jennifer Abdulezer, P.Dt
Registered Dietician, Cappino