With summertime upon us and daily temperatures poised to exceed 100 degrees most days over the next four months, it is important to remember to drink more fluids than you think you need in order to avoid becoming dehydrated. If you wait to drink water until you are thirsty, you are already somewhat dehydrated. Alcohol or sugary drinks are not good ways to hydrate while drinking while very cold beverages can cause stomach cramps. If you are celebrating the Memorial Day weekend with a few adult beverages, drink two glasses of water for every glass of beer or ounce of alcohol that you consume.
If you follow the rule of thumb by drinking eight glasses of water each day, increase your intake to twelve to fourteen glasses of water now. If your doctor limits the amount of fluid intake you have or has you on water pills, you need to ask how much you should be drinking now that summer temperatures are upon us.
It may seem obvious but stay indoors with air conditioning on during the day’s hottest hours. If you have been outside and feel overheated, a simple way to get your body temperature down is to take a cool shower.
When outside, wear lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing. Also, be sure to drink two to four glasses of cool water for each hour that you are outside and more if you are engaged in physical exertion. A wide-brimmed hat helps as does staying in the shade. While in the sun, use a sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher and make sure it says “broad spectrum” so that you avoid both the UVA and UVB rays. If you start to feel dizzy, have an elevated body temperature, headache, nausea, vomiting or stop sweating, get indoors immediately, start cooling off and call 911.