by Greg Pryor
With the hot days of summer come great summer sports — golf, baseball, tennis and football –in our neighborhoods and on vacation. Before you (or your kids) go out for a long day of fun in the sun — learn to hydrate and protect you and your family against the dangers of dehydration and heat illness.
Dehydration is a frequent problem during summer, when heat and temperature rise above 45 degrees centigrade. Dehydration is a phase that happens when body loses more water than it consumes or holds. Dehydration can occur due to sunstroke when excess body fluids are lost due to the sun’s heat. It can also be caused when you do extensive workouts in the scorching heat. Dehydration can also occur when you have a high temperature and your body tries to sweat more to reduce the body temperature.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that athletes drink 16 ounces of fluid — two full glasses — a couple of hours before starting practice or exercise. That means weekend hikers or bikers should drink up before they venture out. I simply add 2 more ounces of water in the summer months every time I drink Lift, Mind or Muscle Memory!
Simple Tips to help prevent dehydration in summer:
- Drink sufficient water in summer prior to going out in the sun. An average person should be taking at least 8 ounces of fluid–either water or other healthy fluid to prevent loss of fluids in summer. ( “Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.” That’s about 1.9 liters, which isn’t that different from the Institute of Medicine recommendations. Although the “8 by 8” rule isn’t supported by hard evidence, it remains popular because it’s easy to remember.)
- Avoid sugar: Sodas, fruit juices and alcohol have a high level of sugar (which means more calories per serving) than most sports drinks or water. These drinks can rehydrate your body because they contain water, but their sugar content gives the stomach and intestines more to deal with. As a result, the fluids aren’t absorbed into the body as quickly.
- Use loose fitted white or light colored dress with half sleeves. Don’t wear dark dress in summer in order to keep body temperature normal and dress plays a very important part in preventing dehydration.
- Eat lots of fleshy and juice fruits in summer to restore some of the body fluids, which are lost in the course of the day. Eat ripe mango, water melons and family fruits and vegetables to help replenish body fluids. *My personal favorite is watermelon.
- Avoid direct sun and high humidity without sufficient rest and fluids.
- Children face a much greater risk of dehydration and heat-related illness. A child’s body surface area makes up a much greater proportion of his/her overall weight than an adult’s, which means they are at a greater risk for dehydration.
- Early signs of dehydration include fatigue, thirst, dry lips and tongue, lack of energy, and feeling overheated. But if kids wait to drink until they feel thirsty, they’re already dehydrated. Thirst doesn’t really kick in until a child has lost 2% of his or her body weight as sweat.
- Seek Medical Advice If you have any concerns.
A ounce of prevention (or 8 oz of water!) may be better than the cure!
Life Priority wishes you and your family a happy, healthy summer!
Life Priority, Inc.
11184 Antioch Rd., #417,
Overland Park, KS 66210
Order Life Priority health products at www.lifepriority.com
Order at 1-800-787-5438 or in the Kansas City area call 913-438-5433
Information provided for educational purposes only. Not intended to replace medical advice of your healthcare advisor
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.