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Hydration In The Heat!

Water is the most essential component of the human body, as it provides an important role in the function of cells.  Here is a Guide to Hydration during warm weather re-posted from the blog Physioanswers:

“It’s been getting warmer as spring moves into summer across the US. That means if you are working or playing outside, you need to take care of yourself to stay hydrated and healthy while enjoying the weather. Follow the below tips to beat the heat while staying active.

Why stay hydrated? Because dehydration:

· Decreases the time until exhaustion. Work longer with water!

· Decreases athletic performance. Work better with water!

· Decreases your ability to keep cool. Keep cooler with water!

· Causes cramping. Keep loose with water!

· Leads to heat illness. Keep healthy with water!

How should I hydrate?

· Know how much water to drink: Too much and too little water are problems.

* Consider that a gulp has 1-2 ounces in it.
· 16-20 ounces of fluid approximately 4 hours before exercise.
· 8-12 ounces of water 10-15 minutes before exercise.
· 3-8 ounces of water every 15-20 minutes of activity.

Watch calories! Consider if you really need all the sugar and calories of a sports drink. Most of us are usually better sticking with water! Sports drinks are usually only needed after greater than 60 minutes of exercise or strenuous work in heat. Drink the same as water, 3-8 ounces every 15 minutes.

You can reduce your risk of heat illnesses by:

· Taking advantage of the farmers markets and eat adequate amounts of healthy foods.

· Getting plenty of sleep and rest.

· Avoiding work and exercise in hottest parts of day, when temp is greater than 85 degrees F.

· Wearing wicking clothing, avoiding clothing that creates barrier to evaporation.

· Keeping a steady level of activity in the heat, pick cooler days to increase physical workload.

· Reducing your body weight. It makes it easier to dissipate heat.

· Avoiding exertion when you are sick, with symptoms such as a fever or vomiting.

What does exertional heat illness look like?

It varies from person to person! In some people it has been mistaken for concussion or psychiatric problems. If it’s hot and humid and someone “just seems different” it is time to get out of the heat, hydrate, get out of clothes, get the legs elevated, and get medical help if it doesn’t improve quickly!”

For more great tips on staying hydrated click here for a helpful handout from the American College of Sports Medicine.

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