By Laura Petrolino
If you life in the northern hemisphere….summer is here! (YAY)
But that also means, so is the chance of heat related injuries and illnesses, such as dehydration and heat stroke. (BOO)
In general, young (or young-ish), healthy underestimate their risk of heat-related injuries, as well as the effects of them. Even mild to moderate dehydration will cause fatigue, muscle soreness, headaches, and increase overall stress on the body….which prevents recovery and can set you up for a perfect storm of future illness and injury.
Not really a fun summertime proposition. Especially when you want to be out and about as much as possible to enjoy the great weather and long days.
Consistent Hydration: Your Hot Weather Mantra
The solution is proactive, consistent hydration. You can’t use thirst as a monitor, by the time you are thirst, especially if you aren’t used to drinking a lot of fluid (a habit you should workout), you most likely are already mildly dehydrated.
Make drinking water a habit. Flavor it with lemon of lime, or even things like pineapple, orange or kiwi slices, or even cucumber (for that just stepped out of the spa feel) if you need some flavor.
Choose foods with high water content. Luckily summer is ripe (hehe, get it..ripe, like a fruit) with these. Watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, cucumber, lettuce, tomatoes…..and many more.
Don’t Forget Electrolytes
Supplement with electrolytes. Not only can dehydration be caused from a mineral and electrolyte imbalance instead. This happens when you are drinking a lot of fluid and/or sweating hard. Make sure you supplement with sea salt and if you are really out for a long time look at electrolyte supplements like Trace Mineral Drops (I used these all the time when I lived in Florida), or NUUN.
A clear indicator for me that my electrolytes are off is increased fatigue and a feeling that I just can’t get enough fluid, no matter how much I drink.
Your dog can suffer from the effects of dehydration and heat-related injury as well. So make sure if you have him or her out exercising with you, or even just home hanging on the patio…you also keep him hydrated both through fluid and electrolytes.
Go out and enjoy summer. Run around. Hike a trail. Swim in the ocean. But do so with a water bottle near-by.