Water & Dehydration
Now that Summer is here, it’s time to start planning beach and lake trips! Yay! Here in LA, the beaches are closer than the lakes, so it’s mostly beach days for me. For those of you beach bums, surfers, hodads (pretend surfers), and even infrequent beach-goers, the weather is often overcast, and seemingly cool. This cool weather tends to give people a feeling of not being thirsty, and the misconception that you don’t need to drink as much water because it isn’t as hot. FALSE. You still need to drink plenty of water!
All too often, people get dehydrated at the beach (maybe sometimes from drinking too much alcohol as well), and it’s because of that common misconception of not drinking because there is too little heat. Too little water will lead to dehydration fairly quickly, which leads to much more serious issues, including heat stokes. Let’s try to stay away from that, yeah? So, first things first, you should already be drinking over 8 cups of water on a daily basis. If you are outside in the sun, you need to up that intake, even if it doesn’t “feel” scorching. Here are some tips for preventing hydration, staying hydrated, and fixing dehydration once it hits!
- Prevent dehydration by always drinking water, before you are thirsty. I’m sure you’ve heard that once you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. It’s very true. So be sure to get your water intake covered pre-outside fun day.
- If you don’t like plain water all that much, you can either add fruit to it, or even sip on a sports drink or Coconut water. (Have these in moderation, you still need that good, plain ‘ol H20).
- Try to stay consistent with your consumption; meaning, drink water throughout the day, starting in the morning, and continuing all throughout the day.
- One easy-peasy way of knowing you are dehydrated is by looking at the color your urine. If it is yellow, you are dehydrated. Simple as that. The more yellow it is, the more water you need. The clearer it is, the more your body will want to high-five you!
- Once you are dehydrated, now is really the time to start drinking fluids. Especially if you feel dizzy, fatigued, or muscle cramps. These are signs you are becoming very dehydrated and some other things you might want to drink as well as water are: juice and/or a sports drink. These have some extra nutrients your body may be lacking.
Well, there you have it folks! Welcome Summer with a healthy body full of water, since it’s pretty much the only thing your body needs to survive! Now, go hit the beaches and lakes full force, and hey, maybe I’ll see you there sometime!
Kim Shapira MS, RD