Hydration is important all year long, but especially during the summer. The dire effect of the recent heat wave that is sweeping through the central and eastern parts of the United States this summer is a stark reminder of just how important it is to stay hydrated.
There’s a Right Way and a Wrong Way to Stay Hydrated
Most people get their daily fluid intake from coffee, tea, or sodas. Although those beverages do contain water, they also usually contain sugar and caffeine, which cause dehydration. While cold beers or frozen cocktails are associated with beating the heat of summer, they dehydrate the body too. In fact, you should consume one glass of water with every alcoholic beverage to dilute the dehydrating effects.
So what’s the best option for hydration? Water, of course. Carrying a water bottle around with you and refilling it as you become thirsty is an excellent way to beat dehydration. We replenish about 20 percent of the fluid that we lose through our diet, so many physicians recommend drinking about eight glasses of water each day.
But the amount of water that you need depends on you weight, height, and activity level, among other factors. In general, if you feel thirsty it’s time to drink more fluids. Early signs of dehydration include a dry mouth, nausea, and intense thirst. Drinking water before, during, and after any activities that are strenuous and/or in a hot environment should help fight dehydration.
Another summer threat is heatstroke. To fend off this serious condition, drink fluids that contain electrolytes with no added sugar, like SmartWater or Pedialyte. These drinks can also fight or prevent the onset of dehydration.
To learn more about how you can protect your oral and overall health, or to schedule a dental appointment, call Dr. James Fondriest of Lake Forest Dental Arts at 847.234.0517 today.