As summer revs up it’s good to take a moment and remember the importance of proper hydration. Most of us at some point have experienced some dehydration. When your body loses more water than it takes in, it can throw things off kilter. And a bout of severe dehydration can put a big damper on any fun summer plans.
Here are some dehydration symptoms to be aware of!
- Intense thirst
- Intense sweating
- Dry, sticky mouth
- Exhaustion, fatigue
- Dry skin
- Low urine output
- Dark urine
- Muscle cramps
- Bad breath
- Food cravings for sugar
Severe dehydration symptoms include:
- Rapid heartbeat and breathing
- Low blood pressure
- Confusion, irritability, even delirium
- Dry skin that doesn’t bounce back when pinched
- Little or no urine output
So what causes dehydration? Lots of things!
- Diarrhea due to the intestines failing to absorb water and then sending it out the body instead
- Vomiting from food poisoning or food borne illness
- Sweating from activities in hot conditions
- Diabetic medications may cause frequent urination
- Frequent urination from alcohol or medications
- Foods and beverages high in sugar
While everyone is at risk for dehydration some folks require more water.
Athletes can easily become dehydrated and studies have shown this can decrease athletic performance.
Infants and children have a greater need for more water than adults.
The thirst mechanism diminishes as we age and our seniors can experience more dehydration that other age groups. It’s reported that one in five seniors is dehydrated and those with dementia have a six-fold increase risk of dehydration.
Water is your best bet for replenishing lost fluids. While many sports drinks and juices make claims to be a great hydration product, the truth is that many of them contain high amounts of sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Skip them! Soda pop is another no-no when it comes to dehydration. Avoid artificial sweeteners as well. Coconut water can be a good choice, but flavored coconut waters also have high sugar content.
Eating foods that have a high water content will be beneficial in maintaining proper fluid levels in the body. Some even have up to 90% water content These include:
- Lettuce and leafy greens
- Bell peppers
- Baby carrots
And don’t forget, pets can get dehydrated too! Make sure to keep them a supplied with ample amounts of water!
Have a great, healthy and safe summer! Please let us know if we can provide you with additional health information!