How have you been beating the heat these days? Trips to the beach, kayaking on a lake or maybe just hanging out on a hammock or couch in air conditioning? Maybe you have really felt sluggish or just not yourself. Has the heat got you feeling grumpy? If you are sweating in this heatwave we are having, this week's self care tip can help. Hydration!
We can feel when we sweat but we cannot always feel how our sweat is evaporating from our skin. It's also humid out. Did you know humidity can also contribute to dehydration? Well it can. Having too much moisture in the air can interfere with the body's natural ability to cool down, causing dehydration.
"How much fluid does the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate need? According to the Mayo Clinic, The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is:
About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men
About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women
These recommendations cover fluids from water, other beverages and food. About 20% of daily fluid intake usually comes from food and the rest from drinks."
Note this recommendation is for temperate climates. We are experiencing extreme heat conditions, which means we need more water consumption.
Most of us forget to drink water or fluids to keep us hydrated. But in this heat, we seem to get thirsty, and we now know why. "Thirst isn't always a reliable early indicator of the body's need for water. Many people, particularly older adults, don't feel thirsty until they're already dehydrated. That's why it's important to increase water intake during hot weather or when you're ill."
The signs and symptoms of dehydration also may differ by age. Keep these symptoms in mind if you begin to feel or observe someone displaying them.
Infant or young child
Dry mouth and tongue
No tears when crying
Less frequent urination
No wet diapers for three hours
Sunken eyes, cheeks
Sunken soft spot on top of skull
Listlessness or irritability
Let's remember, it is important to prevent dehydration. Beginning your day with water is always a great idea. My personal intake of water is hot lemon water before I reach for my cup of coffee every morning. Although I drink hot lemon water to care for my digestion, beginning my day with water intake helps me start my day nice and hydrated.
Another way you can help stay hydrated is by super boosting your water. Gatorade is very popular but if you prefer a more natural DIY electrolyte drink, try this:
1 ½-2 cups water.
Juice of ½ lemon.
1/8 to 1/4 tsp real sea salt Himalayan salt , or Celtic sea salt, to taste.
option to sweeten it with a small amount of honey or maple syrup, to taste
My preference is unsweetened but try it and decide for yourself.
There are great benefits to drinking water and keeping hydrated. Water energizes you, keeps your skin healthy and your vital organs functioning properly.
Take a look at the article below that has many more benefits. It also has a water intake calculator you can use if your curious about your personal water intake.
And there's one more important thing to remember while dealing with a heatwave. During these hot days, check in on elder family, friends and neighbors, and let's not forget our pets. Our children, elder community and pets are the most vulnerable and need our extra care.
As we prioritize our water intake, here's what we can encounter when someone is suffering from heatstroke. "The symptoms of heat stroke include:
Confusion, altered mental status, slurred speech.
Loss of consciousness (coma)
Hot, dry skin or profuse sweating.
Very high body temperature.
Fatal if treatment delayed.
Dizziness and light-headedness.
Lack of sweating despite the heat.
Red, hot, and dry skin.
Muscle weakness or cramps.
Nausea and vomiting.
Rapid heartbeat, which may be either strong or weak.
Rapid, shallow breathing.